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Archive for the ‘Help us teach’ Category

New Year Newbies Stitch Up 2012 and Stitch London’s 6th Birthday

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on December 29, 2011

It’s official. 2012 will be the year of the Stitch! This year Stitch London plans to cram as much stitching in as possible and we’re starting as we mean to go on with our fantabulous GIANT NEW YEAR NEWBIES STITCH UP!

3rd January 2012
Time: From 6pm
Venue: The Royal Festival Hall
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road

Map Website Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Embankment

Every year we gather as many stitchers as we can at our second home, London’s Royal Festival Hall, to get our public stitch on in style. Each year we see around 200 proud crafty people gather.

Stitch London Stitch Up's can sometimes be seen from space

Celebrate Stitch London’s 6th Birthday!

This year we’re turning 6 years old! To celebrate we’ll have some spot prizes which will be given out randomly throughout the evening. Woo hoo!

Pass on the Knitting Love

STITCH LONDON NEEDS YOU! For our New Year Stitch Up we invite anyone new to knitting or new to the group to come along. We offer free lessons in knitting basics for learners, which is where is splendiferous Stitch Sages come in. If you know how to knit and think you know enough to pass it on (it’s really very easy), then please join our Stitch Sage team. You only need to teach for about half an hour and then keep an eye on your learner’s in case they get a bit lost while they practice.

We really really need new Stitch Sages to pass on the woolly love, so if you want to volunteer in the New Year please drop us an email at with the subject “I want to help wrangle the woolly Godzilla”.

It’s easy to teach. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. It’s a fabulous way to begin the new year. Create a brand new knitter! You can read some of our inspiring Stitch Sage stories here.

Find out more about teaching as a Stitch Sage here

Learn How to Knit

Fancy learning to get your knit on? The New Year Stitch Up is your chance to learn to knit for free!

You can bring your own yarn and needles, but Stitch London will be offering Whodunnknit How to Knit Kits in three flavours Sheep ‘n’ Aliens, Floating Flutterguys and Stitched Squid (each perfect for beginners), as well as Whodunnknit Stitched Self Mini Me Knitting Kits for those who know how to knit already.

The Whodunnknit Knitting kit includes:

  • An exclusive Stitch London skyline drawstring bag to keep your projects in
  • A set of bamboo knitting needles
  • A set of 4 Stitch London knitting badges
  • 2x 25g balls of brightly coloured yarn
  • A ultra-cute pair of ‘snips’ scissors
  • A tapestry needle for weaving in your ends
  • An 8-page Stitch London How to Knit booklet
  • Everything you need to make the Whodunnknit pattern of your choice (choose from Sheep and Martians, Floating Flutterguys, a Finger-fighting Stitched Squid or a Stitched Self Mini Me) along with the Whodunnknit knitting pattern

How do I order a Whodunnknit knitting kit?

Drop us an email at and let us know how many kits you would like and which pattern you would like with it. Each kit costs £14.

Want to learn crochet instead?

The lovely Tofty Makes will be offering How to Crochet Kits with full instructions in the fabulous full-colour booklet. See more about her How to Crochet Kits and the cute amigurmi creature you can make over at Tofty Makes.

Drop us an email at and let us know how many crochet kits you would like and we’ll pass it on to Tofty Makes. Each kit costs £14. See more about the contents here.

Crochet Kits from Tofty Makes

Can anyone come along to the Stitch Up?

Anyone and everyone is welcome. We’re multi-craft, multi-cultural and we love craft as much as you do. All you need to do is turn up, pull up a chair and start stitching. If you crochet, cross stitch, spin, embroider or do any other kind of craft you’re more than welcome to join us.

For those who wish to learn to knit you need to sign up when you arrive (look for the New Stitcher Sign Up Sheet) from 6pm. Teaching will begin at 6.30 once most of our Stitch Sages have arrived.

What does it cost?

It’s all totally free! Woo hoo!

Join us on the night! If you can’t make it you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, where we’ll be posting pictures on the night.

See you there and Happy New Year!


Posted in Buy Stitch Stuff, Crochet, Exclusive events, Help us teach, Knitting News, Learn to Knit, Meetings, New Year 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stitched Science prepares to blast off!

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on June 22, 2011

The countdown has begun. Stitch London and the Science Museum‘s cosmic crafting event, Stitched Science, touches down this weekend and it’s going to be astronomical.

Join us on 25 and 26 June 2011 from 10pm to 6pm for a scientific stitching event you can see from space, featuring:

• the world’s largest Stitched Solar System (which you can help make)

• over 50 Stitched Specimens from all over the world (including knitted squid celebrity ‘Plarchie‘ the 8-metre squid)

• a galaxy of free crafty workshops with some of the UK’s finest craft teams


• 255 of your Stitched Selves from last year’s Stitch Yourself event

For full info see the Stitch London website

Can’t make it? You can join us on the net and see it all it all over at Stitch London’s Stitch Up (where we’ve been posting every Stitched Specimen that comes in), or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.


coats_craft signature_balloons

sponsor the Stitched Science event by providing materials for the Solar System and some workshops


Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Help Us Knit, Help us teach, Knitting News, Meetings, Museums, Stitched Science, Workshops | 2 Comments »

Stitched Science: send your Stitched Science Specimens

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on April 14, 2011

Fancy knitting a neuron? Crocheting a comet? Sewing Stephenson’s Rocket? Cross-stitching a chromosome?

Last year you showed us that stitching was so much more than scarves and socks when you sent in your crafty clones to Stitch Yourself for the Science Museum.

This year you’ve been invited back for a global stitching event. Stitch London have teamed up with the Science Museum once more and we want you to bring a whole spectrum of Stitched Science Specimens with you.

What can I make? What do you want to make? If you’re passionate about something sciencey and think you can stitch it then we want to help you show it off. There are million billion things you could stitch from medical instruments and body bits (syringes? skulls?), to stars and planets (comets? black holes?), to famous inventions (telephones? bicycles?), to new technology (iPhones? cameras?), to diseases and bacteria, to pills and potions, to mathematical equations, to famous scientists (Einstein? Marie Curie?)

Crochet_rocketFor ideas:

DNA_illusion_scarfStill not sure? Be inspired by the science stitchers that have gone before you:
Nerve roots from Cedarstuff
Seriously sciencey stitching from Genetiknits
Knitted Higgs Bosun, Cosmic Radiation Scarf, and DNA Illusion Scarf (pictured left) from Slipped Stitch.
Periodic Table Quilt by Alyse Anderson
The mad-scientist stitching of Voraciousbrain showcased at Mr X Stitch
Crochet Space Shuttle from Ms Premise-Conclusion
Stitch Yourself’s 255 ‘stitched selves’ by you

When is the deadline? Your Stitched Specimen must arrive before or on June 17 2011

What else do I need to include? Your Stitched Specimen should include:

  1. Information about what you have made
  2. Any web links
  3. Your name, where you are from and your email address
  4. A return address and return postage if you want it sent back. It’s up to you to provide packaging and postage for anything you want returned.


Where do I send it? Send your Stitched Specimens to Stitch London’s home at The Fleece Station:Stitched_selves

Stitch London at The Fleece Station
Courtyard Studio (First floor)
The Old Police Station
114-116 Amersham Vale

SE14 6LG

Return of the Stitched Selves! And if that wasn’t enough for you we’re also going to bring back your Stitched Selves for the whole weekend. Come and meet your mini me once more!

It’s one small Stitched Specimen for science, one giant Science Museum spectacular

1.  Your item and copyright of the pattern you use will remain with you and you’ll get full credit for it. We’re just borrowing it to display.
2.  Stitch London and the Science Museum will not charge an entry or admin fee to be a part of this event. It’s free!
3.  Items will be available to collect after the event. If you’re posting the item from afar and want it returned you’ll have to include postage to return it to you. We’re happy to keep stuff too. It’ll have a good home.
4.  Responsibility for getting your submission to us is all yours. We can’t be held responsible if post gremlins eat it. Sorry. Please make sure you get the item tracked if it’s precious.
5.  By sending in your item you agree to allow Stitch London and the Science Museum to use images of your item for press and marketing linked with the event. It won’t be used for anything other than that without asking your permission. Please make sure we have your contact details.

Other ways you can help

Badges for Bags
Stitched Science Stars


We need your plastic bags. Part of our Stitched Solar System will be an enormous Plarn-knit Earth made entirely from plastic bag yarn.
We need blue and green carrier bags to make a plarn planet. Bring them along to Stitch London or post them to the address above (anchor).

For every 12 plastic bags you send us, we’ll send you a shiny Stitch London badge of your choice.
Help us teach in the hallowed halls of one of London’s most famous museums. Volunteer to teach at one of our one-hour workshops and become a Stitched Science Star.
If you’re already a Stitch Sage you’re first in line for volunteering and will get an email soon.
If you’re not and you want to give your time to pass on stitching skills somewhere amazing then join the Stitch Sage team.
Teaching is easy peasy, makes you feel warm and fuzzy and is tons of fun. Join us!

Posted in Charity Knits, Competitions, Designing, Events, Exclusive events, Help Us Knit, Help us teach, Knitting News, Museums, Stitched Science | 9 Comments »

Passing on the knit: Stitch Sage Stories

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on March 20, 2011

Why on earth would you teach people to knit for free?

At Stitch London we’ve been teaching people to knit for free since 2006. Our volunteer Stitch Sages (and earlier Stitchettes) have taught hundred of knitters during this time, and all for the love of the knit and the occassional bit of cake. We’re often asked why people offer their free time to keep Stitch London alive. So we thought we’d let our Stitch Sages explain why they love knitting and why they love passing the love of the knit on.

We hope to encourage you to teach others, either with Stitch London or wherever you are.

Giving makes life lovely

Learning to knit is more than just looping a bit of string onto a couple of sticks. In the cases of our Stitch Sage volunteers passing on the love of the knit has built bridges, grown confidence and in sometimes literally changed lives.

If you’ve always been tempted to try out teaching the knit but aren’t too sure, then here’s hoping the stories of these Stitch London Stitch Sages will inspire you.

Taking Stitch Saging overseas

Jenny Willett has taught over 20 people Stitch London meetings since she began Stitch Sage volunteering. Those first little learner loops have helped her go on to some amazing things…

“I volunteered as a Stitch Sage because I enjoy teaching and encouraging others that they can master knitting. It’s really rewarding to enable others to have a sense of achievement and watch their confidence grow.

Stitch LDN has inspired me to volunteer elsewhere, like in Thailand, where I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to organise and run a two-day intensive workshop for almost 30 Burmese refugees. I taught them to knit from scratch, read knitting patterns, signed them up to Ravelry and helped them to access the skills and online resources to teach themselves and make money from their work, as well as make hats to stay warm in the cold mountains and make gifts for friends and family.

I also organised a workshop for 11 girls aged 9-17 at COSA, a refuge for girls who had been victims of sex trafficking. The girls built their confidence and started to teach each other, forming closer bonds through learning to knit. I’m happy to say they’ve kept knitting since.

The best moments of being a Stitch Sage are when I feel I am part of a community that gives back, appreciates each other’s skills and enjoy being creative together. I really believe that crafts and the confidence they foster in people can play a valuable role in repairing damaged self-esteem, building bridges through the alienation caused by sitting in front of a computer all day, to begining to repair some of the damage from the serious trauma some of my students have been through.

Without Stitch LDN and the teaching experience I gained here I never would have had the confidence and experience to pass my skills on to so many who will benefit from them.”

That ‘lightbulb moment’

Penny Stephens is a Stitch Sage and a freelance journalist/editor in the voluntary sector.

“I’ve taught about five people to knit at Stitch London, I think, and I hope they’ve carried on knitting after our meetings. I always wonder.

My granny taught me to knit when I was about seven or eight and I knitted pretty much constantly for about 25 years. Then other things got in the way and I didn’t take it up again until my father was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago. I couldn’t concentrate on reading or anything else, so I went out and bought some wool and needles and started knitting again. I found it a really soothing activity and it really helped me through the next 15 months and stay relatively sane. I’ve never gone back to knitting the complicated lace and aran patterns I used to do, but I’ve probably become a bit more creative in what and how I knit.

I’m happy to pass knitting skills on because it is such a joy to see something grow from nothing and turn into something snuggly to wear or beautiful to look at. I know it’s a struggle for some people at first – waving two sticks around with tangly yarn wound around them isn’t the most natural activity in the world – but when you see that light bulb moment when knitting finally clicks it’s really worthwhile.”

Keeping calm and carrying yarn

Heather Brown has taught a few people to knit when she’s found the time but is keen to teach more and puts why she teaches very simply.

“I have only taught a few people so far, so I don’t have a great tale to tell, but it’s a fantastic thing to be able to share. When things are rubbish at work, knitting is one of the things that calms me down and keeps me going.”

Joining an inspiring creative community and unexpected hugs

Bronagh Miskelly (aka Lapurplepenguin on twitter and Ravelry) began teaching at Stitch London almost as soon as she joined. In her day job she edits a magazine and website for social workers but some days she says she would rather just knit.

“I’ve been a regular at Stitch London for a few months but started volunteering to teach quite quickly so have taught a lot recently, even groups of four who have come along together. I’ve also taught other people over my many years of knitting.

Being a volunteer teacher is about passing on a skill that I really value. I love knitting for many reasons:

  • the range of beautiful materials I can work with
  • the delight at a project growing; in my case this is often lace where there is something really special as a cloud of delicate fabric sprouts from my needles
  • the beautiful and individual items I can create that are personal to me or others
  • the relaxing and therapeutic effects
  • the fact that it brings me into a community of creative and interesting people who want to share their passions and knowledge

I teach because I want other people to have access to those great experiences and to show that by learning a few techniques a beginner can start to create something that is real – scarf, an iPod cover, a mini sheep. And because I love the joy on a beginner’s face when they achieve an inch or two of “actual knitting”.

It’s hard to pick out a best moment because so often people are excited and wave their knitting like a flag in excitement, but I have been hugged by a returning learner because they’d knitted a gift for a family member since I’d first helped them.”

Making the world a warmer place and commuter space-making

Amy Shannon has taught almost every teaching session she’s been at, including our workshop at Prince Charle’s Garden Party last summer, and helps out with newsletter duties to pass on the Stitch London love too.

“I’d been taught to knit by several kind and well-intentioned people throughout my childhood, but I didn’t start knitting in earnest until the over-fed slump that falls between Christmas and New Year when there was nothing decent on the telly about 2 years ago. I asked my sister to show me how to purl (that had always been my sticking point previously), and I still didn’t get it…until she explained that it was just a knit stitch done back-to-front. Something in my head clicked and I could suddenly see the difference in the way the stitches lay, patterns made sense, the textures of the fibres came alive and my head buzzed with possibilities … only problem was I was still a terrible knitter.

Salvation came in the form of a request from my husband – he wanted a Dr Who scarf – not an authentic Tom Baker one, but something he could wrap around his neck at least 3 times and still have a generous tail. This coincided with a new person who started taking my usual bus to work, a chap with incredible expanding knees that would start off neatly pressed together on his own seat, but would gradually encroach on his neighbours seat until he was sat in a ten-past-ten pose. There was only one solution – I got myself some 14” steel needles, a big bag of assorted yarns and I got knitting. Mr Knees soon ceased to be a problem, my husband got a scarf, I got a new hobby, had a chance to practice until I became not-too-bad, and developed a new form of self-defence.

So what inspired me to become a Stitch Sage? Well, 7 people attempted to teach me to knit, and only one succeeded – it would be bad karma to let their collective efforts go to waste. We all learn in different ways, and what seems logical to one learner may sound utterly insane to another, and I’m more than happy to share my “pretzels and chain mail” interpretation of knitting/martial arts with other off-centre thinkers to learn, and for the amusement of everyone else.

I’d like to make the world a warmer, more patient place, and by knitting I hope I can.”

Retired but stitching up a storm

It’s probably safe to say that Linda Laidlaw has taught more people to knit at Stitch London than any other member. She’s even been known to start teaching early because she just can’t wait.

“I knit every day and what would life be without knitting? Not as good as it is now. I always have some knitting with me, because if you have to spend time waiting for things the time is not wasted.

At Stitch London I have met many people and made good friends. I feel rewarded and wanted, and not just a retired person.

There are people out there who really enjoy learning, though some take longer than others to learn. The joy when they get it is great.

Since starting to teach at Stitch London, I have also recently been teaching for free with a Bangladeshi community in my local area who are grasping it well. None of them have ever knitted before. We have shared cakes and savoury snacks and they appreciated us for giving our time and knowledge. I have taught schoolchildren and many adults, men and women. Even my grandson, age 7, is coming along a treat with his wonky scarf.”

Good memories, a connection to the past and seeing past knitting differences

Clare Tovey has been part of our Stitch Sage team over the last year but has been knitting for quite some time.

“Firstly, I still remember my own excitement the Christmas I opened a parcel to find a lovely cardboard basket containing tiny balls of wool, and pair of gold coloured, 4 year-old Clare-sized knitting needles! I was very keen to learn how to knit, and my Mum taught me the basics – cast on, knit, purl, and cast off, as she had been taught them – not by her own mother, but by a kind American lady on a ferry from the UK to Denmark. More of this later.

Secondly, passing on needlecraft skills and tools is very important to me: the photograph shows my Stitch Sage badges; one of my original gold knitting needles; a pair of green plastic knitting needles that belonged to my Mother (which my Dad had commissioned me to buy on her behalf together with some pink yarn for a baby jacket, when my sister arrived prematurely, and my Mother wanted something to do in hospital); the scissors, silver thimble and very worn red leather case given to me by my Granny (who was a trained tailor) when I was about 8 years old; and a pair of Victorian tatting shuttles which I think belonged to my Great-grandmother. Unfortunately, the knowledge of how to use them was not passed on, so I am planning to learn to use them this year.

Finally, in teaching people to knit, I have learnt that the style of knitting does not really matter, just the the joy of developing skills in making a fabric out of a system of loops! The kind American lady taught my Mother to knit continental style, which she then in turn taught me, which was great, except that my class teacher at junior school thoroughly disapproved of my not knitting English style, and made my life miserable in knitting classes over this.

In fact, I held back from teaching people to knit at Stitch London for sometime because of this teacher’s attitude, and making me feel I was doing something wrong in knitting the way I do. Lauren O’Farrell encouraged me though, and the folks I have taught have been very appreciative, as well, which is very rewarding to see.”

Curing cancer, changing lives and taking over the world

I (Lauren O’Farrell) have been teaching for free and running Stitch London mostly for free (except for occassional advertising funds) for five years. I now run Stitch London as a full-time business on my own, with the teaching help of over 70 signed up Stitch Sage volunteers. This is why I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for five years, and why I’ll continue to do it and encourage everyone to pass the love of the knit on too:

“To me being a Stitch Sage (and running Stitch London) is about offering people who may not be able to afford it or are not sure and don’t want to commit, a taster of a skill I love and have seen change lives. I’m not sure I would have learned if I’d had to pay for official lessons to begin with but I am so glad I was taught by my friends.

Knitting is like holding a magic paintbrush to me. With my needles I can make anything from Godzillas to graffiti. If I can start someone off on that woolly road without asking for anything back, other than that they give it their best, then that’s something to be proud of.

Knitting pulled me through three hard years of cancer treatment (pic above is of me and S&B London co-founder Laura Parkinson, back in the days when we started the group and my hair was growing back at last), and the knitting community that has sprung up around Stitch is one of the most supportive, generous and downright hilarious groups of people I have ever been a part of.

What knitting has given me is a whole new life. Passing that possibility on to a newbie knitter for the love of it, just because I want to and not for any other reason, is a humbling and freeing thing to be able to do. I feel like I’m giving back a bit of the huge amount that has been given to me and offering them a way into one of the best communities I know.

And if it doesn’t change their life like it has mine then at least it’ll keep them in socks. Warm feet are very important too.”

Awwwww. Now I want to teach!

Teaching someone to knit is really easy. Don’t worry about teaching them bad habits or doing something formal. Just get in there and show them how. Everyone ends up knitting a little differently anyway.

Whether you teach a couple of friends, volunteer at Stitch London (we’re always looking for teachers so please volunteer) or go out into the world and teach people in need, do teach. It’s fun, free and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling that could be passed on and on.

Posted in Charity Knits, Help Us Knit, Help us teach, Knitting News, Learn to Knit | 2 Comments »

Stitch a Squid at the Natural History Museum: in pictures

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on September 23, 2010

Stitch London hit the main hall of London’s Natural History Museum on 27 August in an attempt to bring a shoal of stitched squid to life.

Amongst the dinosaur bones, stuffed beasts and birds, and fine fossils the stitched squid storm raged.

We witnessed the safe capture of the Stitched Sealife Six.

A sorry Stitched Squid and apologetic Osedax

The contrite Coelacanth

The sealed in Slender Snipe Eel

The very shamefaced Viper Fish

The attritional Oarfish

We were awed by the presence of the Godfather of Stitched Sealife: the Giant Stitched Squid (squidius knittius giganticus plasticus) who was brought to life by Deadly Knitshade from 160 knitted plastic carrier bags.

He'll make you an ten tentacled offer you can't refuse

Squidius Knittius Giganticus Plasticus

There were a whole lot of you squid stitchers too. Squid wrestling was rife but fortunately no serious injuries were had.

Squid stitchers lurk behind the beast

Stitch a Squid queue. It was madness!

Finger-fighting squid instruction

Ladies, start your squid stitching

Knitting a squid-catching net

Proud squid stitcher

Making squid friends large and small

A squid challenger

A fearless giant squid wrestler

Giant Squid vs Dinosaur. Who will win?!?!

Huge tentacled hugs to all 23 of our Stitch Sages who helped pass on the stitched squid skills, Laura Babb who took some some cracking photos you can see here, and the Natural History Museum for allowing us to wreck stitched sealife chaos in their lovely museum.

If you want to knit a tiny Finger-fighting Stitched Squid of your own you can buy the pattern here. Be warned. If you challenge one to a wrestle broken fingers have been known to happen.

Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, Help us teach, Knit, Knitting News, Learn to Knit, London Knitting, Meetings, Museums, Patterns, Stitch a Squid 2010, Workshops | 3 Comments »

Stitched Sealife: Bone-eating Snot-flower worms meet the Giant Sloth

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on August 17, 2010

Stitch London are teaming up with London’s Natural History Museum on August 27 to bring you the Stitch a Squid event.

Six stitched specimens from the Deep Sea have escaped in the Museum. This is where we found the second of the Stitched Sealife Six…

The hungry Osedax have another, not so pretty name. They are the Deep Sea’s ‘Bone-eating Snot-Flower Worms’ and this famished bunch were stitched to life by Stitchette The Bluestocking Stitcher.

Chomp chomp sniff chomp chomp

Lurking a grand 2500 metres below the sea this little lot came a long way to get to the Museum. This made them hungry. It seems they went in search of a bone-based lunch. They were last seen eyeing the skeleton of a Giant Sloth.

The Osedax peer hungrily at the Giant Sloth

You are by no means to approach these tiny nibbing worms, which have been known to strip entire whale carcasses on the sea bottom.

They are to be considered hungry and dangerous escapees. You have been warned.

Feeeeeeed us! Feeeeeeeeeeed us!

Come back tomorrow for the Deep Sea story of another stitched sealife escapee.

You can also come along to the Natural History Museum August 27 to Stitch a Squid and join in the hunt for them.

Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, Help us teach, Knit, Knitting News, Meetings, Museums, Stitch a Squid 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Stitched Sealife: Coelacanth lurks in the Fossil Hall

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on August 17, 2010

Stitch London are teaming up with London’s Natural History Museum on August 27 to bring you the Stitch a Squid event.

Six stitched specimens from the Deep Sea have escaped in the Museum. This is the tale of the first of the Stitched Sealife Six…

The cheeky Coelacanth, known for his hollow spine and its tendency to ‘walk’ across the seabed, was stitched into the world by Stitch Londoner Ginger Knits.

Meet the Coelacanth

He dwells 150-400 metres under the sea

He is one of the oldest species of fish in the world, but that didn’t stop him strutting his finny stuff down the Fossil Hall of the Museum for all the world to see.

Comparing fin size with a plesiosaur

Coelacanth have also been known to stand on their heads. We judge from the look on the face of this escaped specimen that he is capable of much more. Be vigilant! He could be up to anything.

Planning something fishy

Return tomorrow for the Deep Sea tale of another stitched sealife escapee.

You can also join us at the Natural History Museum August 27 to Stitch a Squid and join in the hunt for them.

Posted in Events, Exclusive events, Help Us Knit, Help us teach, Knit, Knitting News, Learn to Knit, London Knitting, Meetings, Museums, Stitch a Squid 2010, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Stitched Sealife coming soon…

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on August 16, 2010

Stitch London are teaming up with London’s Natural History Museum on August 27 to bring you the Stitch a Squid event.

To celebrate all things Stitched and all things from the Deep Sea some of Stitch London’s artiest wielders of the wool have created a shoal of deep sea specimens to tempt you into the chilly waters of deep sea stitching.

Starting tomorrow see the fishy tale of how the Stitched Sealife Six specimens escaped into the Museum and got to know the place where the dinosaurs, bones and beasts dwell…

We seek them specimens here, we seek them there...

PS We’re still looking for teachers on the night to teach our very simple Stitched Squid pattern. Please email us if you’re interested.

Posted in Crochet, Events, Exclusive events, Guerrilla Knitting, Help Us Knit, Help us teach, Knitting News, London Knitting, Meetings, Museums, Stitch a Squid 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Become an Stitch London Stitch Sage: pass it on

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on February 26, 2010

Knitting folk. The time has come when you’re pretty savvy with your stitching. Fancy passing it on but not sure if you can? Become a Stitch London Stitch Sage and see if you have what it takes to spread the love of the knit. We’re betting you do.

Firstly we’d like to say it’s a fabulous thing you are doing passing on your knitting knowledge. We’ve been doing it for years now and can promise you it’s a very fulfilling way of giving back the warm fuzzy feeling that knitting has given you.

What do I get in return? Stitch Sages are volunteers but you do get some rather fabulous things in return.

  • Invites to teach at some of London’s most amazing events (we’ve taught at The Natural History Musuem, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and the kooky and spooky Hunterian).
  • A warm fuzzy feeling of passing on the love of the knit.
  • A shiny exclusive Stitch Sage badge.
  • Special advance notice of special events, knitting commissions and paid teaching events.

There are a few things you need to know before you can help us teach and become an Stitch London Stitch Sage:

  • Stitch London teach learners basic knit and purl to begin with so you must know both stitches well enough to pass on the technique.
  • You must teach each stage of beginning to knit from the slip knot to casting on (usually with the two-needle method but we’re open to other easy techniques) to casting off (if they get that far). You may also want to explain about how you hold your yarn, how to read yarn labels (for which yarn goes best with which needles) and to keep all stitches on the bottom and yarn at the front to avoid that extra magic stitch at the start of a row (a very common problem).
  • We usually teach the English method of knitting (as it helps us go on to teach other techniques later on). However it’s fine for people to teach continental style or any other style to those who want to learn. Just need to make sure they are aware it is a bit different.
  • Feel free to teach other techniques or offer pattern help but you’re under no obligation to. Simple knit and purl is fine with us.
  • The Stitchettes are always on hand if you get a bit stuck with your teaching technique so find one of us and ask if things get tangled. Don’t worry about asking for help. It’s what we’re there for.

What to do:

  1. Bring along teaching yarn and needles – As well as your own knitting we usually bring along teaching yarn and needles to show the learner what to do by knitting along with them. We can provide these if you don’t have any (just remember to give them back at the end of the evening). It might be better for you to bring your own yarn and needles to knit along as you’ll be most comfortable with them.
  2. Introduce yourself to a Stitchette – When you arrive at the meeting come and find a Stitchette. If you don’t recognise us just ask. We’ll be fairly easy to find. When we have someone who wants to learn I’ll come and find you and pair you up with your student (or students if you feel you can teach more than one, but this shouldn’t be necessary as we have loads of teachers).
  3. Arrive on time if possible – Teaching will begin from 6.30 so make sure you’re there in time to grab a drink and get settled before it all starts. No worries if you get there later. Learners turn up all evening. Just give us a shout when you arrive.
  4. Teach – Introduce yourself to your student and get teaching. Go slow, keep it simple and feel free to leave them to it when they get the hang of it.
  5. What to teach – It’s best to start them off with a simple square of about 15 stitches to begin with rather than jump into a pattern or garment. Explaining it’s better to mess up a practice square than a scarf/jumper/sock if they get itchy knitting fingers.
  6. Remember to breathe – Be patient and encouraging in the face of whininess or horror. If your learner has a mini-freak out or looks set to throw in the knitting towel a deep breath and a sip of wine often works wonders. Newbies can be a frustrated beast so have patience and remember your days of wobbly wool and dropped-stitch sorrows.
  7. If at first you don’t succeed – If things are getting rather messy you may want to ask them if they’d like to start again. It often helps as they’ll have the hang of it and will knit neater once they’ve restarted.
  8. Leave them to it – Once your learner is getting the hang of it you can leave them to it. Just be near enough to help out if they get lost again. Or at least let them know where you’ll be so they can find you. They’re usually fine once you get them going. All they need to do is practice.
  9. Feel rather pleased at what you’ve passed on – Stitch London Learner Lessons are free. You’re passing on your knitting knowledge for the love of the knit and we love you for it. Your learner will be very grateful too. We do let learners know that they are welcome to thank you with cake or drink so you might get lucky (though don’t go mugging them for goodies if they don’t offer). We’ll shout you a thank you cuppa is you’re feeling thirsty.
  10. How did it go? – If you have time please drop us an email afterwards to let us know how you fared. It’s good to know how it went and how we might be able to help Stitch Sages in future.

We’ll send out regular emails to you with teaching dates and venues. Let us know if you fancy teaching. You don’t need to do every one. Just pick the ones you fancy.

It’s a lovely thing to do and make a shiny addition to both your karma points and your CV.

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