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25 November 2011
Stitch...  and Spreading the Merry Stitchmas Cheer    
Tinsel and fake-snow-covered greetings to you
We hope this last newsletter of the year finds you well, finishing off that list to Santa (how do you spell cashmerino again?) and stitching up some antler cosies for any visiting reindeer who might look chilly.
Stitch London Christmas Shindig 13th December
Stitching Secret Santa • Cracking Raffle • Much Merriment
Put it in your diaries!

Stitch London learners: We teach knitting for free! Our last official learner meeting of the year is the first week of December at our Stitch Up meeting. The first meeting of 2012 is our biggest learner meeting of the year. Come to that if you miss out in December! Look out for the learner icon (left) to see dates for learner meetings in our Stitch Ups section. 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

Important: From January Stitch London will be using to send your newsletters. Please add it to your address book or it may end up in junk mail. So sad.

Stitching Secret Santa is Coming to Town: Stitching Secret Santa is going global! Woo hoo! Join in whether you live in lovely London or not.

All I Want for Christmas is Yarn: It's the Stitch London Christmas Shindig! The Cracking Christmas Raffle is back! And it's bad (in a good way).

I Saw Two Shops Come Sailing In: Stitch London hits Duckie Christmas Market with a woolly fist of marvellous Stitch merchandise.

Should Old Aquaintance Be Forgot: Make shiny new friends and get your stitch on with a scary amount of people at Stitch London's 6th Birthday Newbie Fest!

A Fairytale of Knitted Nel: An exclusive one-off Whodunnknit is up for auction to raise money for Shelter. Will you have the winning bid?

Rocking Around the Christmas Gin Bottle: Our woolly Agony Aunt fights the Secret Santa Confusion Blues.

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



 TUESDAY 29 November      
Time: From 6pm
Venue: EV
The Arches
97-99 Isabella Street

Map More info 

MONDAY 5 December  

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

TUESDAY 13 December  
Time: From 6pm
Venue: New Moon
Ledenhall Market
88 Gracechurch Street
Map  More info
Last meeting of the year!
WEDNESDAY 21 December  

Time: From 6.30-9pm
Venue: Barbican Centre
Silk Street
City of London
Map  More info 
TUESDAY 3 Jan 2012  
Time: From 6pm
Venue: Royal Festival Hall (Level 2)
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road
 More info
The New Year Newbie Fest is a chance for all nervous Newbies to come along to their very first Stitch London Stitch Up.

Join us for our biggest meeting of the year! It's going to be epic. And we can totally guarantee you will not be the only new face there.

Last year we had over 150 Stitch Londoners turn up to get their public stitch on.

This year we're hoping you'll be able to see us from space!


Stitch London Christmas Shindig is a mere few weeks away. Have you started your Secret Santa knit? Have you?!? If not Gerty can provide motivational workshops.

This year the Stitch London Christmas Shindig is on 13th December. EEK! GET STITCHING!!! But we'd also like to invite our non-London members to join in too. Yay! 

Fancy taking part in Stitching Secret Santa? Here is how it works:

1. You knit or crochet or stitch (handmake) a gift costing about £5
2. You lovingly wrap your gift
3. You bring it along to the Stitch London Christmas Shindig
4. You drop it in the Sack of Secret Stitching
5. You party
6. You rummage and recieve a handmade gift
7. You spend the rest of the night marvelling at it

A few rules:
• Gifts must be around £5 or more
• Gifts must be either handmade or stitch themed
• You don't have to confess which gift you made

Stitching Secret Santa deadline is the night of the party December 13. Go! Go! Go!

Not in London? There are Stitch Londoners in 52 countries around the world. We don't want you to feel left out. So if you're not in London and live far, far away we've started a Global Stitching Secret Santa International Swap on Ravelry. Join the thread and get swapping your stitching. Go on.


Jingle! Jingle! Jingle!

Hark! What's the noise? Why it's the knitted reindeer pulling the Stitch London Christmas Shindig Sleigh filled with fantabulous crafty gifts for all! Woo hoo!

Every year Stitch London throws one hell of a woolly party for Christmas, and two things make it extra special:

Cracking Christmas Raffle and Stitching Secret Santa  

The Cracking Christmas Raffle means we ask craft sellers to donate their most fabulous things to help raise money for a cause close to Stitch London's handmade heart.

This year we're raising money to support brand-new knitter Andrea Giles in her battle against breast cancer. Andrea's fight is more than just a one-woman battle. She began using alternative and complementary therapy when the usual medical route fell short. Andrea is a brave pioneer for the Yes to Life Campaign, setting out to prove that there is hope even when the medical profession aren't so sure.

Andrea's story is so inspiring we couldn't fit it all in here, so you can read all about it in a special interview over at the Stitch London blog. It's an amazing cause and Andrea is an amazing woman. Your raffle money could change the course of cancer treatment and give hope to so many. Please give what you can. And do read Angela's interview. It really is very inspiring stuff.

What can I win? We'll be listing prizes on Twitter, Facebook and our Website.

Where can I get tickets from? Tickets are only available on the night at the Stitch London Christmas Shindig. All you need to do is arrive at the party and buy your tickets.

How much are tickets? Tickets will be £1 each and all money raised from the Cracking Christmas Raffle will go to Yes to Life and the Andrea Giles Cancer Charity Appeal
Can't make the party? If you miss it there's the Global Stitching Secret Santa Swap on Ravelry too!

Want to donate something? For every item donated you'll get a tweet to our 6000 followers and a link on our Facebook. Email to let us know you'd like to give a prize. Small sellers and large ones are all welcome.
DUCKIE CHRISTMAS MARKET: Stitch London stuff to buy

Mass produced shop bought stuff is soooooooo boring. Wouldn't you like something special to hand over on Christmas day? Of course you would! And lucky for you we know just the place.

This Christmas some marvellous Stitch Stuff will be on sale at the brilliant Duckie Christmas Market at London's Barbican Centre. Woo hoo!

Stitch London proudly presents the woolly might of Stitch London's creator, Whodunnknit, teaming up with the fabulous Emma 'The Fastener' Toft of Tofty Makes to sell a whole load of Stitchy Stuff to the brilliant Duckie Christmas Market at London's Barbican Centre.

What's Duckie Christmas Market when it's at home? Duckie Christmas Market will transform the Barbican Centre foyers into an indie gift market showcasing cult crafters, artisans, designers, hawkers, butches, bakers and candlestick makers. It's a kooky, ultra-fun pop up market and it's totally free!

What are we selling? Beginner knitting kits (including branded Stitch London needles, mini yarn-cutting snips, a how to knit booklet, yarn and other essential bits); beginnner crochet kits (including how to crochet booklet and other essential bits); gorgeous handmade buttons and button-based accessories; over 20 different Stitch London badges; graffiti knitting postcards, greetings cards and prints; Stitch fridge magnets; Stitch London books, and loads more. We'll have a something special for all members of Stitch London who come along on the 21st. Just say the codewords "Woolly Godzilla".

When is it? We'll be there from 6.30pm till 9pm on December 20th, 21st and 22nd and after Christmas on December 29th and 30th.

Where is it? It's at London's Barbican. More info on the venue here.

What else is going on? Duckie promises workshops, pop-up performances and seasonal bonhomie. It's going to be fun with a capital F, we tell you!

AGH! I can't make it! Can I buy Stitch London stuff online?!?!?! The Stitch London shop will be opening in the New Year but Stitch London beginnner knitting kits and Tofty Makes beginner crochet kits will be available at the New Year Newbie Fest on January 3rd 2012. Email to order yours. Go on.
You can also support Stitch London by buying the Stitch London book (with free pigeon knitting kit) or the Knit the City graffiti knitting book. Cool, no?

 Charity: Bid on a kooky little knit for Shelter

This Christmas, as they do every year, homeless charity Shelter will be making sure those that are without homes have somewhere to spend the festive season, and keep warm when it turns frosty. A very noble cause.

Fundraising is taking place many different ways and one of them is via a kooky little knit from Whodunnknit and a rather lovely graphic novel, partly written by her fellow Fleece Stationers (the place Stitch London is run from).

What the book about? Nelson is a one-of-a-kind graphic novel made by 54 comic creators to raise money for Shelter. It tells the story of Nel Baker, the book's main character, by each creator showing one day in each year of Nel's life from birth to the present day.

What does all this have to do with knitting you might ask? To celebrate the book's launch Gosh Comics in Soho are holding a launch party tonight, Friday 25th November from 6pm. There'll be artwork from many of the 54 creators but there'll also be an exclusive Knitted Nel made by Lauren 'Deadly Knitshade' O'Farrell (writer of your Stitch London newsletter and the Stitch London book).

The exclusive Little Knitted Nel will be auctioned on the night and 100% of the proceeds will go to Shelter. She's a total one-off, handknitted and totally handmade. Her entire outfit is handsewn in teeny tiny cashmere and designer fabrics. She's also kind of cute.

If you can't make it to Gosh you can bid on the Little Knitted Nel by email. Just email Gosh with the subject heading “I want to bid on Knitted Nel!” and your bid and contact details in the body of the email. Email bids will close at 7pm tonight, so hurry if you want to bid!

You can also buy the book to support Shelter too. It may not be knitted, crocheted or sewn but every strip was originally drawn by hand and it's a truly beautiful book. It's about as handmade as any knit can be.
Ask Gertrude: Secret Santa Stitching Unsureness

Dear Gerty

Now that the season of the Secret Santa is upon us I’m at a complete loss as to what to make for this year’s Stitching Secret Santa. I was so impressed with the accessories, ornaments and similar delights that leapt forth from the goody bag last year that I feel unequal to the task of producing anything of a similar standard. Have you any suggestions as to what the hip young knitter about town would like to receive, and can I knit it in less than a day?

Yours in a panic
Frantic of Frinton

Dear Frantic

Now how on earth am I supposed to enter the psyche of a “hip young knitter”? Speaking as an ancient acrylic ball of fabulousness I have no arms, so can’t knit, and no legs, hence no for young...I can’t even remember what I had to drink last night, let alone when I was a lass.

More to the point, if I were to suggest pattern X as the ideal all-encompassing Winterval knit that is guaranteed to thrill any recipient, and it can be knitted with the most basic skills in about 45 minutes, no doubt every other item would be a variant of pattern X, and where would the fun be in that?

I can only suggest your contribution to the Secret Santa is something that you would be happy to receive yourself, and in front of an assorted group of friends, acquaintances and near-strangers (it’s probably not the moment for that fun-fur willy-warmer, no matter how much your own heart may crave such an item).

If you feel your offering is a little on the paltry side you can always add chocolates, gin, cake, stitchmarkers or gin to make the package more substantial (if anyone doesn’t like gin I’ll be sat in the corner and will happily swap gin for a cheeky grin and some words of wisdom).

You can use whatever skill you like – knitting, crochet, sewing, beading or polymer clay sculpting if that takes your fancy – and you needn’t make the whole thing – consider a crafted cosy on a useful item for the home or office perhaps?

Finally, you should enjoy making whatever it is that you bring to the Secret Santa, and take pride in your craftiness – if it’s stressing you out you’re doing it wrong – sit down, have some cake and a glass of mulled wine and start over, mind and body refreshed.

Warm woolly love for the festive season

Aunty Gerty xxx

P.S. If any of you stitchers have taken up glass-blowing recently, I could use a new set of Martini glasses – mine all seem to have got broken lately. Ahem.
Stitch London

Keep calm and carry yarn, Stitch Londoners.

Stitch London 
A woolly Godzilla since 2006
Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
Ask Gertrude by Gertrude Woolsworthy and Gerty's Rage Counseller LondonBusKnitter 
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