Can't read this newsletter? Click here to see it online.  Want to share the stitching love? Forward to a friend

2 December 2010
Stitch and A Giant Snowball in the Face
KNIT: Free knitted kitty patterns ... EVENT: Stitch London Christmas Shindig ... WIN: Cat books for Christmas ... 
... FREE PATTERNS: Crafty Crafty Christmas ... GERTY: Turkey talk ... WIN: Really Rather Mavellous Raffle Prizes ...

Please note: Stitch London will be changing the newsletter email address to soon. Please put it in your address book or contacts to avoid losing the newsletter to your junk mail folder.
Snowball splattered shivery greetings to you

We hope this newsletter finds you well, feeling a little smug in your cosy creations, decking out snowmen in all kinds of handmade hosiery and feeling festively fine awaiting the Stitch London Christmas shindig or a Christmas stitch up closer to home.

Stitch London Christmas Shindig 8th December
Stitching Secret Santa • Fabulous Raffle
Join Us!
Stitch London learners:   The last learner's lesson of the year is on 2 December. The first lesson of 2011 will be on 4 January. It's going to be a beast! Look out for the learner icon (left) to see dates for learner meetings. Places may be limited so please arrive early to sign up.

Questions? See our Learn to Knit and FAQ pages.
Raffle Prize Envy: We announce over 20 Really Rather Marvellous Raffle Prizes for the Stitch London Christmas Shindig.

Paws make prizes: Win a lovely pile of cats for Christmas with a craft-flavoured set of There Are Cats In This Book and There Are No Cats in This Book picture books by Viviane Schwarz.

Fabric felines: Knit yourself a cat and stitch up a sock monkey with free patterns.

Crafty Christmas: Crafty Crafty offers you free patterns for the whole of December

Gerty vs Cranberry Sauce: Our woolly agony aunt goes toe to toe with the Christmas turkey

Quick notice: Sadly we won't be able to make The Bothered Owl Christmas Yarn Party. Boo. It's still happening though. Go!
Stitch London meetings:
For more information on each venue click on 'More info' to go to our Venues page

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

Map More info

WEDNESDAY 8 December
Time: From 6pm 
Venue: Stamford Arms 
62 Stamford Street 

Map More info

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

Map More info

Stitch and Something Shiny at the Christmas Shindig

It's less than a week till the Stitch London Christmas Shindig on 8 December.

Here at The Fleece Station we're being overrun with donations from some generous crafty folks. Wanna see what you can win?

Stitch London Really Rather Marvellous Raffle Prizes
  1. A skein of Wollmeise from Loop 
  2. Sparkly yarn-themed jewellery from Knitty Flitty
  3. Knit-themed cards and teatowels from Tillyflop Designs
  4. High-heel stockings from Cheeky handmade
  5. Lots of bobbins of chunky cotton and lycra fabric yarn from Hoopla Yarn
  6. 2 hand dyed skeins from Lotus Blossom Knit
  7. Knitty brooch, earring and badge set from Max’s World
  8. 2 sets of Knit Nation yarn and sheep tape measures from a mystery gifter
  9. Knitter’s Bucket bag from The Bothered Owl
  10. Ginger Bread Sock kit from Nature’s Luxury 
  11. Voucher for a Workshop and a skein of delicious Mulberry Silk Yarn from
  12. A skein of hand-dyed something fabulous (TBC) and an exclusive calendar from Skein Queen
  13. 3 limited edition eco bags designed by Inside Out + goodies from YSH
  14. A copy of Vintage Gifts to Knit from the Susan Crawford
  15. Signed copy of Vern and Lettuce book from Sarah MacIntyre
  16. Signed copy of Derek the Sheep book from Gary Northfield
  17. Limited edition Gocco print signed by artists from Ellen Lindner
  18. 6 Skeins of Kohinoor Silk Yarn from Sari Silk
  19. Handmade cosy earwarmer and wristwarmer set from Bad Schnoodles
  20. Vintage-inspired earwarmer kits from My Vintage Dresser
  21. And a set of Stitch London badges, fridge magnet and Graffiti Knitting postcards from us
 How much are tickets? Tickets will be £1 each and all money raised from the Really Rather Marvellous Raffle will go to The Serendip Children's Home in Sri Lanka. Cool, eh?
Exclusive Stitch London offer: Knitshop are offering a 15% Christmas discount to all Stitch Londoners (offer ends 28.2.2011)

Can't make the party? If you miss it we'll have Stitching Secret Santa: The Return on Wednesday 15 December. We promise to make it Christmassy too.

Want to donate something? Email
Stitch Crafty Curious Cats for Christmas
Knitting and cats have a love/hate relationship. Cats stalk yarn ends, sleep in your stash and feel the need to chew through your yarn while you're knitting because it tastes a little like sheep.

On the other hand they're often content to purr it up quietly while you purl, and both of you appreciate a good ball of yarn (even if one of you is likely to want to chase it about the floor like it's alive).

So for Christmas we're proud to offer you some of the nicest cats in the world of kids' books from the talented writer/illustrator/crafter Viviane Schwarz.

There Are No Cats in This Book is Viviane's latest cat-filled picture book from Walker Books. It follows hot on the paws of There Are Cats in This Book (so good it was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Prize), and tells the tale of three fine felines and their adventures across the pages. Moonpie, André and Tiny love wool almost as much as you. They also love cardboard boxes, pillow fights and making new friends furry or otherwise.

Both books feature a little bit of knitting and we thought they'd be perfect for you to encourage any sticky-fingered urchins you meet this Christmas to settle down with some kooky cats and leave you to your knitting.

The book-loving folks at Walker Books have offered us five sets of There Are Cats in This Book and There Are No Cats in This Book to give away to you, you lucky cat lovers.

All you need to do to give yourself a chance to win is answer this Christmas-themed stitching question:

The stitch pattern of knit one row, purl one row is known by which name?
a. Stinking stitch
b. So-easy-I-can-watch-a-subtitled-film-while-I-knit stitch
c. Stocking stitch

Drop us an email at with:
  • The subject line "If I win I will purr very loudly"
  • Answer A, B or C
  • Your full name, contact email and address (Anyone can enter. Even if you live outside the UK)
The deadline for the competition is Friday 10 December at 8pm.

Please note: Offering to dress your cat up like a person and attempt to get it on the Royal Wedding guest list by calling it an 'aristocat' may amuse us but it won't help you win. Just answer the question (correctly) and cross your fingers. Good luck!

Competition rules: 1. One entry per person. 2. Competition ends 10 December 2010 at 8pm. 3. No cash alternatives. 4. Winners will be drawn from all correct answers, and notified via email. 5. If winners don’t reply within two weeks of being notified then new winners will be chosen. 6. Prizes will be posted to the winners by publishers.
Stitch and Cat Craft

Now you've met the cats we're sure you'll want to invite them into your home. Lucky for you there are more than enough cats to go round as you can knit your own.

Find the free There Are Cats in This Book knitting pattern here.

Not into cats? There's a sock monkey tutorial on Viviane's blog too. Go bananas.
Stitch and 23 Stitching Days till Christmas

Over at Crafty Crafty there's a fair bit of free stitching going on. They've promised to track down a new free knitting pattern every week day till the santa arrives.

So far, they kicked things off in scarf style with Knitterbird's Murielle Scarf and we've seen a baby turned into a Christmas tree through the magic of hat knitting.

There's also plenty of other stitching going on so crochet and sewing types don't feel left out.

For easier updates you can friend Crafty Crafty on Facebook and stalk them on Twitter too.
 Ask Gertrude: Cranberry Cashmere Crisis
Dear Gerty,

   I have long been an admirer or your pristine pink fibres and I’d like to know the secret to your good looks.
 Each Christmas I knit charming gifts for my family, but every year without fail there are scarves being dragged through the turkey, jumpers spattered with gravy and berets bestowed with brandy butter before the Queens’ Speech has begun. Let’s not mention what happened to great-aunt Lillian’s wrist-warmers last year, suffice to say there was an incident involving a flaming pudding and the Fire Brigade were not amused to have their lunch so rudely interrupted.

 How can I fix these ruined knits? I’m at my wit’s end.
Chris Mistry,
Camden Lock
Drunken Christmas Gerty image by Clare Tovey

Dear Chris,

Well I’m flattered that you ask, my dear, but no amount of Woolite or Soak can give a girl the
natural lustre that comes from lovingly twined acrylic that has been burnished by the years.

My initial response would be that your family don’t appreciate your lovingly crafted knits, so don’t
waste your time – get them vouchers, or better yet gift cards which are less flammable and wipe-

But you clearly love your family, even though they are crazy – so why not knit them something out of
plarn (easily cleaned), cotton (easily washed), or fun-fur (which won’t upset you if it does catch fire)?

And I would suggest you knit aprons or collars for your family, as they sound like a mucky bunch with
the table manners of animals.
Save your good yarn as you would your Battenburg or Hendrick’s: to
share with the friends who truly appreciate it.

Or you could liquidise the Christmas dinner and serve it in spill-proof cups. That way none of your
knits will be ruined with fat-stains or set on fire, and you can slip an extra-large gin into your dinner
with no one noticing.

Go on, treat yourself – it’s nearly Christmas!

Yours in a gin-soaked haze

Gerty xx
If you're missing the stitching you can catch up with fellow Stitch Londoners worldwide on our message board, and stalk us through the snow on   and .

May your snowballs fly true, Stitch Londoners.

Stitch London x

Edited and sewn together with words by Deadly Knitshade
with help from Gertrude Woolsworthy, Gerty's Anger Management Coach London Bus Knitter, proofreading queen Clearstar, cat banner creating Viviane Schwarz and Gerty artiste Clare Tovey.
Stitch London promise not to share your email address with anyone, not even if they ask us nicely and offer us sweet, sweet cake or cashmere. Stitch London is run by one frazzled founder and a host of volunteers so please be patient if we make mistakes.