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15 July 2011
Stitch...  and Hanging at Handmade Hogwarts    
Butterbeer-flavoured greetings to you
We hope this newsletter finds you well, clicking away with two wands to stitch up something to celebrate the final Harry Potter film and not drowning your sorrows with too many Fire Whiskeys just yet.

Stitch London learners: We offer learner knitter sessions at the first meeting of each month. Look out for the learner icon (left) to see dates for learner meetings. Places may be limited so please arrive early to sign up.

Want to know what to bring or how it works? See our Learn to Knit and FAQ pages

 Stitched Science in Pictures You helped us take over London's Science Museum for our cosmic craft event with a spectrum of stitching. See what happened here.

Harry Potter and the Stitched Stuff: With the last ever Harry Potter film swooping onto our screens today we look at some of our handmade Hogwarts favourites.
Comics and Crafts and Graffiti Knitting, Oh My! We invite you to The Fleece Station (where Stitch London is handmade), as we join in New Cross Turn Left Comics and Craft Garden Party.

There's a Stitch London book? Stitch London is coming alive on paper! A little hint before next month's newsletter tells all.

Too Darn Hot Our woolly agony aunt Gertrude Woolsworthy tells you how to keep it cool when you're too sticky to stitch.


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
Map More info
SUNDAY 24 July

Time: 1pm to 11pm
Venue: Old Police Station
114-116 Amersham Vale
SE14 6LG


Time: From 6pm
Venue: EV
The Arches
97-99 Isabella Street

Map More info 

MONDAY 1 August 

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

Map  More info
TUESDAY 9 August

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

Map More info


It was one small stitch for many but one giant leap for Stitchkind as you helped Stitch London take over London's Science Museum last month for the Stitched Science event.

If you missed it or just want to relive the woolly memories there's a whole heavenly spectrum of pictures over at the Stitch London blog.

Don't forget you can share your pics of the day over at the Stitch London Flickr group too.

You can also learn how to make yourself a Manic Mars Martian with our beginner's pattern (with all pattern proceeds going towards keeping Stitch London's meetings, newsletters and event free for everyone).

Huge thanks to everyone who took part. You're stitching stars. :)

Accio yarn and needles! Handmade Harry Potter

Ever since the big beard that is Hagrid rumbled "You're a wizard, Harry." the long road to handmade Hogwarts has been a place many of us have travelled. There's nothing like getting your sticks, hooks or needle into something magical.

Here are a few of Stitch London's favourite spells of Harry Potter craft:

A woolly Weasley jumper: the first thing most of us think of when it comes to HP and knitting is the marvellous Mrs Weasley and her magic needles. This free Weasley jumper knitting pattern means you can knit one for every member of your burrow. Or just knit one for you and make them all jealous. (Pattern features in Alison Hansel's Charmed Knits book. If you don't have it and you love Harry Potter then you deserve a Howler)

Crochet Snitch: Where on earth did that Snitch go? There it is! No, there! AGH! Right, that's it! Crochet your very own golden snitch, from a pattern by Melissa Mall, and you won't need to have seeker skills to hold one in your hands. Which leaves you more time for Quidditch practice.

Sew your own Hogwart's robes: Got polyjuice potion all over your dress robes again? Sew your own Hogwart's robes with this easy little how to from
 Burdastyle. If only Ron has seen this before the Yule Ball.

Hermoine loves Ron Hat: She loves him. She loves him not. She loves him! For those who have long maintained that Weasley is our King here's the hat for you from Christy Aylesworth. *swoons*

Cross Stitch Snape: Voted the best character in the Harry Potter series in the Empire Magazine's poll, Severus Snape is here to be needled in this pattern by Craftster member Padfoot. Just watch him with the veritserum.

Over on Ravelry you can even show off your HP Handmades at the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group or just marvel at what other people have conjured. (Thanks to Vixtrix for the head's up)

And if you're too traumatised to Stitch something you can always magic up a pint of two of butterbeer to drown your sorrows...


Love craft? Love cake? Love comics? Want to meet a giant knitted squid? Then we cordially invite you to join The Fleece Station (where Stitch London is handmade) and friends for our first ever craft, comics and cake garden party New Cross Turn Left.

We're opening the doors of the Old Police Station to all comers to shove a world of scribbling, stitching and dancing sheep into your face for a while afternoon and evening.

Organised by Julia Scheele, Howard Hardiman, Ellen Lindner and Nevs Coleman, the Garden Party is just what we say - a garden party! It'll be -admittedly- a bit low on greenery, but we'll be selling comics, cakes, crafts and art.

We're planning loads of events throughout the day, including:
  • The world premiere of the Derek the Sheep play by Gary Northfield (written for kids but to be appreciated by mad sheep-lovers everywhere)
  • A graffiti knitting workshop by the mysterious Deadly Knitshade
  • A comics clinic
  • A charity cake stall
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Live music
  • Arty exhibtions in the police cells
  • Stuff to buy (including Stitch London goodies)
  • A toilet that used to be a police cell so you can pretend you're in Prisoner Cell Block H
  • And a book launch for a minicomics collaboration between Ellen Lindner and Barnaby Richards, Art History Dropouts
Plus the opportunity to see where Stitch London is handmade and hang out with Plarchie the Giant Knitted Squid. He's dreamy!

You can even tell us you're coming on Facebook if you like and watch this educational video on how to get there if you don't know the area. See you there!
Sneak Peek: Stitch London the book!

For all those people who have said "What are you knitting?" to Stitch London's Chief Woolly Godzilla Wrangler, Lauren 'Deadly Knitshade' O'Farrell over the last year, you're about to get your answer.

In our next newsletter we're going to give you a sneak peek into the brand new shiny book Stitch London: 20 Kooky Ways to Knit the City and more and hopefully a chance to win copies before anyone else gets their hands on one.

For now here's a picture of the cover and a promise that members of Stitch London's mailing list will be in for exclusive sneak peeks and treats before everyone else. You'll all be invited to the book launch in September too. Squeeeeee! Exciting stuff, no?
Ask Gertrude: I've lost my knitting mojo, baby!

Dear Gerty
I’m losing my cool! The long-promised ‘barbeque summer’ is making it too hot to knit, even when drinking G&Ts that are nearly all ice and no slice. The hot weather is making me quite irrational – I nearly needled an OAP who sneaked in front of me to get the last seat on the train this morning. I’ll get arrested if I carry on like this.
How does an all-acrylic lady such as yourself manage to not melt?
Sweltering in Swaffham

  My dear SiS
Unlike myself you probably don’t have legions of admirers who queue up to spritz you with Himalayan mountain dew and refresh your martini every few minutes – that’s how I keep my cool.
You say it’s too hot to knit, I say rubbish. People knit in far hotter climes than dear old Blighty, and you don’t hear them complaining - there’s many a head in South Africa topped with a jaunty knitted plarn sun-hat, an annual knitting fair has been held in Tirupur, India for the last 32 years...perhaps you need to re-examine the type of knitting you’re doing at this time of year?
Of course you’re going to get hot and bothered if you’ve got half a jumper draped on your lap so stick to smaller items like socks, light lacy shawls and graffiti knitting. If the humidity is a problem, consider knitting with cotton, silk, bamboo, or perhaps even wire. The last one has the advantage of retaining a chill if you pop it in the fridge for a few hours before you start stitching. I wouldn’t recommend keeping your needles in the freezer though, regardless of how refreshing they feel when they are chilled down – metal ones will contract and this will encourage flaking, where as wooden ones will get damp and expand or even split.
Still feeling too hot? Try and think yourself cooler. Imagine yourself to be an ice queen, knitting yarn spun from polar bear hair on 5mm icicles. Contemplate the glacial beauty of the Antarctic, and Ingrid Bergman.  And have another well-iced G&T.
If all that fails, I understand that there are vodka bars who lure in punters with a promise of sub-zero temperatures and drinks served in ice glasses – if you visit regularly enough they may even offer you a discount.  But remember, vodka is served behind bars, gin is served in palaces.
Yours with sang-froid

Stitch London

Keep calm and carry yarn, Stitch Londoners. Hope to see you all at Knit Nation this weekend!

Stitch London x 
 A woolly Godzilla since 2005
Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
with help from NehtheKnits, Gertrude Woolsworthy and Gerty's Rage Counseller LondonBusKnitter.
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