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20th Nov 2009

Stitchin’, Bitchin’ and Love is in The (Handmade) Hair

... The S&B London Christmas PAR-TAY Yarnorama ... Make Yourself a Manly Mo ... The Wonder of Woolly Wigs  ... Gerty Turns People Into Yarn Swifts ...

So hairy it’s scary greetings to you

PLEASE NOTE: Next meeting has been moved to the 24th of November
We hope this early newsletter finds you well, shoving on your shawls, scarves and socks in the face of the oncoming chill and wishing with could hibernate bear-style with your knitting.
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. Lessons are free but we do enjoy thank-you cake and booze.


  It’s coooooold out but love is in the hair so we thought we’d offer you the face and headhugging warmth of our hairiest newsletter ever. Wander through the woolly world of knitted wig , moustache yourself up for Movember with a bit of knitted facial hair , and see what Gerty has to say about manning up for a bit of yarn winding .
The sparkly and spectacular S&B London Christmas Party Yarnorama is on it’s way. We invite you and your poor non-knitting pals and partners to come along on the 9th of December for the purl-flavoured par-tay of the year.
There’ll be piles of prizes, wool-based wonders in the goodie bags, Secret Santa Shenanigans and all manner of knit-smelling stuff with a bit of Christmas spice. Chuck on your glad rags, eat, drink, be far too merry and disgrace yourself entirely in a yarn-based manner. Woo hoo!
Secret Santa deadline is 9th at the Christmas Party too. So get stitching and bring along your bit of handmade heaven. For more Secret Santa info see our blog. Remember it doesn’t have to be too fancy or too huge. Think innovative, cute, cosy and quick if you need to. All items are most welcome.
If you’re feeling a bit Christmas crafty you can also get along to the free Craft Guerrilla’s Christmas Market on Sunday 6th of December at William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. Watch out for any real gorillas who may be confused.


  There was a bit of Knitters vs Writers action when we stormed the Royal Festival Hall last week. An astounding 80 knitters joined our stitching army and smiling but firm table-stealing was rife. We have much love for all you nanowrimo novel writers. Hopefully with all our crafty creativity flying about we helped inspire a few pages.
The Camel and ‘Choke was a much calmer affair. Cosy, hearty grub and plenty of pints to keep us going. Lovely stuff.
Some of you were also featured in the Learning Revolution video aiming to help adults get back into that learning mindset. Thanks for saying such lovely stuff about the group. We love you guys too. xxx

Stitch and Did Someone Say Dark and Stormy?

Details of the next meeting:
Venture under the canopy of Spitalfields market and park yourself and your stitching in the loveliness that is Leon. There we shall knit, giggle and sip some of the finest hot chocolate in London. Mmm… *drools*
TUESDAY 24TH November
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Leon at Spitalfields Market
3 Crispin Place
E1 6DW

Map Website Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street

Stitch and Kicking Off Something Cool
Details of the meeting after that:
Drinking, eating, doing: three of S&B London’s favourite things. Sprinkle on a bit of Christmas magic and you have ‘Kristie and Coralie’s Drink Shop & Do’. We’re helping launch this crafty cave of wonders by knitting there on its opening night. It’ll be brimming with vintage furniture, design and crafts (to buy and do) and the opportunity to get some coffee and cocktails down you while you knit. They’ve promised there’ll be cake. How can you possibly refuse?
THURSDAY 3rd December
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Kristie and Coralie’s Drink Shop & Do
9 Caledonian Road
N1 9DX
Map Website Nearest Tube: King’s Cross, St Pancras

The S&B London Christmas Party Yarnorama
Details of the meeting after that:
Time: From 6pm
Venue: The New Moon
88 Gracechurch Street,
Map Website Nearest Tube: Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument

Stitch and Movember, Baby!
Hey you! Yes you, with that Y chromosome and the awesome testosterone levels! You don't know how lucky you really are! No, honestly. Don't believe us? Well, let us tell you why... 
If there's anything us Stitchettes lament, it's our inability to grow thick, luscious facial hair (Oi! We heard you snickering out there!) We've tried so hard, but alas! Our defective second X chromosome and puny oestrogen prevents a full bushy beard, or slick handlebar moustache. And we know that you ladies out there also feel the moustache-envy. Especially since it's Movember, baby!
"Movember? Surely it's November Miss Stitchette??" Ah, but you are wrong, my lovely. Movember is about growing and maintaining a beautiful moustache in the month of November to support prostate cancer awareness. It's about having fun, but for a serious cause. And it's a worldwide phenomenon: even the Australian rugby team were sporting varying degrees of interesting lip-fungus last weekend... 
So, what's the solution to this common problem? Why, make your own of course! Now, those of you who were around last Knit Crawl in June will have already had some practice at adorning your top lip with woolly macho-ness. But for those of you who missed out, or just want to do it all over again (and who could blame you!), here are some fantastic facial adornments.
Of course, the best place to start is Stitch and Bitch London's Tashtastic Knit and Crochet Moustache Patterns. This will start you off beautifully, and you'll be well on your way to mustachioed heaven.
For those of you who don't have time to make your own (we totally understand!) head over to Folksy to buy either a Knitted Moustache on a Stick or a Knitted Moustache Brooch. Excellent value for money to get the look with minimum effort!
Some of you may want something with more coverage. What you people need is a Moustache Hat. Practical and stylish.; it's utilitarian fashion at its best!!
And finally, the Australian contingent have produced one of our personals favourite, the Romance Was Born Neptune beard. If only there was a pattern for that one. We'd make that part of our daily accessories. There's also a Nero beard, but it's not nearly as spectacular. Check out the Doilies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells collection. It's amazing beardwise and otherwise! 

Stitch and Woolly Wiggy Winter Warmers
Admit it. There's nothing an S&B Londoner likes more than a bit of knitted hair. And, we don't mean combing your dog out to spin his fur, or silly superstitions about knitting your own hair into a gift for a loved one.
No, we delight in the glory of fake hair. Our love of the moustache is well documented, but we also adore a good knitted wig. A wiggy wonder serves many purposes. It's a handy disguise for those awkward mornings after the Christmas party. It keeps that cold wind by covering far more head than a dull old beanie. And for the balding chaps out there, it's far more dignified than a combover.
But mostly, it's about the dressing up. You can transport yourself to any era, with the simple addition of the hair of the time. Let us take you on a journey through time, expressed through the medium of glorious knitted hair.
We start our journey in the 1940s, an era where the hair was carefully set during the day, before being unleashed in all its wavy glory. Recreate the glamour with this curler set from Knitty.
Leaving the post-war era, in the 1950 shoes were blue and suedy, skirts were round and swirly and hair was good and quiffy, as shown in this marvellous Elvis wig. You'll find yourself a long way from heartbreak hotel in this number. Uh-huh-huh!
Next we twist into the 1960s, era of the classic bob and truly excellent sci-fi on the telly and at the cinema. Combine the two with the wonders of this chic but futuristic little number from knitty.
Now we journey to a galaxy far, far (well about a decade) away. Don this marvellous earwarming Princess Leia wig as you cry “Help me Ravelry! You're my only hope!” (you've only got, oooh, 30 years to wait for that to be invented – best get knitting more wigs to keep you occupied).
Finally, we take you to the 1980s to bring you the flowing majesty of Knitting on a Prayer – technically, this wonderful number from Amy Artisan is a lion costume. And who has a more leonine mane than Jon Bon Jovi? Yes, leave out the ears, and you too can have a splendid mullet as worn by the best hair metal bands of the 80s.
What do you mean “Is that all, why is there nothing from the 90s?” Don't you remember how dull hair was then? Do you really want to see a woolly “Rachel” cut? Oh, all right then. Here's how it looks without the L'Oreal.
Photo: Megan Reardon/Knitty
Ask Gertrude: Are You a Man or a Yarn Swift?
Domestic strife over turning unruly skeins into something more manageable? Gertrude Woolsworthy gives the knitting world a few tips on turning your other half into the yarn swift of your dreams.
Dear Gerty
Is there an easy way to wind a hank/skein of laceweight yarn into a useable ball without a yarn swift? All I have to help me wind it is a man. I don't have a useful ballwinder.
Help please. I need to know how to alleviate his boredom from holding the skein and how to stop the pain in my hands after winding for so long,
Your devoted fan
Confused Claire
Dear Confused Claire. What a predicament. With no swift to tame your skeins what you need to do is tame your man. So here are a few suggestions on how to ensure more winding and less whining.
Option one: Tell him it's a Wii fit game. Simply attach a wire to part of the skein and watch the concentration on his face as he tries to get bonus points for avoiding tangles.
Option two: Got a spinning desk chair? Use the skein to tie him to the chair and spin him round as you wind the ball. You get a useful body to hold the skein tight on the chair. He gets a nice fairground ride.
Option three: Tell him it's some kind of cage fighting endurance training and scream "WHAT KIND OF A MUMMY’S BOY ARE YA??!?!?" and “YOU’LL NEVER GET TO THE END OF THIS SKEIN, YOU ‘ORRIBLE SPECIMEN OF A MAN!!!” in his face while he is holding it so he doesn't flag.
Option four: Tell him your last boyfriend/his dad/that bloke from accounts at work who you smiled at when he met you from work once could hold it up for hours.
If all else fails, Confused, perhaps you could leave his laptop browser open on a couple of nice swifts on eBay. Christmas is acomin’ after all.
See this question and others that didn’t make the newsletter on Gerty’s blog.
Do you feel like spilling your crocheted confusions to a giant ball of pink yarn with sass? Email her at

Crikey! It’s halfway through Movember already! We’d better get to making ourselves some handsome handmade hairiness and let you get back to your Friday afternoon.
Remember we’re on Twitter if you feel a lack of the knit between meetings, and the yarny embrace of the message board is always there should you want even more S&B London out of hours. We look forwards to seeing you all squashed into a seething mass of stitching at a meeting very soon. Get those Secret Santa knits on the needles. There isn't much time left!
Stay handmade hairy and happy, London.


The S&B London Stitchettes x



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