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stitch,and bitch london

2nd March

Stitchin’, Bitchin’ and Guerrilla Knitting

New Knitting Book Competition ... Sock Surgery ... Knitting Guerrillas Attack ... Mmmm Meze ... Twittering

Yarnbomb-throwing greetings to you  

We hope this newsletter finds you well, that you're preparing your knitty selves for springtime and that your pancakes were as successful and well crafted as your knitting.

If you’ve been on the South Bank, you might have noticed some unusually placed knitting: that’s right, London has been attacked by Guerrilla Knitters!
We might have had something to do with it. Read more if you dare...

In anticipation of warmer days and the need for smaller projects, we’ll soon be running a sock surgery for aspiring sock knitters (and those who just want to ask a few questions). 

We have another fantastic competition with a new book up for grabs for five lucky winners.

There's also CastOff's SOS Knitting Surgery at the Barbican on the 7th. Just in case you have your knitting in a knot you can't handle yourself.

Recent meetings have seen us go magic loop mad at the National Theatre, with loads of you learning how to avoid those pesky double pointed needles and casting on for hats and socks galore. Thanks to those who helped share their knowledge and spread the loopy love. 

Then last week we settled into the Old Star for pub grub, a few drinks and some good company in their upstairs bar. (If you lost a lovely blue knitting needle that night, do let us know!)

Stitch and Deli Belly 

Details of the next meeting: 

EV is our second home and the last time we were there it was like we’d thrown a house party, so many of you were eager to join us. So this week we’re going back and as always, you’re all invited round our gaff. Get stuck into some delicious mezze and then stitch the night away with a cup of fresh leaf mint tea. 

From 6pm 
Venue: EV Delicatessen 
The Arches 
97-99 Isabella Street 
London SE1 8DD 

Map Website Nearest Tube: Southwark, Waterloo

Stitch and Sock Surgery

Details of the meeting after that: 

Someone call a Doctor! So many of you have caught the sock knitting bug that we are going to immediately administer a healthy dose of HELP in our first ever Sock Surgery. The Stitchettes will be on hand to diagnose your sock woes and get you back on the road to recovery. You can also check out our sock help article for some home remedies too. 

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

Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment

Stitch and Mine’s a Pint

Details of the meeting after that: 

From 6pm
Venue: The Clarence,
53 Whitehall,

Map Nearest Tube: Charing Cross, Embankment

Stitch and Something for the Weekend: Knitting Weekend Book Competition

Off the back of our fabulous Sewing book competition we’ll be offering you lovely people the chance to win a whole host of gorgeous books over the coming months. And this month is no exception; American publishers STC Craft have given us five copies of one of their new UK releases, Knitting Weekend, for you lucky so-and-so’s to win. 

Knitting Weekend is filled with projects specifically designed to knit up over a weekend. A variety of basic and advanced patterns are coupled with quotes about creativity, hot chocolate and cookie recipes, knitting movie and book lists which are all designed to complete your perfect weekend knitting experience. 

So here’s the deal. Answer this question:  

What do our American knitting cousins call moss stitch?  
a) Seed Stitch  
b) Weed Stitch  
c) I-laughed-so-much-I-peed Stitch

Email us at with: 

The subject "I want to WIP it up this weekend"

Answer A, B, or C

Your full name, email address, and contact phone number (if you have one) 

The deadline for the competition is Wednesday 11th March at 10am. The five winners will be picked (by our cuddly Winner-picking Alpaca) from all correct entries, and notified by email or phone within 48 hours.   

We are impervious to your pleading and yarn/cake bribes! So simply pick your answer, email us and knit yourself a four-leaf clover, rabbit’s foot and horseshoe for good luck, at least one of them has got to work. 

Competition rules: 1. One entry per person. 2. Competition ends 11th Mar 2009 at 10am. 3. Winners will be drawn from all correct answers, and notified within 48 hours via email or phone. 4. If winners don’t reply with addresses within two weeks of closing date then new winners will be chosen. 5. No cash alternatives. 6. Book will be posted to winners.

Stitch and Get Your Socks Off, Get Your Socks Off Honey

Hand-knitted socks are the rock n’ roll icons of the knitted world.  For those who have not yet ventured into the world of sock knitting they are endlessly enigmatic.  Those who have been bitten by the Sock Bug are forever knocking on Sock Heaven’s door.  

We know that the mere thought of knitting socks can be somewhat intimidating for many sock virgins, so we present to you... 

The S&B London Guide to Sock Success 

  • Get your gear sorted: you can knit socks on double pointed needles (2-3mm, usually 2.5mm), on two long circular needles or one long circular needle using Magic Loop.  A stitch counter, stitch markers and a tapestry needle will also be useful.
  • Get yourself some yarn: specialist sock yarn is typically used since it is more hardwearing and smoother, so it feels nice against your toes.  The best bit about sock yarn is you can get it in almost any colour or pattern imaginable.  Look out for self-patterning sock yarn; it’s too cool for school.
  • Do your research: the basic structure of a sock is almost always the same.  Knitty has a brilliant sock tutorial which guides you through the structure of a sock. and are full of ideas, tips, patterns and other resources that will turn you into a sock genius in no time.
  • Learn your lingo: basic socks require mostly knit stitch, along with ribbing, k2tog and ssk.  If you can do these stitches you can make a sock.
  • Toe-up vs. cuff-down: since the dawn of time sock knitters have been debating over whether it is better to knit socks from the toe upwards or the cuff downwards.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages but the best way to decide is to try both and do whatever makes you happiest (but not within the same pair of socks, they’ll look odd!).
  • Heel flap vs. short row heel: heels come in a variety of flavours, but if you have found a pattern for your sock it’s usually best to go with what the pattern says.  As before, try lots of different heels and go with the one that works best for you.
So if you’ve never tried socks before now is the ideal time to dive into the sock mosh pit and have a go.  Mark the date of our Sock Surgery in your diary and bring your socks along for a dose of sock therapy!

Stitch and Getting Your Guerrilla Knits On

Knitted graffiti. It isn't quite graffiti. It isn't quite knitting. It's a the best bits of both, and S&B London joined woolly forces with Perri from the Guardian and Magda from Knitta Please to yarn bomb the Southbank like it had never been yarn bombed before.

A whole army of you lovely S&B Londoners hit the Southbank Skate Park, the London Pride statue outside the National Gallery, the Gabriel's Wharf signpost, the Tate Modern Bollards, a little known street sign, and finally a bit of traffic signage outside St Paul's. All for the cause of spreading the love of the knit and making London a wonderful place to be in by making it woollier.

To hear all about it hop along to our S&B London blog post, or seek out Purl Interrupted and Fingersandtoes take on the day.

We also knitted you up a London: Guerrilla Knitting flickr group. Drop in photos of the day. Wander in there to see sneaky stitching all around the city. Or best of all knit some street art and add it yourself.

Knitting graffiti, or yarnbombing as the world has taken to calling it, seems to be taking on a life of it's own all over the planet, and the internet is rushing along on its knitted coat tails telling it's tales. From Magda's Knitta Please and Mandy and Leanne's Yarnbombing in Canada, to New Zealand's Outdoor Knit, to Australia's Grrl & Dogg, and UK DIY and Art Yarn from our knitting brethren up north.

You can see the Guardian article here (and have a quick guffaw at some of the comments underneath it).

We have an odd feeling in our yarn-covered bones that there just might be more guerrilla-flavoured knits popping up around our city streets. Don't let us be wrong about that.
Stitch and Tweeting Yourself Stupid

If we’re perfectly honest about it stalking celebrities is kinda fun. Not in an ‘up a tree with nightvision goggles’ manner but in a ‘keeping an eye on you in case you do something scandalous’. We can’t just can’t seem to help ourselves.

So when S&B London heard that Twitter was the new tool for online stalking we nipped along to have a peek at just which knitting celebs we could peek at from behind the bushes.

Twitter is all about telling folks what you are up to right now. That is essentially all it is. But chuck in knitting celebs such as The Yarn Harlot Vickie Howell from Knit1 magazine letting us know who she’s interviewing in advance, and the team behind Ravelry giving us the heads up on new Ravelness, and we start to see why everyone seems to be tweeting their heads off. chucking around the knitty giggles,

You can follow S&B London here for insider news you never knew (and may well wish you didn’t), heads ups on new events in the works, internet knitting gold that doesn’t make the newsletter (the online intarsia knitting game drove several people a bit mad. Sorry), and yarn-based goodness from all over.

Tweet with the likes of Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, Alan Davies, Charlie Brooker, and Neil Gaiman too if you fancy a bit of off knitting entertainment. If can get them to tweet back at you then you get a little bit of celebrity attention in your day. Not tweeting bad.

That’s all for now folks! We’re off to coo over sock patterns on Ravelry and scout out more targets for knitted grafitti. Who needs paint when you’ve got yarn?

The S&B London Stitchettes x


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