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5 November 2010
... WIN: Indie Craft book ... GIVE TO GET: Stitch London Secret Santa ...
... SHOP: Bothered Owl's Yarn Party ... CELEBRATE: P/Hop Birthday Blog-along ...
XFACTOR: Gerty Sings

Gunpowder and plot-flavoured greetings to you

We hope this newsletter finds you well, putting on your finest woollies for a firework-filled night and calmly casting on that Christmas knitting you've finished early (HA!).
Stitch London Christmas Shindig 8th December
Stitching Secret Santa • Fabulous Raffle • Much Merriment
Put it in your diaries!

Stitch London learners:  Look out for the learner icon (left) to see dates for learner meetings. Places may be limited so please arrive early to sign up.

Questions? See our Learn to Knit and FAQ pages.

Help Us teach by becoming a Stitch Sage

WOOSH! Win a shiny copy of in-your-face inspirational Indie Craft featuring some of crafts kookiest and coolest stuff and KNITTED BEARDS.

PHWEEEEEE! Are you joining us for Secret Santa and our Stitch Christmas Shindig?

CRACKLE! CRACKLE! The Bothered Owl are organising a Christmas Yarn Party and you're all invited!

POPPOPPOPPOPPOPPOPPOP! P/Hop is celebrating its birthday with a Knit-a-long and a Knit Blog-a-long for Medicins San Frontiers.


Stitch London meetings:
For more information on each venue click on 'More info' to go to our Venues page
Time: From 6pm
Venue: EV
The Arches
97-99 Isabella Street

Map More info

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

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

Map More info
Stitch and Happy Birthday P/Hop by Ginger Knits

Charity knitting project P/Hop is two years old and is still raising tons of money for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)! Woot!

Join in p/hop’s second birthday celebrations with our birthday blog-a-long and knit-a-long and help spread the word about MSF.

Blog-a-long: It’s easy, fun and free to take part. Do it!

1) Write your normal blog post on the p/hop blog
2) Leave a message and link on your blog saying you’ve given p/hop your blog post as a birthday present
3) Have a cup of tea and a slice of cake to celebrate*

To sign up please email saying "I'd like to blog-a-long" including your username and blog address.

Mitt-a-long Knit-a-long: The very kind DragonflyKnit2 has launched a P/Hop knit-a-long on Ravelry. They're making the Cranford Mitts and you can join in where ever you are. 

Just download the mitts pattern, donate, and get knitting. You can join in the Mitt-a-long Knit-a-long chatter and find out all the details on Ravelry here.

P/Hop also have two fabulous new patterns this week so hop along and get them. It's all for a good cause.

*You will have to provide your own real life tea and cake but there’s plenty of virtual party food to go round.
Stitch and Something Special for Crimbo by The Bothered Owl 

The good folks at The Bothered Owl are running their own little shopping party this year and you're all invited. Stitch London will be there with our badges and graffiti knitting cards. Fancy coming along?

Here are the Owls to tell you more...

The Bothered Owl will be running a Christmas Yarn Party this year. We wanted to host an event that people could enjoy, chat and best of all treat themselves to some gorgeous yarn. Yes, Christmas is supposed to be about giving. But you’re allowed to be selfish, too!

The event is starting to come together and here are the confirmed details:

Monday 6 December starting at 6.30pm and finishing at 10pm

Space @119, 119 Britannia Walk, London, N1 7JE

£10 including entry, a glass of wine and Christmas Nibbles, as well as tea and coffee.

Tickets: Numbers are limited to 100 tickets.  If you are interested in purchasing a ticket please email us at
. We can then send you a Paypal invoice. We’ll also probably sell tickets for cash at the Stitch London meetings (we’ll publicise on Twitter which ones we’ll be at).

The Vendors are:

Stitch London

COMPETITION: Stitch and Win Kooky, Crazy, Creative Craft

Craft is art. We all know it but lately the rest of the world seems to be catching up. No longer is craft confined to a dusty corner pastey and pale and smelling slightly of PVA glue. Craft is strutting its stuff on the art scene in hand-sequinned style and the new Indie Craft book picks some of the best examples.

Indie Craft, by Jo Waterhouse (published by Laurence King) showcases the new wave of crafting – quirky, cutting edge, craft-based artwork.

Using traditional methods such as embroidery, crochet, knitting, cross stitch, tapestry, needle felt and plush toy making, the indie crafters in this book create work that is contemporary, controversial, kitsch, ironic, humorous and that blurs the line between art and craft.

The wide range of international artists featured in the book include some of our favourite handmade heroes Woo Work, Craft Guerrilla and those mysterious fibre-flingers Knit the City, along with big guns such as Shauna Richardson, who is going the Olympic 2012 Crochet Lions.

It also include KNITTED BEARDS by Erin Dollar. It doesn't get much better than a book that bigs up knitted beards. Seriously.

Stitch London have five shiny copies of Indie Craft to give away to you lucky Stitch Londoners. Want one? Here's what to do:

Answer this question:
What other terms are commonly used to describe graffiti knitting?
a. Yarnstorming or yarnbombing
b. Gritching
c. Wool-wangling

Drop us an email at with:
  • The subject line "I demand knitted beards!"
  • Answer A, B or C
  • Your full name, email and phone number
The deadline for the competition is Sunday 21 November at 8pm.

Please note: Offering to come to Stitch London Towers and ply Gerty with cheap gin won't help you win. Just pick your answer, email us and cross your fingers. Good luck!

Competition rules: 1. One entry per person. 2. Competition ends Sunday November 2010 at 8pm.
3. No cash alternatives.
4. Winners will be drawn from all correct answers, and notified via email. 5. If winners don’t reply within two weeks of closing date then new winners will be chosen. 6. Prizes will be posted to the winners.

Stitch and So Have You Started Your Stitching Secret Santa Yet?

Stitch London Christmas Shindig is a mere few weeks away. Have you started your Secret Santa knit? Have you?!? If not Gerty can provide motivational workshops.

This year the Stitch London Christmas Shindig is on 8 December. We'll have Stitching Secret Santa, our usual fabulous fibre-filled raffle and a Christmassy invite to your non-knitting chums.
(If you miss it we'll have Stitching Secret Santa: The Return on Wednesday 15 December)

Fancy taking part in Stitching Secret Santa? Here is how Stitch Secret Santa works:

1. You knit or crochet or stitch a gift costing about £5
2. You lovingly wrap your gift
3. You bring it along to the Stitch London Christmas Shindig
4. You drop it in the Sack of Secret Stitching
5. You party
6. You rummage and recieve a handmade gift
7. You spend the rest of the night marvelling at it

A few rules:
• Gifts must be around £5 or more
• Gifts must be either handmade or stitch themed
• You don't have to confess which gift you made

Stitching Secret Santa deadline is the night of the party December 8. Go! Go! Go!

Not in London? If you're not in London and live far, far away we may start a Stitching Secret Santa International Swap on Ravelry. Let us know if you're interested in sharing your stitching the world over for crimbo.
PS Thanks so much to the brilliant mystery parcel sender. Your prizes will go into the raffle and raise money for a very good cause.

ASK GERTRUDE: Christmas Knitting PANIC!  

Dear Gerty,

Help! I’m twitching under a pile of Christmas knitting! At first I was flattered by the requests for hats, scarves and gloves from friends and workmates. I got myself organised and even made a spreadsheet allocating evenings and long train journeys to different projects. I placed a massive order with my local yarn store, and stocked up on Battenberg cakes and ready meals in order to free up more time.

Then disaster struck.

I found myself watching X-Factor last weekend and was so impressed by singing sensation Wagner, that I spent a large part of my weekend speed-dialling the voting line to make sure he stays in the competition. Wagner was saved but the time dialling has smashed my schedule to smithereens.

Should I just admit defeat now and head on down to the pound shop for all my Christmas presents, or do you have a better idea?

Yours weeping into my cashmere,
Frazzled of Finsbury Park
  Dear Frazzled,

Excuse me, but who are all these people to demand presents from you? I think the pound shop is too good for the likes of them, they’d be lucky to get as much as a lump of coal in their stockings if I had my way. Were they never told “I wants don’t gets”? It twists my twine, it really does.

Do these people not realise that if you were paid minimum wage for your knitting the gifts, that you make for them would be costing many tens of pounds before you even start calculating the cost of yarn, cake, and wear and tear on your needles? Unless they are giving you gifts of crates of gin or a year’s worth of cupcakes – I’d say strike them from your list altogether!

But you are clearly a sensitive soul who hates to let people down. So here are a few suggestions:

Teach them: Give them yarn and needles and bring them along to Stitch London where we can teach them to make their own Christmas knits. This will certainly stop them from asking again next year when they realise the horror of a looming list of Christmas knitting themselves. MWA HA HAAAAAA!

Pick and mix: Go through your list and prioritise who you most want to knit for, who you quite want to knit for, and who you would rather jab with your sharpened DPNs for asking.

For the first group (and make sure it’s not everyone on the list!) make their gifts as you would have before your schedule got disrupted.

For the second group, have a look at what you’d offered to knit for them, and see if you can make something similar in a chunkier yarn on bigger needles. If they requested gloves, make fingerless mitts. If they wanted a scarf, make them a tippet or a cowl. If they wanted a lacework shawl, send them to me for, ahem, counselling.

For the final group, sit them down and stare at them very hard while thinking Gerty thoughts. A stiff gin before this sometimes helps. If they're not taking back their requests and offering to buy you battenburg within 3 minutes then I'll be a sock monkey's auntie.

And remember, you knit for fun, or to show how much you care – if it’s not fun and you don’t care, there’s always Ferrero Rocher!

And may I say your XFactor choice is questionable. I think they should all give up on the spotlight and start knitting. Much more fulfilling. Some people have referred to me as the Simon Cowell of fibre flinging. I'm rather pleased with the comparison.

We're done! Quick! Run before Gerty sees you leaving and tries to talk you into buying her gin!

Find us on the Ravelry message board, and via the mediums of Twitter and Facebook if you need us. We're always there lurking.

Remember the stand well clear once you light the blue touchpaper, Stitch Londoners.

Stitch London x


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Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
with the help of Gertrude Woolsworthy, Ginger Knits and LondonBusKnitter

Stitch London promise not to share your email address with anyone, not even if they ask us nicely and offer us sweet, sweet cake or cashmere. Stitch London is run by one frazzled founder and a host of volunteers so please be patient if we make mistakes.