Stitch London Blog

The Fabulous Story of Stitch London (formerly Stitch and Bitch London)

  • Archive for the ‘John Smedley Yarnstorm’ Category

    John Smedley Yarnstorm: The Big Event!

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 12, 2010

    So us folks at Stitch London along with Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers joined forces to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event took place on October 11 at the John Smedley store on Brook Street. There was bubbly, there was wool, there was yarnstorming. Wanna see?

    Each of our sneaky stitchers made a little piece of John Smedley history.

    1784

    Shorn-a the Dead conjured up the founding of the historic mill where the process of sheep to yarn to woolly jumper was first perfected.

     

    From woolly creatures to woolly jumpers

    From woolly creatures to woolly jumpers

     

     

    Two smiling sheep

     

    1784 saw the first record of the Lea Mills, historic mill building on the factory site for ‘spinning fine wools and cotton’.

    1820s

    The Fastener produced a finely dressed Victorian lady who was happy to tell the world that only the finest folks wore John Smedley underwear.

     

    Only the finest ladies...

     

    In the 1820s John Smedley installed the first knitting frames in a factory environment to knit underwear.

    The company prospered in the Victorian era, in the heartland of the industrial revolution. It was one of the first factories,as they are known today and this era sees major further developments from Water wheel to electricity.

    1920s

    Yusuf Osman whipped up a waving washing line complete with flapping pairs of Smedley underwear blowing the wind.

    Pants to any underwear that isn't Smedley

     

    In the 1820s John Smedley installed the first knitting frames in a factory environment to knit underwear.

    The company prospered in the Victorian era, in the heartland of the industrial revolution. It was one of the first factories,as they are known today and this era sees major further developments from Water wheel to electricity.

    1960s

    Marion Crick found her fibre inspiration in the 60s with a little vroom vroom on a handmade moped and an embroidered scene of mods modelling their Smedley threads.

     

    Keen to keep up with the latest looks the guys decided to wear their newest Smedley gear to the new Mod club. Steve got the message slightly wrong.

     

    In the 1960s John Smedley went from underwear to outerwear. They made the breakthrough from a heavy reliance on the production in underwear to more outerwear styles, particularly in the European and American markets, where the demand for smart ‘Sports wear’ look is strong.

    1980s

    Emma-Lee Yarwood gots her 80s on via the medium of fabric fabulousness with her New Romantic scene.

     

    Fade to grey

     

    In the 1980s the designers discovered the manufacturing capability of John Smedley. They collaborated with some of the world’s most famous designers, the likes of Katherine Hamnett, Vivienne Westwood, Commes des garcons, Paul Smith and Margaret Howell.

    1990s

    Deadly Knitshade turned her yarnstorm Japanese to show Smedley taking on the latest knitting machine technology from the Far East.

     

    Robot knit knit knitting

     

    In the 1990s John Smedley opened the flagship store at Brook street, started the web store, and installed the latest Japanese machines, capable of patterning garments and multi-stripes.


    Fabric scraps take flight

    The lovely Lady Loop put her needles to work on making a handmade hive and handsome Smedley fabric bugs and butterflies.

     

     

     

    A Stitched Self fashion parade

    And not forgetting the fashion parade of 11 of John Smedley’s most iconic items, including the Long Johns which the company invented!

     

     

    The John Smedley Bridge

    And last but by no means least the John Smedley factory bridge. This marvellous monster was created by The Fastener (with a little bit of help from Deadly Knitshade and Shorn-a the Dead) and is a tribute to the bridge on site at the real life Smedley factory. An astonishing work of fabric and inspiration.

     

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/38202796@N06/5075849179

    The bridge in all its finery

     

    Let the yarnstorm commence!

    After admiring it all it was time to yarnstorm. And yarnstorm they did.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A yarnstormed window by Stitch London and Knit the City

     

    The installation will be in the John Smedley window at their Brook Street store for the next two weeks. Go and see it!

    Have a happy Wool Week, everyone!

    Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, Knit, London Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    John Smedley yarnstorm: sneak peek Day Six

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 12, 2010

    Stitch London and Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers are teaming up to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event took place on October 11 but while we upload the pics here’s a little sneak peek to keep you in the woolly loop.

    Sneak peek six is from Deadly Knitshade who turns her yarnstorm Japanese.

     

    Knit 101010100101 purl 10101001001010

     

    In the 1990s John Smedley opened the flagship store at Brook street, started the web store, and installed the latest Japanese machines, capable of patterning garments and multi-stripes.

    Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, London Knitting, We forgot to pick one | Leave a Comment »

    John Smedley Yarnstorm: sneak peek Day Five

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 9, 2010

    Stitch London and Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers are teaming up to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event takes place on October 11 but here’s a little sneak peek to keep you in the woolly loop.

    Sneak peek five is from Yusuf Osman who says pants to undies that aren’t stylish.

     

    Undercrackers are us

     

    In the 1920s John Smedley began offering underwear for men, women and children, along with nightwear, swimwear and some outerwear in the 1940s.

    Posted in Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, Knitting News | 1 Comment »

    John Smedley Yarnstorm: sneak peek Day Four

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 8, 2010

    Stitch London and Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers are teaming up to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event takes place on October 11 but here’s a little sneak peek to keep you in the woolly loop.

    Sneak peek four is from Shorn-a the Dead who goes back to where it all began.

     

    Baaaaavellous yarn!

     

    1784 saw the first record of the Lea Mills, historic mill building on the factory site for ‘spinning fine wools and cotton’.

    Posted in Events, John Smedley Yarnstorm, Knitting celebrities, Knitting News, Links, London Knitting, Meetings | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    John Smedley Yarnstorm: sneak peek Day Three

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 7, 2010

    Stitch London and Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers are teaming up to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event takes place on October 11 but here’s a little sneak peek to keep you in the woolly loop.

    Sneak peek three is from Marion Crick who gets her 60s on with a little vroom vroom.

     

    Ciao bella!

     

    In the 1960s John Smedley went from underwear to outerwear. They made the breakthrough from a heavy reliance on the production in underwear to more outerwear styles, particularly in the European and American markets, where the demand for smart ‘Sports wear’ look is strong.

    Posted in Events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, London Knitting, Meetings | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    John Smedley Yarnstorm: sneak peek Day Two

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 6, 2010

    Stitch London and Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers are teaming up to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event takes place on October 11 but here’s a little sneak peek to keep you in the woolly loop.

    Sneak peek two is from Emma-Lee Yarwood who gets her 80s on via the medium of fabric fabulousness.

    Smedley and a bit of sparkle

    In the 1980s the designers discovered the manufacturing capability of John Smedley. They collaborated with some of the world’s most famous designers, the likes of Katherine Hamnett, Vivienne Westwood, Commes des garcons, Paul Smith and Margaret Howell.

    Posted in Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, Knit | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    John Smedley Yarnstorm: sneak peek Day One

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 5, 2010

    Stitch London and Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers are teaming up to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event takes place on October 11 but here’s a little sneak peek to keep you in the woolly loop.

    Sneak peek one is from The Fastener who wanders through the Victorian era with her wool.

    The height of Victorian fashion, donchyaknow

    In the 1820s John Smedley installed the first knitting frames in a factory environment to knit underwear.

    The company prospered in the Victorian era, in the heartland of the industrial revolution. It was one of the first factories,as they are known today and this era sees major further developments from Water wheel to electricity.

    Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, Knit, Knitting celebrities, Knitting News, London Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Stitch London meet the folks at John Smedley

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 5, 2010

    Back in the summer Stitch London were contacted by a giant in knitting history, the good folks at John Smedley. John Smedley are one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, established 225 years ago in 1784. That is some serious time knitting.

    John Smedley invited the Stitch London Stitchettes up to Matlock in lovely Derbyshire to see where the knitwear action happens and learn a little about the Smedley Family.

    Fancy coming with us on the factory tour?

    The historic John Smedley factory in the heart of lovely green Matlock

    We arrive at the John Smedley factory in the magic Smedley bus

    First stop was a room full of the finished product. Much squealing and ooing and ahhing ensued.

    Colourful knits

    Stripey knits

    Stripey knits

    Knitwear love

    Before they become knits: cotton and fleece

    Then onto the factory and a some lessons in knitwear history. We were shown around by our tour guide John (not the Smedley John but another one) who had become a tour guide after working in the factory for over 30 years. He knew everything there was to know (and he let us snaffle a few lovely yarny scraps too).

    Learning a little Smedley history

    A talented tattooed lady works the spinning machine

    Working away on the factory floor

    One is impressed by your knitwear

    Dye another day (sorry)

    The fabric is put through its paces with loads and loads of washes

    *drools*

    Fluffy fleece and friends

    The Fibre Flinger attempts to comb The Bluestocking Stitcher

    Column of collars

    HUGE knitting machines

    A stash so big it needs stairs

    Fabric patiently waiting to become clothes

    A pair of long johns are born. (Not someone being sucked into the knitting machine)

    Whole lotta blocking stuff

    Whole lotta blocking stuff

    Ironing

    Then off to the room where all the finishing is done. The people working there were doing wonders of stitching. Amazing stuff.

    Some very savvy stitchers

    A little bit of chopping

    A rather funky finishing machine

    Checking for imperfections on a handy pair of light-up legs

    That last little label

    The tour ends. Red yarn for all! Yay!

    Off home to ponder how to turn what we've seen into something sneaky...

    This was all in preparation for a very special project where graffiti knitting will meet traditional knitwear, as Stitch London and their sneaky stitching friends at Knit the City yarnstorm John Smedley’s Brook Street store in central London.

    You’re all invited to come along and see the yarnstorm. You can even join us at the launch on October 11.

    See our website for full details of the big event

    The entire piece will be made of John Smedley’s yarn and scraps left over from their clothes making.

    This is going to be fun…

    Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, John Smedley Yarnstorm, Knitting celebrities, Knitting News, London Knitting, Special Offers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

     
    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 79 other followers