Can't read this newsletter? Click here to see it online.  Want to share the stitching love? Forward to a friend   

4 February 2011
Stitch and Spinning an Epic Yarn
... DESIGNERS WANTED: Create patterns and make money ... WIN: Beasties books ...
... FREE TICKETS: Cross Stitch at Stitch and Craft ... GERTY: Gerty talks love and woos Wollmeise ...
... EXCLUSIVE EVENT: Win Nintendo goodies and show off your knits on Nintendo TV ...
Please note: Stitch London will be changing the newsletter email address to soon. Please put it in your address book or contacts to avoid losing the newsletter to your junk mail folder.
Monster-stomping, gem-collecting greetings to you

We hope this newsletter finds you and your knitting all loved up and feeling like a bit of monster making to while away the time till spring descends, and with your fingers on the button as computer games get all yarny and squishy. Fancy entering two fabulous competitions or becoming a knitting pattern designer? Then roll your eyeballs over this week's news...
We're also trying out a brand-new venue very soon. A London Bridge bar offering fruit beer and great grub. Yum.

Stitch London learners: Learner knitter sessions take place every two weeks. 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.
Calling all designers: Fancy yourself a knitting designer? We launch a search to find patterns for a new yarn supplier. Knit, design, get lovely yarn and earn money? Woo hoo! 

Stitch London meets Nintendo. Win goodies! To celebrate the launch of the new Kirby's Epic Yarn game on the Nintendo Wii we're teaching Nintendo how to knit on the February 8. You're all invited to come and join in and maybe win yourself some gaming goodies by turning a ball of yarn into your own Kirby look-a-like in our Kirby-a-like competition.

WIN a brilliant beast book: You can win a copy of the Beasties book and some other beast-themed goodies to go with it.
Cross Stitch wisdom for free tickets: Help Mr X Stitch pass on cross stitch know-how and get into the Stitch and Craft Show for free.
Gerty's guide to love and yarn: Our woolly gin-soaked agony aunt helps with a bit of question popping and attempts to woo a tall dark skein of Wollmeise.

Stitch London meetings:
For more information on each venue click on 'More info' to go to our Venues page
Stitch meets Nintendo
(plus regular meeting)
TUESDAY 8 February 
Time: From 6pm 
Venue: Stamford Arms 
62 Stamford Street 

Map More info

Time: From 6pm
Venue: The Draft House
206-208 Tower Bridge Rd

MONDAY 21 February  
 Time: From 6pm
Venue: EV
The Arches
97-99 Isabella Street

Map More info



Claws, fangs and giant furry feet. We can be a bit harsh on the humble horrible beast. They might have a kind, soft and squishy side for all we know but how will we ever find out?

The best way is to find a creepy creature and just ask, and the perfect place to find them is in the pages of Diana Schoenbrun's book of horrifying handmades simply titled Beasties.

Deep within the covers of Beasties we find a yeti who conjures spectacular ice sculptures, a naughty Nessie who'll steal your haggis if you leave it unwatched and a rather stenchy stitched zombie, along with 19 other patterns for fabric-based fiends.

Diana is offering us sets of the Beasties book, a beasties magnet and a bag of beast-making notions for two lucky winners.

All you need to do to give yourself a chance to win is answer this beast-themed question:

Which mythical creature lurks in the watery depths of Scotland's Loch Ness?
a. Stinky Steve the Fish-fingered Boy
b. Count Clopula
c. Nessie the Loch Ness Monster

Drop us an email at with:
  • The subject line"RAARRGHH! I NEED BEASTIES!". (Please make sure you enter the right subject otherwise your entry might get missed)
  • Answer A, B or C
  • Your full name, contact email and address (Anyone can enter. Even if you live outside the UK)
The deadline for the competition is Friday 18 February at 6pm.

Please note: Offering to cover yourself in glue, roll in yarn ends and pretend you're a yeti for our amusement won't help you win. Just email the correct answer and cross your fingers.
Competition rules: 1. One entry per person. 2. Competition ends 18 February 2011 at 6pm. 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 being notified then new winners will be chosen. 6. Prizes will be posted to the winners by author or pubisher.
SPECIAL EVENT: Nintendo, knitting needles, grabbing gaming goodies and one Epic Yarn

Handmakers and gamer geeks unite! Those funky folks at Nintendo are taking the cool of craft and the kookiness of computer games and stitching them both together in the squishy new Wii game Kirby's Epic Yarn.

The game follows the purled perils of its hero Kirby, a giant squishy pink ball, who is turned into yarn (woo hoo!) when caught stealing the precious tomato of an evil sorcerer. Ah, tempting tomato crime. It could happen to anyone.

The cool thing about the game is that the whole thing is set inside a magic sock. The worlds are squashy, yarn-covered and riddled with stitches, buttons and zips.

To help launch the game and in a bid to learn a bit more about the knit Nintendo TV are coming to Stitch London on February 8 to learn how to create a handknitted Kirby and film the yarn-flavoured madness.

Want to win stuff? Your challenge, should you choose to play, is to:
  • Grab a ball of pink yarn (any size will do)
  • Add some eyes, a mouth and rosy cheeks any way you like (felt, buttons, paper, material) to 'Kirby' it up
  • Bring along your ball of yarn Kirby-a-like on the 8th
  • Hand him over and hope he wins
The Kirby-a-like we feel best resembles heroic Kirby will win Nintendo goodies and bragging rights for the rest of the year. All Kirbys will be returned to you after the judging as we can't afford to feed them all, so you get to keep your yarn.
Not sure what Kirby looks like? See tons of images here.

Join us on February 8 at The Stamford Arms for the usual knitting and a little bit of Nintendo fun. Mario moustaches not required.
(Apologies to Stitch Londoner's who enter as you can't make the meeting or aren't in the UK. Upload your Kirby-a-like pics to our Flickr group or tweet us online if you still want to show off your Kirby-a-like. We'll retweet our faves. You can still enter the Beasties competition where ever you are too)

Fibres Exotica are an online yarn seller offering some rather lovely Mulberry Silk and Recycled SariSilk Yarns, Silk Fibres and Silk Fabric. They also work to promote and support fair trade to India. They have lovely yarn and a good ethical foundation and now they need the help of pattern designers.
Nikki, who also runs Fluffenstuff (UK-based Yarn Dyer and Stitchmarker maker), explains how your designs and their yarn could make something fabulous.

“In 2006, I made contact with a mill in India, to obtain silk for my dyeing business Fluffenstuff. Fluffenstuff only dyes above Aran weight yarn, but the mill sells a great deal more weights than just that! So I set up a business specialising in silk yarns, fibres and fabrics in 2010 because there just isn't enough silk for fibre artists to play with on the UK market.

We took Fibres Exotica to Alexandra Palace in 2010, and something many customers and potential customers noted was our lack of patterns. The mill have not produced patterns to go with their yarns and that where Stitch London’s budding designers come in.
I’m looking to work with designers to create a range of patterns to suit all of the yarns weights that we stock.

What do we need? Sample pieces created to both photograph for the website and display at various shows.
Who can design a pattern? I’m looking to work with both up-and-coming designers and established ones.  (If you want to write a free pattern to submit to, I’m 100% behind you!) I expect the patterns to be fully tech edited, written to a high standard and use standard symbology/terminology.
What would the designer get? Depending on your requirements as a designer, I’ll either offer  a lump-sum payment up front to own the design and copyright exclusively, or we share copyright and I give you a large % of the profit from sales (probably a 75:25 split in this case).
Alternatively,  if you want to knit a Creative Commons/free-for-all pattern, you retain the copyright and give me distributions right to me and anyone else you want.
Anything else? I’ll also offer yarn support. You will get the same amount of yarn (or a different yarn/amount with the same £ value) as the garment you knit to do what you want with. This will be go along with whatever you decide on as your payment option.

What if you can’t design but can knit? I’d also love 4 or 5 sample pieces making up from existing Knitty, Wooly Wormhead, Ravelry etc patterns for display and people’s inspiration. This will be a paid-for in cash job and I will own the piece.
I’d (mostly) like the knitter/crocheter to pick the pattern they think will suit the yarn they want to try out.

Any ideas to help designers and knitters get started? On my “Think I should have” list:
Please note: the pattern has to be a free-distribution one, so that I can label the display and point other people to it to give them inspiration (and a knit kit!)"

The lovely yarns:
There are 6 variations of 100% silk sliver machine spun yarns in various weights and plies. All are wonderfully smooth and shiny and take colour very well indeed.
 The world is your oyster here, I would imagine most things could be made from one of these yarns:
 Marahraja - 730m per 100g 2-ply/Lace weight
Aleena - 200m per 100g  4 ply/Sport weight
Duke Fine -  320m per 100g 4-ply/Sport weight
Swan - 366m per 100g Double Knit/Worsted weight
Duke - 229m per 100g Double Knit/Worsted weight
Duke Double - 183m per 100g Aran weight
Dupioni Silk 730m yards per 100 Grams 2-ply/Lace weight
Made direct from the cocoon, the threads are reeled, plied and replied to the required weight. It tends to be rougher to the hand as the threads are natural and slightly irregular, but are beautiful when dyed, especially when dyed in a variegated way.
Ideas: Lace patterns.
Kohinoor 80m per 100g Chunky/Bulky weight
Made from sari warp thread before the saris are woven. These threads gives unprecedented smoothness in a sari silk style yarn, as well as good colour vibrancy and grouping.
Ideas: hats, scarves, bags, shawls, shrugs and boleros.

Recycled Sari Silk – 90m per 100g Aran weight
Made from leftovers of the sari making process. The fibres are picked over and short lengths discarded. It is hand spun on a wheel, and is a smooth, consistent and non- shredding Aran weight yarn.
  Ideas: hats, scarves, bags
Fancy putting your designs and Fibres Exotica’s yarns together?

Contact Nikki at 
  Ask Gertrude: My Funny Fibre Flinging Valentine
 Dear Auntie Gertrude,
I’ve got a personal problem that I hope you can help me with.  I’ve been dating a smashing girl for the last two years and I want to propose to her on Valentine’s Day.
I’ve booked a table at the restaurant where we went for our first date, arranged for flowers to be delivered to her at work, I’ve even had my great-grandma’s ring re-sized.
The problem is she takes her knitting everywhere with her. It’s so embarrassing when she starts clicking away in public. How can I get a ring on her finger without getting stabbed by her Addi lace needles?
Yours hoping safety goggle are not the only option

Romantic of Romford

    (Gerty and the Wollmeise Wooing image by Clare Tovey)
Dear RoR,

Well, full marks for effort, but that’s hardly original, is it? This is no way to propose to a creative and clever young lady!

Restaurants are no fun on February 14th – the Maitre D’s squeeze in as many tables as the fire regulations will allow; the waiters are all in a foul mood and are trying to turn over the tables as quickly as possible, and you’ll be surrounded by long-married types who glower at each other over their over-priced oysters wishing food-poisoning on each other.

Absolutely nobody will be delighted to share your special moment with you. Cancel that reservation right now!

Instead, suggest a shopping trip to your sweetheart’s favourite yarn store. If you don’t know which one it is, I suggest you seriously reconsider proposing until you know each other a little better – marry in haste, repent at leisure, yes?

Arrange with the shop manager a ‘special offer’ of half-price lace-weight Wollmeise in your girlfriend’s favourite colour. It should be displayed at the very moment you walk in the door (this is the tricky bit – if the timing goes wrong here you might find yourself getting engaged to an entirely different knitter).

Of course, the yarn isn’t really half price; you’ve already paid a 50% deposit and secured the shop manager’s assistance to hide your family jewels inside one of the skeins. Sorry, that sounds a bit wrong, I was referring of course to your great-grandma’s ring (make sure it’s in a box, it would be a tragedy if it were to snag the lovely soft yarn).

Your beloved is bound to put down her needles long enough to stroke, squeeze and pet the lovely wool, and when she finds the ring her hands will be free for you to propose unscathed.

It probably hasn’t occurred to you, but do you think your intended knits so much because she’s embarrassed by public displays of affection, and fibre-flinging is the only way she can keep her hands off you? Don’t worry, a couple of years of marriage will sort that out!

Yours expecting a wedding invite and some gin in the wedding cake mix

Gerty xx

Cross Stitch Gurus Wanted

Fancy going to the Stitch and Craft Show for free?

The awesome Mr X Stitch has been in touch to ask for our help to find some cross stitch helpers for his “Cross Stitch Drop In” space at this year’s Stitch and Craft Show.

He says:
"I’m looking for volunteers who can help me on either the Thursday, Friday and Saturday. With a bit of luck we’ll have materials and simple alphabets for people to follow - volunteers will show them the basics and let them stitch whatever word they like.
It would be good if they feel happy in teaching cross stitch, but I’ll be on hand to support.
I’m hoping it will be the most fun part of the show. I’ll have some cool music in the background and there should be a nice vibe.”
All volunteers get free entry into the show and they’ll be able to wander around and have a look.

Fancy it? Contact Jamie at
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 Gertrude Woolsworthy and Gerty's Rage Counseller LondonBusKnitter. 
Share this newsletter
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.