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stitch,and bitch london

11 May 2009

Stitchin', Bitchin' and Racing for Cake

Race for Life ... Knitted Gifts book review ... Natural Knits Winners ... Anti-swine flu masks
Sore-footed cakefull greetings to you

We hope this newsletter finds you well, that you’re enjoy the less-rainy weather, and are staving off the swine fever with your own fabulous set of hog-snout surgical masks. Knit one before you break out in rashers.

S&B London’s Tashtastic Knit Crawl 2009 is bristling in a manly manner just over a month away. We’ll be Knit Crawling and raising money for Prostate Cancer. Details will be up on our shiny new website at the beginning of June but keep June the 13th free to join us for Worldwide Knit in Public Day’s most-London-flavoured event.

The S&B London Stitchettes stepped into the limelight a bit on Sunday as part of Fleur Britten’s Friends for Life article in the Sunday Times Style supplement. Proving that knitting cements friendships and cures cancer all at the same time.

Knit crawl 2009

Last week saw S&B London and the lovely Tina knit and walk five kilometres and raise over £2000 for Cancer Research in the Battersea Park Race for Life. Tina has taken time out from soothing her aching feet to write about it here.

We also went mental for the mezze and merino in EV’s cave of tasty wonders. It never stops being fabulous there, does it?

We also squashed rather more of you than they expected into the Old Star near Waterloo. Apologies to those of you who had to fight for seats or didn't get the usual friendly greeting. We could barely move! Next time we’re going to need a bigger pub.

Race for Life t

Stitch and it’s Theatre, Dahling

Details of the next meeting:

London’s cultural hub and S&B London’s second home. Come and join us for a bit of culture this week on the South Bank, as we impress the theatre-goers with our dexterous stitching skills and discuss the fine arts over a glass of vino or two.

From 6pm
Venue: National Theatre in the Long Bar (ground floor main foyer)
South Bank

Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment

National Theater

Stitch and Yumminess

Details of the meeting after that:

Fancy a wholesome delicious dinner to accompany your knitting? Or a slice or chocolate tarte? The choice of yummy food and drink is endless at Leon. And if you don’t fancy indulging (or simply cannot decide!), then grab a seat and knit knit knit (or crochet). And if the sun keeps its hat on, we’ll grab the chairs outside too.

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

Map Website Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street


Stitch and Sock It Up

Details of the meeting after that:

Time: From 6pm
Venue: The Royal Festival Hall
Address: South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road

Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment

royal fest hall

Stitch and pitt stops for cake (Tina Bragaglia aka WickedWoollyWitch on Race for Life)

BIG thanks to Nathalie at Stash for donating all our Cancer Fighter hat yarn. You're fabulous.

On the 6th of May 2009 11 girls with sticks and string and one girl (me) with just the one stick for walking (or hobbling) began a 5km journey round Battersea Park on a balmy late spring evening. All intent on just one thing – Racing for Life and raising lots of dosh for Cancer Research.

Team S&B London and Tina

On May 6th last year my brother died from cancer just days after diagnosis. When I saw the date of the Race for Life I just knew I had to do it as it marked the first anniversary. Now I am not the fittest of people or the thinnest, and yes I have to use a walking stick cos of my back but I found determination to do this. It spurred on the ladies of Stitch and Bitch London to play their part as well. Within a short space of time numerous girls had signed up for Team Stitch and Bitch to race with Team Tina B and kick my bum if I struggled.

We gathered en-masse, pinned on our badges and labels, and took up our needles with cast on our chemo caps, yes folks we raced AND knitted for charity (big thank you to Nathalie at Stash Putney for donating a HUGE bag of specialist yarn for these).

During opening speeches the comedienne Amy Lamé, who is also a big girl, said “If I can do it anyone can”. Being bigger than Ms Lamé and sporting a stick I thought “I reckon if I can do it ANYONE really can too.” Male 'cheerleaders' also attempted to warm us up.

One of our gals nearly passed out before we had even got to the starting line and it was only with the delicious supplies in the form of CAKE from Hippolyra that kept her going. And the rest of us to be honest, as we knew what cakey delights we had waiting at the end.

We started, overtaken by children, pushchairs and wheelchairs, we flagged a few times, but we cheered as every kilometre marker was spotted. We knew we weren’t going to finish first but as the minutes ticked and feet ached it became apparent we might just finish last. And last we were. The girls actually decided to let me have the honour of being the last of 5000 to cross the line to cheers all round.

Coming up to the finish surrounded by race Marshalls we heard the announcer yelling support and encouragement, shouting out my name as I became a minor celeb for the night, as earlier finishers gathered round to cheer. Just as I got the line the ruddy announcer stopped me for an interview to declare that I had raised the most amount for an individual that night, and that it was the most inspiring story he’d heard all day. He also said I was the only person to have walked with the aid of a stick. I said my thank yous and talked about my brother, and as the crowd cheered I burst into tears as I crossed the finish line, my head full not just of those I have lost but of relief for ruddy well finishing.

Then we did what we do, apart from knit? We ate lots and lots and lots of CAKE. The total raised by these two teams (including Giftaid) is a WHOPPING £2754.10 and money is still coming in so you can still do your part if you haven’t already.

Tina B’s Race for Life page. S&B London’s Race for Life page.

Massive, massive thank yous to everyone who has donated and supported this fantastic event. Till next year...and more cake.

(You can see photos from the day on the S&B London blog here)

Tina B

Stitch and hang on while I rustle up a gift

Joelle Hoverson’s beautiful book, ‘Last-Minute Knitted Gifts’, is full of knitted delights, including hats, purses, scarves, ‘lovable toys’ and a tea cozy. The book is usefully divided by completion time, helping you to organise your time, if you’ve really left that knitted gift until the last minute.

Joelle Hoverson really does share some delightful little creations with us in her book. The cozy leg warmers are so simple to make, yet so effective. They make you want to just curl up in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate (and your knitting of course). And the Angora Baby Booties are quite possibly the cutest little things you’ve ever seen (trust me, you will feel broody) and take less than an hour each.

Not only does she have some real ‘last-minute’ ideas, such as a draw-string purse and a basic baby hat pattern. There are also patterns for jumpers, ponchos and a camisole. Not all ‘last-minute’, I admit. But there’s a great range of ideas and I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find something you’d be able to make, whether an experienced knitter or not. There’s also useful information in the first section on tools, reading patterns, natural fibres, substituting yarns and looking after your finished items with care. And of course, the dreaded, sewing-up!

KNitted gifts

Stitch and natural born winners

In our last newsletter, we gave you yet another opportunity to win a fabulous new knitting book – this time it was Natural Nursery Knits by Erika Knight, recently released by Quadrille Publishing. All you had to do was answer the question “Which of these is not a natural yarn?”

The answer was, of course, C. Hideous Eyelash Yarn. We’re relieved to say that all of the entrants got it right this time. Though as some of you pointed out there is a time and a place for eyelash yarn. Some of us just have irrational eyelash yarn fear. We take our handknitted hats off to those of your brave enough to take it on.

Our naturally-fibred answer-picking hemp plant chose five lucky winners:

  • Claire Friars
  • Mandy Bayley
  • Sarah Grossman
  • Kate Shurety
  • Bekky Bush
These happy stitchers have been notified and their books will be in the post soon.

Phew. We’re off to soak our plates of meat in a bucket of warm water and finish off our cancer fighter hats while we do so. Hope to see you all pootle along to a meeting very soon. If you have any knitting gems you wish to share feel free to email us at and tell us allllllllll the woolly gossip. You can also cast your beady eyes over our shiny new website if you like.

Watch out for yarn-snatching beasties till next time, London.

The S&B London Stitchettes x


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