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12 August 2011
Stitch...  and Knitting the City Back Together   
Tea and cake after a tough week-flavoured greetings to you
We hope this newsletter finds you well, and that you're feeling the calm after the storm as London and the UK pull together to recover from recent chaos and start putting things back together.

Stitch London learners: We offer learner knitter sessions at the first meeting of each month. Look out for the learner icon (left) to see dates for learner meetings. 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

  A Little London Love: Learn how to become a Riot Womble and grab yourself a free London Lovedon Heart knitting pattern (no looting necessary).   
Arty Knit the Museum We're learning to knit and making a bit of arty graffiti at Tate Britain and you're all invited.

Socktor Who? Win one of OneHandKnits' cosmic TARDIS sock patterns before the daleks come along and capture them.

Save the Date: Two book launches, competitions, the chance to take part in a graffiti art piece and special offers. Woo hoo!

Stash Looter Beware Our woolly agony aunt Gertrude Woolsworthy advises on how to keep calm and carry yarn.


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


THURSDAY 18 August 

Time: From 6pm
Venue: Royal Festival Hall (Level 2)
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road
Map More info
 WEDNESDAY 24 August

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

Map More info 

FRIDAY 2 September

Time: From 6 to 10pm
Tate Britain


Map More info 
  MONDAY 5 September 

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

Map  More info
FREE KNITTING PATTERN: London Lovedon Heart 

There really is nothing anyone can say that can make the madness of this week make sense. Bits of London have awoken disillusioned and beaten-up and times are sad.

But rather than lock our doors Londoners are grabbing their brooms, pulling on their gardening gloves and getting out there to help the Riot Wombles clean up the capital. Hooray for Londoners!

Here are a few ways you can help:

Riot Clean Up has a list of locations where clean ups are happening

@riotcleanup on Twitter is out there with the clean up teams and is tweeting away

Post riot clean-up: let’s help London are doing a bang up job of keeping helping opportunities up to date on Facebook

Knit a London Lovedon Heart and set it free in the city

Norwegian knitter Kaja Marie Lereng Kvernbakken (one of our global Stitch Londoners out there in the world), recently made the OsLove knitted heart pattern to show love and support after the sad events in Norway. This week she has updated the pattern with two new hearts for London, the Lovedon Hearts Knitting Pattern.

Kaja Marie says “My hope is that you will use this pattern, tweak it as you wish, and make hearts, loads of them: To remember what happened in Oslo and on Utøya or anywhere else where a little bit of love is needed. Pin it close to your heart, give to a friend or a stranger, let it out in the wild as graffiti knitting, so that the heart can find whoever needs it. Knit it in any colour, with or without words, knit them and share them.”

Once the clean up is over and the knitting starts again we hope to see these little Lovedon hearts spreading the love.

Woolly hugs to you all. Let's hope that we can unpick the problems and start casting on new rows, where the dropped stitches and tangles in society (that means all of you looters, hackers, greedy banks and sneaky politicians included) are all put back on the needles the right way. Power to the Riot Wombles!

COMPETITION: Win a TARDIS Sock Pattern from OneHandKnits

Dr Who? Yes, that's the bloke. Yes, but Dr Who? Yeah, him. AGH!

For those of you love time-travelling rogue Dr Who this competition will get all two of your Gallifreyan hearts beating. Dr Who! Socks! A TARDIS on your toes!

Ever-helpful Stitch London Stitch Sage and all-round fabulous person Anna Richardson, also known as OneHandKnits, has been designing knitting patterns for 10 years (and if you could travel back in time with the Doc you'd find her casting on aged 4) and claims to have "lived a poor but happy life fuelled by yarn." You can stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry and her own website:

Her dimension-defying toe-up knee-high sock pattern was inspired by that most famous of time and space travellers, Dr Who. It features a cable and police phonebox lace pattern with expanded calf containing the initials ‘DW’ worked in.

The pattern is one-size (adult female size 7 UK) with instructions on how to adapt for smaller or larger feet and calves, and has easy to follow charts with additional written instructions.

All you need to do is answer this Dr Who-flavoured question (it's a toughie if you're not a big fan but there's always Google):

What does the Doctor call the T.A.R.D.I.S when he thinks no-one can hear him?

A: Sexy
B: Mum
C: Cyberman Eater
D: Davros

Drop us an email at with:  

• The subject line"I want to be Dr Who's knitting assistant!" (Please make sure you enter the right subject otherwise your entry might get missed) 
• Answer A, B, C or D
• Your full name, contact email and which city and country you live in

Special Bonus Ravelry Extra: For a chance to win an additional free OneHandKnits pattern of your choice (and there are some very lovely ones) here's what to do:
  1. Log in to with your account
  2. Go to OneHandKnits Ravelry pattern store
  3. Leave a comment on any pattern (you can favouite it too if you like)
  4. Add the line: "I commented on (put pattern name here). My comment number is (put comment number shown in top right of comment on Comments page here)." to your competition email, along with the correct answer to the question.
As with most Stitch London competitions anyone can enter. Even if you live outside the UK. The deadline for the competition is 21 August at 8pm.

Just so you know: Dr Who and T.A.R.D.I.S are Trademarks of the BBC and OneHandKnits isin no way affiliated with the program Dr Who or with the BBC.

Competition rules: 1. One entry per person. 2. Competition ends 21 August 2011 at 8pm. 3. No cash alternatives. 4. Winners will be drawn from all correct answers, and sent the pattern as a PDF via email. 5. Competition open to everyone, including people outside London and the UK.

Fancy an arty night out with a bit of knitting thrown in? Stitch London are teaming up with London's Tate Britain museum for a night dedicated to their Restless Times exhibition.

The evening explores the vital creativity that Britain produced during the great uncertainty and turbulent change of the first half of the twentieth century, from a contemporary viewpoint through performances, workshops, music, talks and films. Does the art of the past say anything about our own troubled, restless and vibrant life today?

What's it got to do with knitting? In a workshop inspired by the Restless Times exhibition Stitch London Stitch Sages will be teaching knitting to anyone who wants to learn, and there'll be plenty of room for those who know how to stitch already. The knitted pieces which will then be used to create knitting graffiti in a 'make do and mend' meets-street-art twist. Simple knitted squares will be turned into graffiti butterflies or sheep and will be added to a woolly art installation throughout the evening.

Alongside this sneaky graffiti knitters Knit the City will be installing their woolly mischief around the museum. How many of their woolly artworks can you find as you explore the hallowed halls of one of London's most famous museums?

Join us for an arty night of the knit.

What to bring:
  • Needles and yarn if you want to learn (some will be supplied but you won't be able to take those home)
  • Any brightly coloured yarn if you want to knit graffiti
  • Yourselves and anyone else you fancy bringing along
More info
SAVE THE DATE: Two exclusive events and competitions!

Stitch London cordially invites you to not one but TWO yarn-flavoured book launches! Woo hoo!

This autumn sees the release of two shiny new knitting books with strong Stitch London links and you're invited to eat cake, drink fizzy and celebrate both of them.

Not in London? And if you're not in London you can still WIN a copy of the books! There'll be question competitions for you to enter, and a global photo competition and the chance to join in with a graffiti art piece from anywhere too!

All will be revealed in the next two newsletters

Special Stitch Londoner offers: We'll announce two very special Stitch Londoner offers (which means you get the books cheaper than anyone else just by being a member of Stitch London) very soon. the City: A Whodunnknit set in London by the mysterious Deadly Knitshade.

Knit the City is a collection of the sneaky stitching pictures and stories of London's infamous sneaky stitching graffiti knitting group, Knit the City.

The book also includes two knitting patterns to create a little yarnstorming magic of your own.

SAVE THE DATE: 16 August 2010
To be confirmed


Stitch London: 20 Kooky Ways to Knit the City and more by Stitch London's Chief Woolly Godzilla Wrangler, Lauren O'Farrell

Stitch London crams over 20 kooky little London-flavoured knitting patterns into one lovely book, whether you’re just visiting, striving to survive as a city knitter or just love London to bits there's something in here to make you go squeeeee!

SAVE THE DATE: 5 October 2010
Venue: To be confirmed

Watch this space for fabulous things soon to be announced for both books. Hurrah!
Ask Gertrude: Staving Off the Stash Looters (and Zombies) 

 Dear Gerty,
It’s so heartening to see cities up and down the UK working together, pulling their hand-knitted socks up and setting things straight after the recent unrest, but I am worried – how can I protect my stash from any future looters, rioters, or post-apocalyptic zombies? Will I get into trouble for taking the law into my own hands?
Big woolly hugs,
Anxious of Archway

Dear Anxious,
First of all I do so agree with you – the sight of the 100-broom salute brought a tear to my buttony old eyes and made my stiff acrylic upper lip wobble no small amount. Good show chaps, keep it up!
Now to address your dilemma, I cannot advise strongly enough against vigilantism – I don’t care if your stash is spun of the finest mohair and hand-dyed by Kaffe Facet himself, or if your needles are family heirlooms that where whittled by Elizabeth Zimmerman during a contemplative moment, walking the streets armed with over-size needles in a somewhat threatening manner is counter-productive, and takes up valuable knitting (or drinking) time.
The best course of action is to stay at home with a nice cup of tea (or gin) and a slice of Battenberg, arranging your yarns in order of flammability (perhaps invest in a fire-proof safe if you love all things acrylic), and whip up some Lovedon love hearts to adorn your neighbourhood.
Take the time to check on elderly  neighbours and see if they need any errands running – it will give you the opportunity to survey your locale and make you feel all warm and fuzzy when they offer you more tea and cake (who said kindness needs to be selfless?).
Unless of course it really is a zombie invasion, in which case ignore all of the above – pack your most precious fibres into a grab-bag to keep by the front door, if approached by an undead (Is that politically correct? Shouldn’t it be ‘life-limited?’)  aim for the head with the nearest heavy object, and if all else fails run for the hills, and I’ll see you at the top of Snowdon.

Keep calm and carry yarn
Gerty xxx

Stitch London

Keep calm and carry yarn, Stitch Londoners.
Stitch London x 
 A woolly Godzilla since 2005
Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
with help from Gertrude Woolsworthy and Gerty's Rage Counseller LondonBusKnitter.
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