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stitch,and bitch london

6th Nov 2009

Stitchin’, Bitchin’ and It’s Good to Stalk


... Woo Work Interview ... Gerty Talks Pants ... Twitter Knitters  ... Pigeons vs Bullies ...

By ‘eck it’s getting nippy greetings to you

We hope this early newsletter finds you well, digging through your yarn stash for those chunky yarns to keep you snuggly as the chill descends and soothing your pets with treats and scratches behind the ears after last night’s Bonfire Night.

Yes we’ve moved our newsletters to Fridays. We know you lot don’t do any work on Friday afternoons anyway.

S&B London learners: Free knitting lessons will take place twice a month at S&B London meetings. Check for the Learners Lesson icon next to the meeting title. Lessons are free but we do like thank you cake and booze.


This week we grab you by your sweaty paw and drag you tweeting and screaming to look at the wonders Twitter has taught us. Woo at the crochet wonder of an exclusive interview with the creator of crochet wonders at Woo Work, meet Percy the Pigeon and help combat bullying, go tweeting mad at our Twitter knitter picks, and see what Gerty thinks about knitted thongs.  

We’d also like to shove you gently in the direction of Knit on the Net’s Knit a Poppy Campaign. It’s raised over £1500 so far. Donate £2 for the pattern now and purl yourself a poppy with pride. Go on.
We’re also gearing up for the Christmas party and it’s going to be a knitstravaganza with all kinds of goodies to be won and tasty treats galore. Get those Secret Santa knits on your needles, folks. You can’t get unless you give.
We can also reveal the not-so-secret identities of our Handknit Heroes winners are Alexandra King, Amy Heinen, Kate Bird and the grand prize going to Gary Northfield.



    Mwa ha haaaaaaahahaha haaaa! Halloween saw a whole zombie hoard of you shuffle into the weird and wonderful world of The Hunterian Museum to knit among the body parts. We suspect Gerty made a deal with the devil because the bar slashed the price of drinks to death. Much cheap wine was supped amongst the skulls and spines.
Newbies slung their first stitches, magic loops were cast on and we were much impressed with the shows of witches hats and devil horns. The homemade cookies were tasty too.

To see pics of our night of Halloween knitting horror stumble over to our blog
New venue The Shakespeare’s Head proved to be a popular one (maybe because we continued the cheap booze theme). Not much Shakespeare was quoted but much stitching was had. And, as always, it was good.

Yarnstorming update: Those mysterious Knit the City girls (now a magknitficent seven with the addition of The Fastener) have been at it again. This time they take on a haunted London underground station with their Gate of Ghouls. Spooky stitching stuff.

Stitch and Sing It, Lady!

Details of the next meeting:

Immerse yourself in the operatic environment of our old fave the Royal Festival Hall for a bit of a knit and a bit of people watching as opera lovers swan in to take their seat for a bit of Soprano singing (and we don’t mean Tony. Bada bing!). You can stitch while they watch the singing. We’ll see who has more fun.

TUESDAY 10th November
From 6pm
Venue: The Royal Festival Hall (ground floor)
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road
Map  Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment


Stitch and Get There Early to Bag the Sofas

Grab your knitting and get yerself down to the Camelnchoke for a night of pints, pies and a quick flick through the Bookcrossing shelf. Get there early to grab one of the comfy sofas, get there late and nick a seat on one of the comfy sofas while someone is in the loo, get there on a camel or get there on a giant artichoke you have brought to life via some mad genetic experiment. Just get there.

Details of the meeting after next:
MONDAY 16th November
Time: From 6pm
Venue: The Camel and Artichoke
121 Lower Marsh
London SE1 7AE

Nearest Tube: Waterloo

Stitch and Did Someone Say Dark and Stormy?
Details of the meeting after that:
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Leon at Spitalfields Market
3 Crispin Place
E1 6DW

Website Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street 

Stitch and Woo! That is some amazing crochet!
A bunch of crocheted shrooms partying so hearty that they burn down the mushroom factory? A woolly spy watch that helps you track icecream? The cutest grenades, ray guns and atomic waste you’ve ever laid eyes on? A tiny toothy shark who prefers a bit of broccoli to crunching bones.
Canadian Howie Woo take his crochet hook and creates worlds you will sell your granny to live in. If you were convinced that crochet was all doilies and granny squares a quick pootle around the Woo Work website is enough to inspire you to rev up your crochet hooks and yet crafting yourself something cute, clever and relentlessly cheerful.
Not only is Woo a hooking hero but he also draws amazingly well. Wandering into one of his stories and you’re suddenly eight years old again reading comics, giggling at slapstick video humour and marveling at the magic of his photographs.
We tracked Howie down in his crochet cave of critters and fired some questions in his direction:
What's your earliest crochet memory?
I remember following a youtube video on how to crochet an amigurumi ball, and not being able to make a simple slip knot to start. I was frustrated and swearing up a storm, and could feel the Devil of Quit-It on my shoulder. Thankfully, the Angel of Keep-At-It was on the other!

What's been your most hideous crochet project horror?
I was photographing a crochet chicken at a petting zoo when, all of a sudden, the chicken went missing. As I ran around the zoo—looking desperately for my yarn chicken—I felt like a bad actor in a poultry-themed abduction film. I made a new chicken, but never saw my original chicken again.

Three Woo Work essentials you would want with you on a desert island?
1. Bundles of yarn, which could be crocheted into survival items like a fishing net, blanket, or ray-gun.
Woomi (my crocheted alter ego), who can listen to my insane, dark ramblings after weeks without rescue or free Wi-Fi.
Clover Yarn Cutter Pendant, which could also help in creating coconut shavings for my luau potlucks for two.

If you could make a crocheted item for a celebrity who would it be for and what would it be?
I'm a technology geek and a fan of technology broadcaster, Leo Laporte. For one of his podcasts, I crocheted him a Toothpick Bird, a Spork, and mini versions of himself and his co-host, Dick DeBartolo. The items were inside-jokes to their "Daily Giz Wiz" show, during which they opened the items.

If you were to accidentally get blown up in a crocheted dynamite accident what would have them crochet on your gravestone?
"Slip Knots are easy. Death is hard."
Want to join Howie in making something handmade and heart-lifting? The site is also an excellent list of how-to crochet sites, videos and other resources. You’ll be creating your own crochet critters in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. If watching this video of him returning his Fridge Critters to the wild doesn’t inspire you then you’re a little bit dead inside.
Hightail it to the WooWork website now to see the woolly wonders. Stalk WooWork on Twitter @woowork.

Stitch and Knitted Pigeons Stomping On Bullying
Pigeons. There was a time when they were the most beleaguered of birds. Mocked by the cruel magpies for their stumpy little toes, attacked by the vicious nut-hurling squirrels of St James Park, consumed by pelicans.
The humans were not much better – they put up barriers to their landing on windowsills, and the meaner ones stopped the friendly ones from feeding them in their Trafalgar Square haven.
The pigeons felt downtrodden and bullied and the littlest pigeons were the most downtrodden of all.
But then, one small pigeon decided that enough was enough. Little Percy ran away from his cruel family and found a voice through Anita Hunt, who started the Are You Being Bullied? Campaign. It all began with the book Matty-boy & The Secret Pigeon Racket, in which Percy takes a young bullying victim under his wing.
Since then, the campaign has grown with a fantastic website which has information for those who are being bullied and for their parents.
We think that what Percy is doing is really coo-l. And we think he should be supported. A little bird tells us that it is National Anti-Bullying Week from the 16th to the 20th of November and that the theme this year is cyber-bullying, which makes Percy's anti-bullying tweets (or should that be coos) all the more relevant.
If you want to support Percy (and why wouldn't you?), then there's bundles of Percy merchandise on his website.
Our favourite, though, is the Alan Dart designed Percy the Pigeon knitting pattern on the website. The pattern is free, but there is a recommended donation. It's so cute we don't know how anyone can resist it. We want to make loads of them and repopulate Trafalgar Square with friendly pigeons. What will you do with yours?
Join the flock and stalk Percy on Twitter @percythepigeon.

  Stitch and Twitter Knitters

If you tweet and you stalk then the world of knitting is all there for the taking on Twitter. We’ve put together the definitive guide to the best knitting (and crochet) Twits (n. one who Tweets) in the Twitterverse. And in true Twitter style each is in 140 characters or less.
@knittingnews Does some sterling stuff with knitting bits from all over the shop. Read her blog here.
@knittingwithrat She knits! She has rats! She knits with them! Don’t believe us? She also always comes up with cool knitting links.
@knitting Just what it says on the tin. Although she says she loves crochet more! Loads of good knitting links, lovingly categorised on her website
@craftastrophe Not all about knitting but still amazing. Tagline: Because not everything handmade is pretty... see for yourself.
@WNTC or What Not to Crochet. Kind of explains itself really...too many bizarre things to mention, especially the twine bikini. Just look...
@mochimochiland Cuuuuuuuuute tiny knits which should come with a SQUEEEE!! warning...just check out the bats
And then there are our favourite London yarn shops @funofthefair @socktopus @iknitlondon; our favourite online magazines @knittydotcom and @twistcollective; and some people called @sandblondon and @knitthecity...whoever they are!!
There are probably millions more that we’ve left out, and we’re sorry if we have! It’s a huge place, the Twitterverse…
Oops...S&B London are over capacity!
*fail whale appears*
The Crocheted Twitter Fail Whale was made by Christy...check her blog here.

Ask Gertrude: Knitted Thong – Right or Wrong?
S&B London’s resident woolly agony aunt untangles the sensitive issue of handmade undercrackers (via @mizelissa on Twitter).
Dear Gerty

My downstairs neighbor is a male stripper who is addicted to the knit. For Christmas would it be appropriate to knit him Knitty’s Men’s Thong-th-thong or just gift him with a copy of the pattern and some yarn? (I am not a stripping knitter just a girl upstairs neighbor knitter).
Thinking of Thongs
Dear ToT, my oh my that’s quite an eye-popping knit you are considering.
I say why not teach the young man how to get his knit on? I know he spends much of his time getting his knits off, but you shouldn't be shocked by requests for a bit of knitted naughtiness. After all strippers need to keep their bits snuggly just like the rest of us.
You could even help enhance his stripping career and spice up his stage show with Knitty’s edible 302 Calories thong. Grab yourself some strawberry laces and your needles and go and knock on his door this instant. Just make sure you get a cut of his stage fees when he becomes a stripping star.
To you, Ms ToT, you are simply knitting him a bit of modesty but to him you are handmaking his entire wardrobe when it gets to the end of the act.
Unless he goes Full Monty, in which case Gerty would appreciate a few photos. Purely for the Ask Gerty archives you understand.
See this question and others that didn’t make the newsletter on Gerty’s blog.
Do you feel like telling your problems to a giant ball of pink yarn with an attitude? Email her at


Is it that time already? Blimey! We’d best be getting on our way. There’s a whole Twitterverse out there to explore. We can’t stand about her chatting with you all day. As always we invite you to drop in to say hello and share the virtual love on the message board and we hope to see you all in real life at a meeting very soon.
Tweet ya later, London.


The S&B London Stitchettes x



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