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stitch,and bitch london

16th February 2009

Stitchin’, Bitchin’ and Going a Bit Magic Loopy

Competition Winners... EXCLUSIVE Sewing Book Discount... Unravel Festival... Alpaca Smooching... Magic Loop

Soggy dripping-wet greetings to you  

We hope this newsletter finds you well, stashing your yarn somewhere dry, and then stomping through the puddles with your wellies on. You know you want to.

Firstly, on a serious note, there are knitty ways to help those affected by the Bush Fires in Australia. Please do what you can. We know how great you S&B Londoners always are.

Also, you SEW wanted to win. You really did. Some of you win did too. Ten lucky winners were notified last week. See the lucky so and sos here. 

If you didn’t win fear not, there’s an exclusive 20% Discount on The Sewing Book for those who didn’t catch the answer-picking sheep’s woolly eye. 

We’ve also got the chance for some Alpaca-smooching knitting workshops, and the Unravel Festival to lure you out into the great green (and a bit soggy) English countryside. Go get your knit on ruralwise. It’ll do you good. 

S&B London have also accidentally fallen into Twitter and now we can’t get out. Follow us here. Not sure what Twitter is? We’ll explain all in next newsletter.


We wept frozen tears of late, as our meeting at the LSE was cancelled due to snow. In the meantime we got down to some ‘knits at home’ and warmed up more than a few London snowmen with our woollies. 

We promise to reschedule with the LSE very soon. Damn you, Jack Frost!

The Royal Festival Hall last week saw not only a humongous turn out of S&B Londoners, but also 15 shiny-eyed eager-to-learn Girl Guides who went home well on their way to their Craft badge thanks to our patient teachers. Thanks to everyone who helped, and to everyone who steered clear of helping and watched in horror as the girls picked it up much quicker than any of us did when we started.

Stitch and Magic Loop Master Class  

Details of the next meeting: 

If you’re still not sure how this magic loop thing works, fear not. Tonight’s meeting will ensure that you leave knowing how to magic loop with your eyes closed doing a one-handed handstand on a trapeze*. As well as acrobatics, there will be the usual high standard of quality stitchin’ and bitchin’. 

From 6pm
Venue: National Theatre in the Long Bar (ground floor main foyer)
South Bank
SE1 9PX 

Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment

*S&B London cannot be held responsible if there happens to be no trapeze in the NT Long Bar.

Stitch and Public House Knitting (hic!)

Details of the meeting after that: 

We’ll be stitching in a good old-fashioned public house this week in the Royal neighborhood. They’ll be pub grub, pints, and plenty of the usual yarn-flavoured loveliness you help us fill public places with each week. 

From 6pm
Venue: The Old Star
66 Broadway

Tel: 020 7222 8755 

Map Nearest Tube: St. James’ Park, Westminster

Stitch and Deli Belly

Details of the meeting after that: 

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

Map Website Nearest Tube: Southwark, Waterloo

Stitch and Oh Sew Lucky Winners

Last newsletter we gave you folks the chance to win yourself a copy of The Sewing Book by answering the question: ‘Which one of these sewing techniques would you use to close the toe of a knitted sock?’  

Unsurprisingly, all but one of you got the answer (a. Kitchener Stitch) correct (we’d love to know where someone had heard of Bathroom stitch…). What socked (sorry, shocked) us was the number of entries we received. You lot really are craft obsessed, aren’t you?  

We’ve been in touch with the lucky winners, and copies of the book should be winging their way through the post as you read this. Our SEW lucky winners were: 

Vaughan Jones

Samantha Halford

Natasha Cox-Abeysinghe

Tina Bragaglia

Lou Dennehy

Serife Nur

Esmée Jenkins

Fran Gerono

Kay McIntosh

Miriam Benitez 

If you didn’t win. don’t despair!  The lovely folks at Dorling Kindersley are offering all you S&B Londoners a VIP discount.  

To receive 20% Off, simply visit the Dorling Kindersley website, add The Sewing Book to your basket, and enter the promotional code VIPBONUS at the checkout.  

Deep down, you always knew you were a VIP, didn’t you?

Stitch and It’s a Kind of Magic

In preparation for our Magic Loop masterclass, we thought we would give you some background reading and viewing to get you clued-up on the wondrous world of Magic Loop. 

I’ve heard of this Magic Loop thing, what’s that all about?

Magic Loop is an alternative way of knitting small circumferences in the round, without using double pointed needles.  It requires a long circular needle and a sprinkle of magic dust.  

Magic, eh? Does that mean only wizards can do it?

No, anyone can do it!  The beauty of this technique is its simplicity.  It is commonly used to knit socks. You can use it to knit anything that has to be knit on double pointed needles, in the round, from hats and gloves to sleeves for jumpers and cardigans.  

Hmm, sounds interesting…what do I need to start Magic Looping?

The yarn for your project and looooong circular needles.  The length of the needles you require will depend on the size of your project, but you should aim for needles approximately 3-4 times longer than the circumference of your project.  So to knit a sock using magic loop you need circular needles that are at least 80cm long.  (Stitch markers and a row counter might also be useful).  

That sounds crazy, surely all the stitches for a sock won’t stretch around an 80cm needle!

It’s true, they won’t!  The technique means you only work half your stitches at once, whilst the rest of your stitches sit on the bendy bit of your circular needle.  

My mind has blown a little bit.  I am very confused.

This handy explanation will help.   

TheKnitWitch also has a YouTube video that is very useful, and as per usual you can always rely on to come to the rescue (scroll down to Magic Loop).  

But S&B London, I still don’t understand!!

Fear not, brave knitter, bring yourself along with your circular needles and yarn to our Magic Loop masterclass, and we can show you how it’s done.

Stitch and Cuddling Real Alpacas

Ever fancied getting up close and personal with a cute cuddly alpaca? The Purl Alpacas farm, near Cambridge, is offering Knitting Workshops where you can do just that.  

First up, enjoy a warm welcoming coffee and home-made biscuits, then meet the actual Alpaca that provided your yarn, and finally get down to some knitting with a unique Purl Alpacas design, gorgeous Alpaca yarn and one-on-one tuition from the designer.  

The workshops are taking place on TUSEDAY 17TH FEBRUARY and SUNDAY 21ST MARCH from 11am to 3pm at Scotland Farm, just outside Cambridge (very close to the A428 at Dry Drayton. Ample car parking is available and full directions will be provided on booking) 

The price is £95 per person, or £90 per person if booking 3 or more places together.  

This all-in price includes:

  • A knitting pack of either Allegro or Bonnie designs in medium size (should you want another pack or size that can be arranged)
  • Home-cooked lunch with a glass of wine
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Knitting tuition
  • Alpaca tour and talks

If you are interested in making a new fluffy and incredibly soft friend email for details. 

They’re so cute!

Stitch and Doing Something to Help Down Under

Everyone is aware of the awful bushfires that are still being fought in the Victoria area of Australia. Two of our lovely S&B Londoners on Raverly have passed on a couple of ways us knitters can help.

Craft Relief: Belsize Square - a Melbourne craft and fabrics store, is asking for donations of handmade gifts to pass on to those who have lost family heirlooms in the fires. To help them start a new family history. A lovely idea. All details of where to send are on their website.

Serendipty's Bushfire Appeal - the lovely Serendipty is running a donation raffle on her blog. Not that you need a good reason to donate to the Red Cross, but as an added bonus you may win some wonderful woolly prizes for AUD$10 donation. See the blog page for more details.

Our thoughts are with all those Down Under.

Stitch and Somewhere Farnham Knitting is Happening…

Somewhere deep in the English countryside a new woolly festival is blooming. The Unravel festival in Farnham promises a chance to see, hear, share and wonder at all things woollen. What more can a stitchin’ individual ask for? 

Workshops, talks, yarn for sale, buttons and bits all produced in creamy old England, and even a Knitting Surgery to take along your sick and troubled WIPs. 

Fascinating yarn-scented people you can see there include knitwear designer and teacher Fiona Morris, Artist Debi Retallick, and designer and author Alison Ellen.

It all happens on the 21st of February from 10am to 5pm. 

Clickety click here to see the site, book tickets online here, or contact them on 01252 745444. Tickets are £5 in advance; £7 on the door, and under 15s get in free. 

Go on, get out of the London smog to find a bit of fresh air and a bit of fresh knitting inspiration. Just don’t step in anything and bring the smell of the country home with you…

Right. It’s cold out and we’re off to put on as many woolly garments as possible before it starts getting warm and we can’t wear them anymore. In the meantime enjoy knitting in the rain, tweet us on Twitter, and we’ll see you and your knitting soon. 

Keep your stash dry, London.

The S&B London Stitchettes x


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