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11 April 2011
Stitch and the Woolly Wonders of the Universe
  GLOBAL: Your stitching in the Science Museum! .. FREE PATTERN: Bloomin' Bluebell .. Your Stitched Selves return!
 LOCAL  Science Museum: Become a Stitch Sage Star ... Bag a Blue Peter Badge  
THE REST Gerty: Lost in Knitting
Shooting star-spangled greetings to you
We hope this newsletter finds you well, tucking away your winter knits and releasing your spring stitching with gleeeeeee. For those of you Stitch London April Fooled on Twitter with the Madonna knitting book scam, our humblest apologies.
Stitch London learners: We offer learner knitter sessions about once a 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 needs you! Stitch Londoner’s everywhere are invited to team up a scientific stitching extravaganza you can see from space! London's Science Museum need your stitching!

Stitched Spring:
Knit a glorious graffiti bluebell with a free knitting pattern from and Whodunnknit.

Gerty gets her freak on: Our woolly agony aunt tells tales avoiding knitting calamity and her former career as a bearded lady.

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

TUESDAY 12 April 

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

SE1 8XX 
Map More info
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Leon
Spitalfields Market
3 Crispin Place
E1 6DW

Map More info

THURSDAY 28 April 

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

Map More info

EXCLUSIVE GLOBAL EVENT:  Stitched Science Lives!

It’s alive! Alive, I tell you! We invite you to join Stitch London and the Science Museum in creating a monster! A Stitched Science event so big you may even see it from space...

Stitch a Specimen -
Send us your Stitched Specimens for display at the world-famous Science Museum  Tell me more!
Save the Planet
- No time to stitch? We need your green and blue plastic bags  Tell me more!
Bag a Blue Peter Badge
- We need intrepid young knitters to show their stitching skills on Blue Peter.   Tell me more!
Return of the Stitched Selves – Your Stitched Selves are back! Woo hoo!

The big Stitched Science event will include woolly wonders of the universe workshops to help create the world’s largest handmade Stitched Solar System, a galaxy of cosmic craft events, and the chance to teach as a Stitched Science Star.

You may think you that science can’t be stitched. Well, you’re wrong...

SEND YOUR STITCHING: Stitched Science Specimens

Fancy knitting a neuron? Crocheting a comet? Sewing Stephenson’s Rocket? Cross-stitching a chromosome?  

Last year you showed us that stitching was so much more than scarves and socks when you sent in your crafty clones to Stitch Yourself for the Science Museum.

This year you’ve been invited back for a global stitching event. Stitch London have teamed up with the Science Museum once more and we want you to bring a whole spectrum of Stitched Science Specimens with you.

What can I make? What do you want to make? If you’re passionate about something sciencey and think you can stitch it then we want to help you show it off. There are million billion things you could stitch from medical instruments and body bits (syringes? skulls?), to stars and planets (comets? black holes?), to famous inventions (telephones? bicycles?), to new technology (iPhones? cameras?), to diseases and bacteria, to pills and potions, to mathematical equations, to famous scientists (Einstein? Marie Curie?)
For ideas:
Still not sure? Be inspired by the science stitchers that have gone before you:
Nerve roots from Cedarstuff
Knitted Higgs Bosun, Cosmic Radiation Scarf, and DNA Illusion Scarf (pictured left) from Slipped Stitch.
Periodic Table Quilt by Alyse Anderson
Crochet Space Shuttle from Ms Premise-Conclusion
Stitch Yourself’s 255 ‘stitched selves’ by you

When is the deadline? Your Stitched Specimen must arrive before or on June 17 2011

Where do I send it? Send your Stitched Specimens to Stitch London’s home at The Fleece Station.
Stitch London at The Fleece Station
Courtyard Studio (First floor)
The Old Police Station
114-116 Amersham Vale
SE14 6LG

Return of the Stitched Selves! And if that wasn't enough for you we're also going to bring back your Stitched Selves for the whole weekend. Come and meet your mini me once more!

When is the big event? Stitched Science will be a whole weekend on June 25 and 26 of the humble stitch meeting the world of science.

It’s one small Stitched Specimen for science, one giant Science Museum spectacular

 1.  Your item and copyright of the pattern you use will remain with you and you'll get full credit for it. We're just borrowing it to display.
 2.  Stitch London and the Science Museum will not charge an entry or admin fee to be a part of this event. It's free!
 3.  Items will be available to collect after the event. If you're posting the item from afar and want it returned you'll have to include postage to return it to you. We're happy to keep stuff too. It'll have a good home.
 4.  Responsibility for getting your submission to us is all yours. We can't be held responsible if post gremlins eat it. Sorry. Please make sure you get the item tracked if it's precious.
 5.  By sending in your item you agree to allow Stitch London and the Science Museum to use images of your item for press and marketing linked with the event. It won't be used for anything other than that without asking your permission. Please make sure we have your contact details.

Here’s something I stitched earlier…
Blue Peter Needs Little Knitters: We’re looking for young knitters aged 6-13 to show off their stitching skills on the Blue Peter show. Know any young knitters who’d like a bit of limelight? They can pick a pattern of their own or we can show them how to stitch a simple handmade Martian.
If you are a young knitter or you know one who’d be up for the challenge, drop us an email at with your name, the young knitter’s name and age, and your contact details.

Save the Plarn-knit, Change the World

If you don’t have time to stitch there are other ways you can help:

Badges for Bags

We need your plastic bags. Part of our Stitched Solar System will be an enormous Plarn-knit Earth made entirely from plastic bag yarn.

We need blue and green carrier bags to make a plarn planet. Bring them along to Stitch London or post them to the address above (anchor).

For every 12 plastic bags you send us, we’ll send you a shiny Stitch London badge of your choice.

Stitched Science Stars

Help us teach in the hallowed halls of one of London’s most famous museums. Volunteer to teach at one of our one-hour workshops and become a Stitched Science Star.

If you’re already a Stitch Sage you're first in line for volunteering and will get an email soon.

If you’re not and you want to give your time to pass on stitching skills somewhere amazing then join the Stitch Sage team.

Teaching is easy peasy, makes you feel warm and fuzzy and is tons of fun. Join us!
FREE KNITTING PATTERN: Graffiti Bloomin' Bluebell

The UK's woods are magical places. They're full of butterflies, birds, pixies, picnicking teddy bears and all kinds of magic.

The trouble is that people seem to forget they're there. So the foresty folks over at The Woodland Trust and their friends would like to invite you to help remind people with a fabulous free flowery pattern, The Bloomin' Bluebell.

Here is your mission:
  1. Knit the Bloomin' Bluebell
  2. Tag the Bloomin' Bluebell with The Visitwoods tag
  3. Release him into the wild somewhere that needs flowers

Download the free Bloomin' Bluebell pattern here

You can also show off your sneaky stitching by adding your images to the Bloomin' Bluebell Flickr group.

Find out more over at Whodunnknit, the home of kooky sneaky knits.
Ask Gertrude: Should have gone to Stitch Savers

 Dear Aunty Gerty

I am the owner of about twelvety-hundred scarves. I can knit all different kinds of stitches, but try
as I might I just can’t follow a pattern. I think I might have some kind of dyslexia. I tried knitting a
cardigan for my granddaughter, but I managed to make it with two left-fronts – it would have been OK in garter stitch, but in stocking stitch it just looked wrong.

Christmas presents for my family have long since ceased to be a surprise. Please help, I’m getting so bored knitting squares and rectangles of one size or another.

Bored of Brent Cross

Dear Bored

First things first, how's your sight? Get yourself to an optician and make sure your eyes are OK. They might suggest you lay off the gin while attempting more complex patterns, but you’ll never hear those words from my lips, oh no.

Assuming that everything’s in working order, you might want to try any of the following methods that make following patterns easier:-
  1. Read through the pattern first and make sure you understand roughly what you’re doing before you start
  2. Photocopy your pattern, and enlarge the copy if the print is tiny
  3. Use a selection of highlighter pens to mark your place on your copied pattern
  4. Use something to hold your pattern steady. Bulldog clips, hair-grips, music stands and toyboys will all suffice, as long as you don’t get distracted.
  5. If a pattern has a number of repeats it helps to colour-code them with your highlighters, or type them onto separate pages so you can only see the relevant repeat at any given time
  6. Don’t be afraid to use life-lines or stitch markers to keep your knitting in order – life is too short to counting every stitch on every row.
If none of these tips help, consider instead your attitude towards these little accidents – small errors can become design details, larger mistakes are improvised free-form jazz knitting and can lead to usefully re-purposed knits – the jumper with too many dropped stitched becomes a string vest, the scarf that increases outwards on both sides can become a batwing jumper for your teddy bear, and the garbled mess of knotted yarn can become cushion stuffing.

Rejoice in your knitterly errors for they bring unexpected surprises - if it weren’t for my accidental swallowing of a ball of fun fur that had fallen into my martini I’d have never got the job of the bearded lady with a travelling fair, and then I’d have never met the late Mr. Woolsworthy.

Good luck with your future projects!

Gerty xx

Stitch London

Keep calm and carry yarn, Stitch Londoners.

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