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5th July 2010
Stitch and Melting in the Heat
... Stitch Yourself in Pictures ... Tiny Perching Pigeon Pictures ... Gerty on keeping your stitching cool ...
... Knit Nation feature ...

Melty sticky electric-fan longing greetings to you 

We hope this newsletter finds you well, finding somewhere air-conditioned to keep your yarn from felting in your sweaty mitts while you knit and blessed with a good supply of ice cream..


Stitch London learners: Free knitting lessons will take place twice a month from 6.30 at Stitch London meetings. If there are lots of you then you may have to wait. Check for the Learners Lesson icon next to the meeting title.

See our Learn to Knit and FAQ pages.    Please note: All learners should aim to arrive before 8pm.

Help Us teach by becoming a Stitch Sage

Stitched Self-arama: The Stitch Yourself exhibit raided London's Science Museum with 259 tiny stitched people and we saw the whole thing.

Know Your Knit Nation: We look at the woolly wonder that is Knit Nation and help explain its fibre-based innards.

Perching Pigeon parade: Our Tiny Perching Pigeon Party in glorious technicolour.
Gerty goes cool: Our gin-soaked yarny agony aunt help you beat the heat while you knit.

Stitch London meetings:
For more information on each venue click on 'More info' to go to our Venues page

Time: From 6pm
Venue: Royal Festival Hall (Level 2)
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road


Time: From 6pm
Venue: Leon at Spitalfields Market
3 Crispin Place
E1 6DW

Map More info


Time: From 6pm
Venue: Stamford Arms
62 Stamford Street

Map More info

  Stitch Yourself: A Tiny Stitched Self army takes over the Science Museum
by Deadly Knitshade

As the evening drew in on the 30th of June at around 6.30pm a pattering of tiny stitched feet could be heard echoing through the innards of London's Science Museum. The Stitch Yourself hoards had arrived!

They had come from the farthest corners of the globe, from Israel, Australia and Abu Dhabi. They had come from the nearest parts of our lovely London, from Islington, Twickenham and Archway. By post, by hand, by public transport.

I followed them from a safe distance with my camera as the 259 Stitched Selves installed themselves in the Main Energy Hall of the Museum and began showing off for unsuspecting passers by as the Science Museum opened for an evening of Late Night madness.

There was a whole lot of knitting chatter coming from behind the glass as the Stitched Selves got comfy in their home for the evening. It was all very amiable. Lots of "Is anyone sitting here?" and "My but I do admire your handstitched frilly undergarments" from the tiny folks as they sorted themselves into display formation.

The public arrived in their droves to sigh ("I want to steal them!"), squeeeee ("I found ME!"), express shock ("AGH! That one's naked!" and "Is she knitting her own head?!"), look confused ("A tree in a bikini?!") and generally stand in awe-struck wonder at the handstitched, handknit and handhooked little people who peered back at them with just as much curiousity.

For one night only the Stitched Selves were one of the most interesting, creative and inspiring exhibits at one of London's most famous museums. It was Stitched Self spendidness.

See all the pictures from the night on our blog and keep an eye out for all 259 of them as we showcase them one by one over the next few months. It's going to be a hell of a job but with the effort you all put in I think it will be worth it.

If you have stories behind your Stitched Selves please email and we'll try to add them in with the photos of your tiny doppleganger. Also Flickr knitters can upload their Stitched Self pics to our Stitch London group.

For those who missed the big event keep an eye on Stitch London in the future. The Stitched Selves will be back and you'll all be invited. Promise.

Stitch and Knit Nation 101 by The Bluestocking Stitcher

If you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you may be unaware of the existence of Knit Nation. Or, like many of us, you may have heard a bit about it, but not be fully up to speed with what it's all about. For all of you, we have absorbed all you need to know into our brains and bring you our condensed guide to the beast that is Knit Nation in bite sized chunks.

So, what is it?
Knit Nation is the biggest knitting and spinning dedicated show that we have seen in this country. Stretching over three action-and-shopping-packed days in Central London at the end of this month, it is the brainchild of Alice Yu of Socktopus fame and the legendary Cookie A. Not surprisingly, there's a bit of a socky focus, but there's lots more to see and do on the day. The organisers have built up a rapport with their potential customer community, so have consulted with them about what they may like to see in a knitting expo. Crochet fiends can bypass all the knittingness and still do a bit of shopping.

The details bit
Knit Nation is being held between the 29th and 31st of July at Imperial College London. It's quite conveniently located for a bit of a park break from the action, some browsing of the textiles in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a chance to pop in and see some knitted chromosomes in the Science Museum.

There are classes on all three days and SHOPPING on Thursday and Friday in the marketplace. You need to book classes in advance on their website (be quick as it's almost all completely sold out!) but you can buy marketplace tickets on the day.

The learning bit
There's three full days of classes . That's enough learning to make our brains fizz a little bit. Knit Nation have managed to get some rather prestigious international names to dispense their wisdom. Obviously, there are classes by Cookie A, but they have also got Shirley Paden teaching how to design, the renowned Nancy Bush and Anne Hanson for all your lacy requirements, among others.

So, what can you learn?
Sock knitting is covered in all its forms; up, down and sideways if vertical construction doesn't quite do it for you. There are lacework classes, design classes, techniques and classes on folk knitting from both far afield and traditional UK techniques used in arans and ganseys. There's even a good dose of yarn-geekery and fibre know-how on offer.

The shopping bit
Did we mention that there is SHOPPING to be done? There is an impressive marketplace on offer, with some fantastic vendors, both the smaller UK independents which you rarely get to browse before buying outside of yarn fairs and some lesser-spotted international names. Rumours that crowd control barriers and smelling salts will be placed in the vicinity of the Wollmeise stand are yet to be confirmed.

The cake bit
We've yet to find a mention of cake. How can there be knitting without cake? We suggest you bring your own cake just in case.

The debauched bit
Did someone mention booze? The whole lot is topped off on Saturday night by a party thrown by Jess and Casey of Ravelry fame. Casey has already put a shout out for suggestions for beers that visitors would like to have at the paid bar, so it looks to be a good one already.  Just don't go attempting to knit with any of the lovely new purchases when drunk – that way disaster lies.

What do you do next?
If all this sounds like just your sort of thing (and why wouldn't it?), then pop over to their website and get yourself a ticket. Start sharpening your elbows for the marketplace and make yourself some cake to take along with you. We'll see you there.

The Tiny Perching Piegon Party in Pictures

Trafalgar Square has been bepigeoned with tiny fibre-based feathered friends and it was all down to a flock of Stitch Londoners.

You can see the whole Tiny Perching Pigeon Party in pictures here on our blog.

There are also pics from the event in our Flickr group and we were featured on Anna's blog and the Londonist website too.


If you've fallen in love with Mochimochi Land's little knits you'll be falling over yourself for her new free Baby Alligator pattern.
She's released the tiny stitched snappers to celebrate the release of her Knitting Mochimochi book in the US. It hits UK shores in August, and for those of you who saw the advance copy at the Pigeon Party you'll know it's worth waiting for.

 Ask Gertrude: Sweaty knits shame

Good old Aunty Gerty helps sweaty knitter to keep her cool.

Dearest Gerty

I haven’t been able to stop knitting since starting last winter. I spent the cold dark nights soothing my soul with the power of wool while ensuring I had a steady supply of warm accessories. However with the recent sunny spells I’m finding it increasingly difficult to knit comfortably. My hands get clammy and the wool just doesn’t flow. The woolly wonder that you are, I was hoping you’d be able to advise me on how to combat the clamminess.

Yours in perspiration
Penelope of Peckham

Dear dear Dearest

Firstly I’m gon’ send out ma flying monkeys to spank the back of those hands. Did you even pause to spare a thought for the limbless balls of wool that can’t ever get their knit on? Dirty bird.

Moving on, I’ve heard that the fairer sex amongst you doesn’t perspire, therefore it’s a shame you got clammy hands. Are you also really hairy? Maybe you’ve got excess testosterone and you’re actually a man? Get down to the doctor and get it checked out.

Failing medical intervention here are some top tips to get you knitting all summer long:

1. Why you haven’t thought of this already I don’t know. Maybe you’re just stupid. If I had limbs and they got sweaty it’s the first thing I’d do. Get your browser to Mochimochi Land and print out the Tiny Perching Pigeon pattern.

Based on the circumference of yourself knit enough of these mini-winged beauties to surround your knitting space. Place them strategically all around you. When you start to get clammy, tickle their bellies and make them flap, flap, flap. The ingenious pipe cleaner legs will ensure they don't fly away. The resultant cool breeze will surely reduce your clamminess to acceptable female levels.

2. If those poor pigeons haven’t got the power to cool you down, you need to get the real muscle in. Get word out that you’re the greatest team manager in the world. Put an ad in the ‘Career Over?’ section of Footballer Weekly. Right about now I think there’s a certain group of men that are looking for some direction.

Use your charm to get hired and make sure you’re paid lots of money (and remember where you got this advice when you get that money!).Purchase a job lot of those elliptical trainers with the fan at the back and place them around your knitting space. Get the England team on and whip them into shape. Legally you’re allowed to use an actual whip on humans that have the same number of brain cells as the common fly. The breeze from fans will cool you down and you’ll have those boys in shape for the next World Cup. With the money you can buy all the stash in the world (and gin for Gerty). Doing the nation a service while you knit – ding dong, win, win! Maybe that’s something you can teach the England team.

3. Have you ever wondered why mum’s go to Iceland? You might be surprised to hear it’s not to buy that amazing food that makes you look like Kerry Katona. Oh no. The ones in the know go to knit in the freezer section. Keep a watch out, we’ve heard nasty stories here at Stitch London Towers of The Katona attacking shoppers when she thinks they are stealing her food.  

4. If you haven’t got the nerves to try out the above ideas, how committed are you really to knitting during the summer? If you’re more of a wallflower, just move to Iceland. You know that country that stole all our money to pay for that fat chick to fly to Oslo for Eurovision? Anyway it’s always cold there. You can knit forever.

Knit to the end,
Not yours,


See this question and others that didn’t make the newsletter on Gerty’s blog.

Want a pink gin-soaked woolly shoulder to cry on? Email Gerty at
We're all stitched out now. The Stitched Selves, Perching Pigeons and Stitchettes are all off for some well-deserved cake and to plan more stitch-flavoured world knitting domination for the future. In the meantime the holy social media trinity of Twitter, Facebook and our Ravelry message board will be happy to accommodate your Stitch London needs.

May your yarn be cool and untangled, Stitch Londoners

The Stitchettes x


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Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
Technical wizardry by The Bluestocking Stitcher
Meeting stuff by The Bluestocking Stitcher
Articles by The Bluestocking Stitcher, The Fibre Flinger, Deadly Knitshade and Gertrude Woolsworthy

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