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12th Mar 2010
Stitchin', Bitchin' and overly long acceptance speeches
... Knitting+movies = better film ... PKnitbutter Cookie recipe ... Knits on film ...
... Gerty on stitch sayings of the silver screen ... And the winner is ...

Swanky sparkly sashaying red carpet greetings to you

We hope this newsletter finds you well, dabbing at your damp eyes after watching shiny-toothed stars thank their mums, their families and 'Gaaaaaad' for receiving a shiny golden statue of a bald man with a stick and wondering why more handknits don't make their way onto the carpet of red. Come on, Hollywood, catch up!

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. Questions? See our Learn to Knit and FAQ pages.


Much Ado About Knitting: Movie-inspired stitching patterns rounded up and shoved into a popcorn tub of text.
The Incredible Eating Knitter: A free recipe for some of the tastiest Pknitbutter cookies you'll ever set teeth on.
Dr Stitchlove: Know your knitting? Volunteer as a Stitch Sage and teach at a meeting. You get a lovely exclusive Stitch Sage badge too. If you're not sure you can do it see here for more info.
Knitty Woman: The mellifluous Hoxton Handmade told the BBC's pods and blogs all about her Electric Sheep blog this week. She gave S&B London a little BBC love too. We heart Electric Sheep.
Dances with Wools: Doing a red carpet rumba of winning stitching stuff are...
It's a Stitch Up Winners – Grand Prize Sophie Barnes and Lizzie Page. Pattern prizes Frederica Eckstrom, Sarah Griffiths and Jan Pratt.
S&B Badge Winners – Anne Hardy, Claire Parker and Tristan Alexander-Watts.

At the New Moon the truly stupendous Stitch Sages were out in force, twisting the arms of many a newbie, making them submit to the knit. The barmaid was truly amazing, running around after us, serving us food and drink, and going beyond the call of duty by ensuring everyone had a seat and was comfortable. She deserves a pay rise. She really does!

At EV we stuffed our faces with mezze and flung fibre as far as the eye could see. Which wasn't very far as there were so many of us knitting in there.

Shiny new badges: Our shiny new S&B Badges are for sale at every meeting. You can buy them for £1 at any meeting. Just ask a friendly Stitchette (or ask one of the unfriendly ones, like Gerty).
We have the S&B London underground classic, the exclusive Stitch and Sheep by the Beano's Gary Northfield, and our motto range boldly stating "Submit to the Knit", "Knit Fast, Purl Young" and "Just one more row".
Just ask us at a meeting if you wish to wear your stitching pride on your sleeve. Online sales of badges coming very soon too...
All money goes towards keeping S&B London stitchin' and bitchin', teaching new knitters every week 

Stitch and the siege of the South Bank

Details of the next meeting:
It's our spiritual home. You know we practically live there! Join us for culture, cake, cocktails and coaching (okay...teaching, but that doesn't begin with a 'c', and we're totally rocking the alliteration!). You won't be able to miss us: we're actually visible from space...fact!
Time: From 6pm
Venue: The Royal Festival Hall (Level 2)
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road
Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment

Stitch and mine's the Leon Gobi

Details of the meeting after that:
Ahhhhhhhhh Leon. Fabulous food, fabulous drink, fabulous company...what more could you ask for? Come knit with us in the equally fabulous Spitalfields Market and showcase your stunningly stylish stitchings.
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Leon at Spitalfields Market
3 Crispin Place
E1 6DW 

Map Website Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street

Stitch and this is not an April Fool's joke...honest!
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Stamford Arms
62 Stamford Street
Tel: 020 7928 6445
Map Nearest Tube: Southwark, Waterloo, Blackfriars

Stitch and weaving woolly warmth into your film
by The Bluestocking Stitcher

Knitting in films.  It's been well documented. From Holly Golightly's misshapen stitching in Breakfast at Tiffany's, to Catherine's attempts to teach her daughter to knit before driving herself into a river in Jules et Jim (bit of an overreaction to some dropped stitches, we think). Apparently Julia Roberts is even going to be in a film about knitting (who knew?!).

But the one thing that never gets addressed is why knitting is missing in some films, especially those which have characters who could be your best knitting friend.

In Edward Scissorhands, we see our poor hero performing amazing feats of topiary and producing haircuts for the local ladies which would not look out of place in Shoreditch.  And still he gets chased out of town.  What the film is missing is a bit of knitting.  If Peg had set up a small knitting circle for her neighbours, Edward would have been revealed as the best friend a knitter could have - "Need that end cutting? Certainly." "Steek? Where do you want it?"

Joyce would have opened up a yarn shop rather than a hairdressers and would only have eyes for the lovely merino.  Jim would no longer be jealous of his girlfriend hanging around with Edward because he's a man who knits. And, as knitting is calming and therapeutic, they would no longer have felt such rage.  If knitting had been involved, Edward would have lived a long and happy life as a valued member of the community.

If ever there was a man who should knit, then it is Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men.  A brain the size of a planet is exactly what is needed for a bit of complicated lace knitting.    See how Rogue's life could be transformed if the professor made her a lovely pair of flip-top mittens - so much easier than having to take your gloves on and off to be able to use her powers.  See the added tension as Magneto draws Professor Xavier's steel crochet hook towards in at a crucial moment of the beading of Storm's shawl.  And with Wolverine by his side, he has access to six stitch holders.  Imagine the world of three dimensional works he could create to dazzle the world and gain acceptance for all mutants through knitting.

Inspired by experiments in galvanism in the late 18th Century, Victor Frankenstein creates a monster.  We all know of the tale of the monster, leaden in his movements and stiff armed, and his rejection by society.  How different things would have been if, rather than heading for the woods outside Geneva, he had travelled to revolutionary France and befriended a rogue Tricoteuse, disenchanted by her time sitting around watching the executions and questioning her role is supporting Robespierre so vehemently.  In his unbending arms, she'd find an excellent companion to aid her when winding her many balls of wool.  In her he would find a soulmate weary of a society which uses and abuses the disenfranchised and a source of fabulous balaclavas to hide his disfigurement.

With the addition of knitting, three cinematic tales of social exclusion and loneliness become tales of warmth and acceptance.  Knitting makes it all better.


Stitch and Pknitbutter Cookies and the PKnit2Togobble revolution by The Fibre Flinger

You've laughed at Jennifer Lopez's Armani duck dress, cried at Sarah JP's Chanel banana number and given yourself stitches of the tummy variety looking at Charlize Theron's Dior rose-boob dress. Folks, the Oscars are over for another year, but ladies and gentlemens there remains one scene that plagues knitters the world over all year round.

I'm sure you all know it very well. You plonk yourself in front of your spangly 14" black and white TRINITRON to catch up on episodes of Bottom on VHS. You want to eat your dinner. You also want to knit. But you know very well the resultant 'just one more row' knittrance will leave you with soggy toast and cold beans.

If God were a knitter, we would for sure have retractable arms, alas for centuries we have been forced to choose. Well no more. We can free you from a life of deciding between the two things you love mostest. From this day forth consider your problem solved.

We present to you 'Pknit2Tog', a brand-new knitting abbreviation. Let's break it down: [Pknit] pause your knitting for [2] two counts [To] to [g] gobble. There you have it.

Never again must you choose between knitting and eating (cake of course. Always). Tell your friends! Shout it from the rooftops! Eating time can now be inserted at strategic points in knitting patterns! As designers the world over rush to modify their patterns, you'll be gleefully orchestrating your hands between your knitting and stuffing your face, way before Oscars 2011.

In celebration I share with you my super-duper easy peasy and appropriately named PKnit2Togobble Pknitbutter Cookies recipe.

The only thing that's easier than making them is eating them. These cookies are kind to sheep, vegans and, depending on the flour used, glutens.
Et voilá. Now go forth and PKnit2Tog. And vow never to starve yourself to the point of red carpet stickdom. It's not cool and it's not sexy.

I'll start composing my speech for a time when they invent a knitting Oscar for service to knitters worldwide...

Stitch and Oscar-winning glory knitwise by The Fastener
I'd like to thank my agent, my mum and all my adoring fans for this amazing award… oh wait, that's another piece I have to write..

The awards season is with us and what better way to embrace the Oscars, BAFTAs and a whole heap of other filmic awards than with the perfect filmic pattern to go with your favourite contender or simply your favourite film?  I’ve scoured the net and found some brilliant patterns that will quench even the most hard-core film nerds thirst.
From one of the Daddies of the sci-fi genre – Star Wars.  Who doesn’t want to own their own lightsaber – and a knitted one? Even better. Use the fibre force with a Knitted Lightsaber*, Luke!
Star Wars too old school for you? How about the newest Sci-Fi film to hit the big screeen, and one to have already scooped quite a few awards – Avatar? You too can make yourself look like a character from the movie!  Avatar headband*.

And if neither of these rock your boat, you could create a direct copy of Coraline’s jumper.  Not only is this cool, but it also echoes the fact that the whole of the film is handmade stop motion, even the tiny knitted jumpers! Set your button eyed sights on a Coraline Jumper.
If you just can't decide which film to create in knitted form, why not make a snack to go with your film viewing? Knitted Popcorn and Pretzel.

For more film-related patterns get your limo driver to drop you off at the S&B London blog.

Happy film viewing!

*Sorry. You have to sign into Ravelry to view this pattern.

Ask Gertrude: Silver Screen stitch saviours
Our knitting agony aunt Gertrude Woolsworthy takes a break from attending a score of Oscar after-parties to impart her Hollywood comebacks to those who doubt the chic of being a stitcher.

     Dear Gerty

I wonder if you can help me with a problem. My colleagues have had their attention drawn to the fact that I knit as a result of my Ravelympics exploits. They are all teasing me by saying that knitting is for old ladies. How can I persuade them that knitting is hip and happening and what all the cool cats do these days?

Thanks Gerty!
Crafty Caroline

Ah Crafty Caroline, isn't it enough for you to know deep down that stitching is chic? No. No, it isn't. The world should know of the fabulousness that is knitting. Don't just take it from me. Take it from Hollywood and the lines those anti-knitting fiends removed from the scripts. Learn these lines well and you need never fear knitting teasing ever again.

Go gangster

The Taxi Driver comeback: "You talkin' about my knitting? You talkin' about my knitting? You talkin' about my knitting? Then who the hell else's knitting are you talking about? You talking about my knitting? Well I'm the only one knitting here. Who the f**k do you think you're talkin' about the knitting of? Oh yeah? OK." Be a bit twitchy as you say this. Feel their fear.

The Godfather comeback: "I'm going to knit you an offer you can't refuse." Couple this with a very hard stare which implies the placing of knitted horse innards under their duvet one evening very soon if the teasing doesn't stop.

The Scarface comeback: "Say hello to my knitted friend!" on which you pull out a perfectly knitted version of them chock full of tapestry needles. Voodoo win Tony Montana-style.

Go army

The Apocalypse Now comeback: "I love the smell of knitting in the morning...smells like...victory." Look patriotic. As if your knitting is the only thing coming between them and the end of the Western way of life as we know it.

Go geeky

The Star Wars comeback: "“I find your lack of knitting faith disturbing.” Use the knitting force to crush their windpipe with a wave of your bamboos until your boss tells you to stop.

The 2001: A Space Odyssey comeback:
"Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye." This one works even better if they're not called Dave and you couple it with an immediate silence and lack of all movement immediately after saying it except for your constantly knitting hands. Eerie.

Go gooey

The Brief Encounter comeback: "I love you. I shall love you always until the end of my life. I can't look at you now cause I'm knitting. I know that this is the beginning of the end. Not the end of my knitting but the end of our being together. But not quite yet, darling. Please. Not quite yet."

The Gone with the Wind comeback: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" to make this comeback truly effective you can knit yourself a fine pencil-thin moustache to wear when you deliver it.

Go scary

The Silence of the Lambs comeback: "A non-knitter once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

The Psycho comeback: "We all go knitting mad sometimes." As deadpan as you can make it with a smile that turns up the corners of your mouth but never reaches your eyes.

Go cool

The Dirty Harry comeback: "I know what you're thinking. Did she have six double-pointed needles or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a set of Lanterm Moon Ebony DPNs, the most powerful DPNs in the world, and I'm already using five needles to knit this sock and may not have one extra to jab you with, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?"

The James Bond comeback: Stop knitting. Raise an eyebrow. "Stitching, not stirred." Go back to your knitting.

The Princess Bride comeback: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You insult my knitting. Prepare to die!"

The Pulp Fiction comeback:
  "The path of the knitting man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the non-knitters, and the tyranny of people who scorn craft. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepards the merino sheep through the valley of darkness, for he is truly a sheep shearer and the spinner of fine yarns. And I will strike down upon thee with 25mm needles and furious anger, those who attempt to make me drop my stitches. And you will know my name is the LORD, when I lay my knitted vengeance upon thee."

See this question and others that didn’t make the newsletter on Gerty’s blog.
Do you feel like making Gerty your yarn Yoda? Email her at

We're all out of bubbly and the canapes are down to the last few crumbs. The Oscar party is over and it's time to close the curtains on a glittering gala of garter stitch glamour. If you're pining for a some pithy knitting one liners there's always Twitter. You can also launch into stitched-based speeches on our message board. We'd like to thank our agents, our inspirational third year art teachers and our mothers. We like you. We really like you.
Tell us all the knitting gossip at Go on.

You've been a wonderful knitting audience, S&B Londoners

The S&B London Stitchettes x



Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
Technical wizardry by The Bluestocking Stitcher
Dates and news by The Purple Purler
Ask Gertrude by Gertrude Woolsworthy
Other stories by The Fastener and The Fibre Flinger

submit to the,knit

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