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stitch,and bitch london

12th Oct 2009

Stitchin’, Bitchin’ and Knitting in the Nip


Purl Alpacas Workshop ... Secret Santa Begins ... The 2010 Naked Knitting Calendar  ... Innocent Smoothies Hats


Sore-footed knitting show recovery greetings to you

We hope this newsletter finds you well, trying in vain to find somewhere to put the shiny new yarniness you purchased at Ally Pally, and carefully avoiding looking at the vast emptiness that is your wallet.


This week we bring you a bit of knitting in the nip for a very good cause with the Naked Knitting Calendar 2010, jingle some knitted bells at you as we kick off S&B London Secret Santa 2009, and herd you gently in the direction of a fabulous knitting workshop amongst those beautiful beasts the alpaca.
Also the Stitchettes will be knitting it up at Jamie Oliver’s 15 this week, in a bid to teach his cooking apprentices a bit of the knit. We’ll report on the whole thing next week. We hope you all entered the exclusive 15 Knitting Kit competition last week. If you didn’t you we extended the deadline to 6pm today to get your entries in. Quick tip: read the question!
We’re also teaming up with The Learning Revolution Festival. It celebrates all sorts of hobbies, clubs and evening classes and the difference they can make to people's lives. Find tons of other events on their website and get out there and do some learning. Go on.


We’ve been sew busy (sorry) at recent meetings.
At the Camel and Artichoke, we were full to bursting, even colonising the downstairs bar. We taught those who were new to the knit in varying degrees of good light (we’re thinking of those of you who were sat downstairs), and we sewed up (what seemed like) endless amounts of squares for the Poetry Society’s Knitted Poem. You can see the full poem here in glorious photographs. It’s fabulous.
At Leon we draggled in the rain rather damp but soon warmed up to the tune of hot chocolate and some class stitching and bitching. Those of you who made it through the deluge, we salute you.
At Ally Pally’s Knitting and Stitching Show we all spent too much money. We also were in awe of the wonders from Debonnaire, Buffalo Gold, Yarn Forwards and the ever so lovely Handknit Heroes comic team. We also handed over the Macmillan Comfort Blanket that all your lovely S&B Londoners helped make.
More news on the day and a photo of the finished blanket coming soon on our blog.


 Stitch and rustle me up some smoooothie hats
Details of the next meeting:                           
It’s time to gather all those little hats together for Innocent’s Big Knit Campaign. If you’ve not managed to mak any so far, tonight’s your last chance. (They’re so tiny – they don’t take long to make). We’re gathering them all up and handing them over so knit yourselves silly with tiny hats just one more time.
Time: From 6pm
Venue: National Theatre in the Long Bar (ground floor main foyer)
South Bank
Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment
This event forms part of the Learning Revolution and is free for any adults to attend

Stitch and deli-cious dahhhhleng
Details of the meeting after that:
How can you resist the delights that EV has to offer? Yummy healthy treats, plenty of seats and stitchin’ everywhere you look. You’d be mad not to join us at one of our favourite venues. Though several of us may fight you for the last slice of cake.
Time: From 6pm
Venue: EV Delicatessen
The Arches
97-99 Isabella Street
Map Website Nearest Tube: Southwark, Waterloo
This event forms part of the Learning Revolution and is free for any adults to attend


Stitch and Spooky
Time: From 6pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Hunterian Museum
Royal College of Surgeons of England,
35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
Map Website Nearest Tube: Holborn, Chancery Lane, Covent Garden
This event forms part of the Learning Revolution and is free for any adults to attend


Stitch and Awwwwww Alpacas

Who wouldn’t love to hang out with cuddly faced alpacas and knit in the surrounding green of the English countryside? Course you would! Well now you can.

Purl Alpaca Designs would like to invite you to their Knitting Workshop on their farm near Cambridge on 24th of October, 3rd November and 14th November.

You can hang out with the beasts by getting up close and personal with the original fibre providers, enjoy warm welcoming coffee and home-made biscuits at Scotland Farm, and get knitting with a unique Purl Alpacas design and benefit from one to one tuition from the designer.
Talks, chat, good company and home-cooked lunch are all included along with a Purl Alpacas knitting pack.

Price: £95 per person.
Time: 11am to 4pm
  • Price includes:
    Knitting pack with 5 balls of wool
  • Home-cooked lunch
  • Biscuits, tea and coffee
  • Knitting tuition
  • Alpaca tour and talks (from people, the alpacas can’t talk)
Scotland Farm is just outside Cambridge, very close to the A428 at Dry Drayton. Ample car parking available and full directions provided on booking.

For more workshop info see the Purl Alpacas shiny new website


Stitch and Super Secret Santa Surprises

Do you ever feel envious of those lucky, lucky recipients of the carefully knitted gifts that you give them? Do you secretly wish that you could have something soft and woolly and handmade to open? Well, here's your chance.

S&B London is already working hard to plan the most knitastic Christmas party London has ever witnessed. Secret Santa has metamorphasised into the most party-hearty part of it all. Last year there were squeals of stitching glee, snickers of ‘I got the best pressie’, and much admiration of woolly wonders that got handed out.

Last year we packed out the venue, pretended to knit briefly before casting it aside in favour of merriment, and exchanged lots of fabulous presents (some finished at the very last minute).

There is no limit to secret santa subjects. We’ve had gorgeous gloves, dinosaur stockings, pots of peeping posies, silky scarves, adorable armwarmers, and even a special Santa.

This year we're doing it alllllll again. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is:
  1. Make one present.
  2. Your present should cost a minimum of £5.
  3. Your present can be ANYTHING, as long as it’s knitted or crocheted or at least handmade.
  4. You must make your present before the S&B London Christmas Party (in December, date and venue to be confirmed).
  5. Turn up at the S&B London Christmas Party with some Christmas cheer and your present wrapped up.
  6. Place your Secret Santa present in the magic sack.
  7. At present-giving time pick a gift from the magic sack.
  8. Open your present and squeak with excitement.
  9. Model your present proudly for the rest of the night looking a bit smug
  10. Eat (cake), drink (insert booze of choice here) and be merry.
What do you mean “Christmas already! It's only October”? We're giving you a couple of months of stitching time which will just fly by!
If you need ideas to get you started, there are plenty of ideas from the last few years in our flickr group.
Remember, your gift is completely anonymous (unless you start pointing and saying “I made that!”) and it doesn’t have to be anything complicated – all gifts are valued equally.
There’s only 74 knitting days till Christmas! Arrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!

Picture by Mirvettium

  Stitch and Bloomin’ (Knitting) Nora!

Naked Knitting. No, that isn’t our new hobby (or is it?!), but the name of a 2010 calendar brought to you by the Knitting Noras, a Bolton-based knitting group, to help raise money for The Christie Hospital in Manchester which has cared for many cancer suffers over the years, including some of Knitting Noras’ nearest and dearest.
Sadly in February 2009, one of the co-founders of Knitting Noras, Sarah Richards, died of breast cancer. To honour her memory, and to do their bit for a deserving charity, the group did a Calendar Girls and took off their clothes for a bit of knitting in the nip.
You can buy your calendar from any of the shops listed on their website or online for £10 (plus P&P) and you can read the full story on the calendar blog. Go on! It’s for a very good cause.


Stitch and Ask Aunty Gerty

This week I answer a question I know all of us yarn-junkies are twitching to know the answer to, from one of our dear Ravelites:

Dear Gerty,
How do I continue to feed my yarn habit and keep the ever-growing stash hidden from my boyfriend? I am running out of room for both in the flat. I really do want to keep both of them, but one day there will be an explosion from my vacuum bag packed yarn and we will both be lost in a knotty web forever.
Many thanks

Well Hippolyra, my dear, what are we going to do with you. Your yarn habit is taking over your humble abode and you are on the verge of causing a yarn-based apocalypse or, worse still, drowing the one you love in wool.

The solution is really very simple: the yarn-ball pet.

Here is what you do: pop out to the nearest pet shop and buy yourself a hamster cage, in the cage place a couple of balls of yarn. Voila, the yarn balls become beasts. Remember to carefully empty and refill their food and water dishes at intervals to keep up the charade. Chocolate-covered raisins make excellent fake pet poo.

As your stash grows so can your pet. After a trip to a yarn sale you may want to purchase a litter tray and catnip toy for the yarn-cat look, or grab a collar, lead and frisbee and place your stash in a basket by the fireside for the ultimate in convincing yarn hound.

If things get really out of hand there are stables that can be hired in which your yarn-horse can be housed.

You’re not buying more yarn, Hippolyra, you’re adding a four-legged friend to your household. Admittedly it won’t fetch, purr or run on its wheel but with enough work on your part you could house an entire yarn menagerie without your partner suspecting a thing, and with less cleaning up after than a real beast. Everyone is a winner.
See this question and others that didn’t make the newsletter on Gerty’s blog.

Do you have a question for Gerty? Email her at and let Gerty untangle your woes.
Quite frankly we need to back away from the newsletter and have a sit down after a weekend of yarn-buying madness. In the meantime you can find us on our Ravelry message board, or casually stalk us on Twitter. Get stitching your smoothie hats, and ponder some seriously cool Secret Santa gifts until next time.
Stitch like you mean it, London


The S&B London Stitchettes x



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