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12th Feb 2010
Stitchin' Bitchin' and Saving All Our Stash For Yoooooooou
... Free Valentine's Pattern ... New Stitchette! Say Hello To The Fibre Flinger ... Farewell Knitting Ninja ...
... Pah! Anti-Valentine Knits ... Gerty on the Trials of Knitting Love ...

Slurpy smoochy snog-filled greetings to you 

We hope this newsletter finds you well, fighting off the bitter cold with the warm glow of sweet stitching lurrrrrve in you hearts (or Ready Brek in your stomach) and keeping cosy in your handknits until spring comes around that corner over there. It is over there, right? It must be.

S&B London learners: Free knitting lessons will take place twice a month at S&B London meetings. Check for the Learners Lesson icon next to the meeting title.
Please note: Knitting lessons are free but please remember your teachers are volunteers and give them a thank you at the end of the night for giving up their time. Thank-you cake and booze offers are also very much appreciated.


Give your heart: Looking for a last-minute handmade gift to give to the one you love or just fancy something fancy to pin on your sleeve?  Our exclusive Stitched Heart on Your Sleeve free knitting pattern by The Fastener.
Cold cold heart: Not feeling the love for the commercialism of Valentine's Day and overpriced menus in overcrowded restaurants? Read our guide to a few alternative activities for the day.
Breaking our hearts: We say adieu (but never goodbye) to long-serving Stitchette the Knitting Ninja after four years of spreading the love of the knit.  Read her stitchette story below.
Opening our hearts: We unveil our newest (and first male) Stitchette. Read all about him below. We're sure you'll love him as much as we do.
She's all heart: Our Gerty shows her softer side and offers some words of wisdom to a new knitter who can't choose between his old and new love.  She also escaped her harness long enough to set up her own Facebook page and her own Twitter account.  Whatever will she get up to next?
Knitting your heart out: Ravelympics starts tomorrow! Why not join our Ravelympics Team over on Ravelry?
Feel like passing on the knitting love? Email us to volunteer as a Stitch Sage and teach at a meeting. You get a lovely exclusive Stitch Sage badge too.
Lego love: Five lucky winners won a Legotastic project bag and set of stitchmarkers from our feathered friends at The Bothered Owl: Brigitte Onyskiw, Flossie Low, Caroline Bach, Angela Soloman and Yusuf Osman

At Stamford Arms we raised over £200 for Medicins Sans Frontieres,
wrestling for yarn in our Yarn Swap. We also had a visit from P/hop
who let us know a bit about MSF. S&B Londoners were their usually
overwhelmingly generous giving their yarn new homes with all proceedsto the help Haiti. The lovely Jenny Willett also raffled off a blanket for Haiti raising £145 for Haiti too and the lovely Stamford Arms
staff chucked in a donation of their own.

We packed the pub rafters, teaching some newbies to knit standing up.
Thanks to the wonderful Stitch Sages for puling out all the teaching
stops yet again. You can see pics and more from the night on our

At the University of the Arts, we enjoyed the free wine and beer while helping students with their aim of going green with a little bit of knitting, and The Fastener showed us her heart. Green is the new black, you know.

Stitch and it ain't over till the fat lady sings
Details of the next meeting:
Join us for a spot of knitting to music. Grab your sticks (or hook) and string and run on down to the South Bank, you know you want to...
Time: From 6pm
Venue: The Royal Festival Hall (Level 2)
Address: South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XX
Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment 

Stitch and camel? what camel?
Details of the meeting after that:
Fancy knitting in a lovely london pub with comfy sofas, cider behind the bar (and often next to our knitting), good food and even a book crossing to swap your books?  We have the perfect place.
Wednesday 24th February
Venue: The Camel and Artichoke
121 Lower Marsh
Map Nearest Tube: Lambeth North, Waterloo

Stitch and are we really too old to love Twilight?
Details of the meeting after that:
TUESDAY 2nd March
Time: From 6pm
Venue: The New Moon
88 Gracechurch Street
Map Website Nearest Tube: Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument

Stitch and woolly love is in the air

MWA! If you really do insist on mushy love stuff and wish to give a huge stitching smooch to some one you adore, and haven’t got your fill of love hearts from all the cutesy Valentine’s window displays about London town, we thought we'd give you another reason to go all mushy and loved up.

The Fastener has created an exclusive S&B London free pattern to give a little bit of wooly love for you to wear your woolly hearts on your sleeves this Valentine’s Day.

Join in on the fluffyness by making your own vintage-style Stitched Heart on Your Sleeve brooch from the free pattern on our blog.


Stitch and 10 things we'd rather do than go to a restaurant on Valentine's Day

  1. Wrestle Gerty whilst blindfolded and with both arms tied behind our backs.
  2. Knit a ball gown in lace weight moss stitch...on cocktail sticks...
  3. Crochet a chestwig from eyelash yarn and model it.
  4. Knit a phonebox cosy.
  5. See how many knitting needles and crochet hooks we can attach to our faces just by gurning.
  6. Splinter our Knit Picks Harmony DPNs and then use those splinters to build a scale model of the Houses of Parliament.
  7. Burn our stash.
  8. Crochet ourselves knickers in pound shop acrylic.
  9. Give our finest knits to our arch nemeses.
  10. Knit the entire cast of Lost and reenact our interpretation of the final season.

Stitch and Say┼Źnara Knitting Ninja
S&B London sighs a sigh as a member of its first band of bright eyed and bushy tailed Stitchettes, Joelle ‘Knitting Ninja’ Finck, leaves teaching the knit to continue on her mission to teach English as a second language.
Over the years Joelle has been a stitching stalwart. She has taught literally hundreds of new knitters all over London from the shadow of the London Eye to the more familiar Royal Festival Hall to the echoey Turbine Hall of the Tate.
She’s sewed together more blanket squares and knitted bits than most of us will see in a lifetime, and was one of the Lion Ladies who helped wrap the Trafalgar Square lions in 550ft of knitted loving back in 2007. She's taken part in almost every major S&B London event so far Racing for Life, knitting for charity and purling for pennies.
Ahead of the cute and fluffy game when it comes to the Far East, she also happily dragged most of us into the world of overwhelmingly cute amigurumi before any of us even knew what it was. She was an S&B ambassador who took word of our woolly works all the way to Japan, where she stitched and bitched in Tokyo.
Last year she also appeared on BBC News to spread the knitting love at 7am,  then spent a full day Knit Crawling across London in a knitted moustache to raise money for Prostate Cancer teaching all the way.  Dedication to the love of the knit few can claim to have outdone.

Joelle contributed some giggle-soaked articles and perfectly purled patterns to the S&B London blog in her Stitchette time. Her Knitted Ladybird has been spotted snacking on woolly leaves all over the place, she designed a cosy chemo cap for last year’s Race for Life, and her Stitched Starfish still finds its way onto people’s needles today.
It is only fair to say that without her calming influence there are fears that our stitching sanity is possibly slightly at risk.
Always the first to leap to the rescue of a dropped stitch, an endlessly patient teacher, an incredibly creative sneaky stitcher, and someone who volunteered for everything; Joelle will be greatly missed as part of the Stitchette team.
Say┼Źnara , Knitting Ninja, and ganbatte ne xxx
See more pics of Joelle's Stitchette story and say your goodbyes here on our blog.

Stitch and a woolly welcome to the greatest show on earth!

Ladies and gentlemen! Children of all ages! Today we introduce you to something you've never set your eyes upon in your life! Put your hands together and welcome into the ring Yusuf 'The Fibre Flinger' Osman. He's male! He's your new Stitchette! He's the ONLY one in the world!

Swinging in on his trapeze from his north London home, Yusuf juggles many talents aside from being a smart stitcher, some of which you lucky S&B Londoners have sampled.

He's been one of our Stitch Sages since they first began and has taught an impressive number of newbies considering he was a newbie himself not so long ago; doing backflips and somersaults stitchwise to get others knitting.

He's also a trainee solicitor; he climbs ropes, juggles and performs other amazing circus tricks, and is happiest when standing on his head or hands; he bakes (he's the one with the chocolate chip cookies and boy those biscuits are good!); and his recycled leather accessories are enviously beautiful.

Frankly he's one talented blokey, and we're thrilled to have him as the latest addition to the Stitchette team to walk the tightrope of the knit with us.

We can't wait for him to wrestle Gerty for his initiation.
Ask Gertrude: Stitching or smooching?
A loved up knitter turns to Aunty Gerty to untangle the problem of his love of the knit and his green-eyed girl.

Dear Gerty

Lately I find that my girlfriend is becoming envious of my yarn stash. She seems to think I spend more time with my knitting than I do with her. I am worried I may have to stop knitting in order to keep our love off the rocks.

Is there anything I can do to keep my knitting and my girl?

Yours torn
Tangled of Tottenham

Tangled of Tottenham you really are quiet a sad little man. Choose between your yarn and your lady? Where is the choice, I ask you?! It's like asking Gerty to choose between a nice gin and tonic and a glass of tap water.

But as you do seem to need to love of a good woman as well as your yarny amour I have a few suggestions for you.

You could always encourage her to take up a hobby of her own so you can mock it in return. I've always been fond of throwing my scorn at those who totter along the glue-and-glitter gutter that is scrapbooking.

If you can't get her hooked then simply join a scrapbooking website under her name, spend large amounts of time on said website, then simply present her with the evidence of just how much time she devotes to scrapbooking. Her confusion and your insistence that it was she who posted 400 times in the "Whimsical scrapbooking papers" thread may be enough to shut her up about the whole thing while she questions her own sanity. Perhaps she'll be sitting quietly rocking in a corner, but it's effective nonetheless.

Taking up a more worrying hobby could also be a winner. Historical war re-enactment perhaps. Start wearing fleeces, grow a scrubby underbeard and hang out in Games Workshops. She'll beg you to go back to the knitting and start shaving properly.

Another idea is to show her photos of Russell Crowe knitting. Then make yourself a Russell Crowe mask and wear the mask each time you knit in her presence. If you bulk up enough and get a bit ranty she won't be able to tell the difference and will just be pleased to find a hot celebrity crafting in her home.

If all else fails dump her and move on. Deep down you know that anyone who doesn't understand your feelings for fibre is no good.

Why not use your yarn stash to knit yourself a replacement girlfriend? Think of the benefits. She'd be warm, woolly and winsome. She'd be one with your yarn stash rather than against it. She'd also make a fine draught excluder in this chilly season.

Or save your stash and join a knitting group where you might well find a girlfriend who won't whine about your time with your sticks and string. There are many fine fibre-fevered fillies at S&B London meetings each week just longing for a knitting Romeo to share their stitching with. Though you may experience stash envy of a different kind. Many knitting romances have ended in sorry 'my stash is bigger than your stash' break ups too scandalous to impart here online. You have been warned.

See this question and others that didn’t make the newsletter on Gerty’s blog.
Do you have secret stitching shame that only a giant pink ball of yarn with a penchant for cake, gin and wrestling can help with? Email her at

Well, we hope we've left you feel woolly and warm and loved.  For a bit more group lovin' and sharing of joy and pain, join us walking the Race For Life on the 13th June. And don't forget you can reach out on Twitter and our Ravelry message board and we'll be there.
Send words of love, cake, confusion and events to
So long, lovelies.  Until next time.

The S&B London Stitchettes x



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