Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Too busy!

I see this advert on the tube quite often and keep on meaning to get a photo of me knitting in front of it. The problem is I'm usually too busy knitting to do so.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Catch up No.2 - Goodbye Mini Me

A couple of weeks ago all the stitch selves were transported from Stitch London's HQ to the Science Museum. I helped the team set them up which was great fun sorting through all the little people. Some were brilliant, some were downright scary though they were all endearing.

Science Museum Late

Yet again the brilliant Stitch London folks have blogged about it. See if you can spot me on their blog, as well as enjoying all the other mini mes.

Science Museum Late

I had a fun night at the Science Museum grown ups only evening. A few friends came along and it was so much fun being able to play on things in the Launch Pad area without having to push kids off things first. (Before you get all hot and bothered I am joking, though if you've ever been to the Science or Natural History Museum during the school holidays you'll understand the frustration)

There were quite a few imaging gadgets so here I am in thermal imaging...

Science Museum Late

...and on some dot display contraption.

Science Museum Late

The frozen ice crystals were beautiful, I spent about 10 minutes watching them form through a polarising lens...

Science Museum Late

and the cat with 7 toes was cool.

Science Museum Late

The BBC were there with their Bang Science programme demonstrating experiments you can do at home. I love that sort of thing and was fascinated with the super cool water experiment, where water instantly turned into ice. You can try it at home, the instructions are here.

Science Museum Late

At the end of the evening I took one last look at mini me. It was quite hard leaving "me" behind, though I know "she"'ll be in safe hands at Stitch London.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Prick your Craftacular Finger

On Saturday, after a swift watering of my allotment, I headed off to the Bust Craftacular Craft Fair with my fibre friend Monty.

Monty has already blogged about our day out and it seems we do have very similar taste in things. We were both taken with the quirky animal prints by Brat and Suzie and I was very tempted by a pair of red knickers with this on the bum.

Sadly I was on a budget so my derrière is not adorned with a rebellious urban creature, for now...

I did splash out on a couple of birdie buttons and a card for my Dad from four and plenty designs.


I'm a birdwatching geek and loved the hoopoe screen print. It turns out the four and plenty designer is a geeky birdwatcher too so we discussed where we'd spotted hoopes (by a roadside in France and in a park in central Madrid). Before I learnt to read I used to love looking through my parents battered Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. Apparently I used to stop on the hoopoe page and shout "hoopoe, hoopoe" very excitedly so it's a bird I'm very fond of.

I also admired the beautifully sinister prints by Dan Hillier which combine animal elements with gothic Victoriana.

Image of "Collector" from

I resisted buying fabric (you'll see why in later blog posts) though Beyond Fabrics had some tempting vintage pieces on sale.

I also resisted these tempting tarts, how could I bring myself to eat a bird?

Cake at Craftacular

We stopped for an iced tea before a final lap of the stalls and a natter with a couple of people from Stitch London, then went for lunch at The Gallery Cafe, a great vegan restaurant just up the road.

One delicious tofu burger later we walked (or should that be waddled, the portions were very generous) to Prick Your Finger. Despite being an avid knitter I still haven't been to all the knitting shops in London. Today I lost my Prick Your Finger virginity. It's a fab place. Rachael the owner was warm and welcoming. While Rachael and Monty chatted I browsed round the shop. While the shop is small there is plenty to look at, especially if you look up.

Prick Your Finger

I loved the crocheted seagull in it's nest of old knitting needles.
Prick Your Finger

Prick Your Finger stock loads of British Yarns.
Prick Your Finger

As well as their own handspun with imaginative names.


I love the juxtaposition of these characters on the rack.

Prick Your Finger

I invested in some Rennie 4ply as the colour spoke to me. Rachel also encouraged me to sniff the yarn which is the sign of someone who understands their craft.

I also got a Prick Your Finger canvas shopping bag which has a great message on the reverse, though some people on the tube yesterday looked like they'd taken it a bit personally when they read it. Ha!

Poo Home! Plus yarn.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Catch up No.1 - With Tiny Pigeons

I've had quite a few knitting escapades over the last few weeks. One of them was the Tiny Perching Pigeon Party which was organised by Stitch London in collaboration with Anna Hrachovec who you may know better as Mochimochi Land.

Anna specialises in extremely cute tiny knitted things such as a squirrel on wheels or pigs in wigs, which can be found in her new book. Her website is full of fun patterns to buy too.

It's already been blogged about by Anna and Stitch London so I'll just share a few photos and say if you want to knit a teeny tiny pigeon you can find the pattern here. It's free.

Pigeon navigates the tube. Can't find Canary Warf.
Pigeon party with Stitch London

Admires the home of our democracy
Pigeon party with Stitch London

Phones home
Pigeon party with Stitch London

Pigeon party with Stitch London
My Pigeon on my current sock project.

Anna and the pigeons
Pigeon party with Stitch London

Pigeons get papped
Pigeon party with Stitch London

My pigeon is currently living on my crochet needle pot but I may set him free on my allotment. Someone else has crocheted flowers on their plot and I feel I need to keep up with their yarny decorations. It might also stop the real pigeons from eating my strawberries!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Horribly familiar?

Someone posted these cartons from on Ravelry. In case you missed them here they are:

Does anyone else find them horribly familiar?

I'm writing this on a gloriously sunny day. Am I out gallivanting in the sunshine? No, I'm browsing Ravelry, half watching the Tour de France and contemplating picking up my drop spindle or one of my many sock projects.

Q. What do I have to say about that?

A. Squee!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

I < 3 London

Five years ago today I witnessed the aftermath of the terrorist attacks by four poor misguided fools on three London Underground tubes and a bus. Fifty-two innocent people died along with the four misguided fools and many people's lives where altered irrevocably. It was the most terrifying day of my life. While I, my friends and my family were unharmed some friends of friends died and the whole thing was very local and was very personal.

While I have mostly come to terms with what I saw that day the anniversary of the bombings unsettles me and occasionally creates flashbacks. I'm aware of this and can handle it but still mark the occasion in some small way.

I decided to mark the five year anniversary by visiting the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park.

7/7 Memorial, Hyde Park

The memorial itself is a calm tribute to those who died on that awful day. After looking at the flowers which had been left by relatives of those who died I sat on the little slope behind the memorial where I could hear the hustle and bustle of London behind me. A few other people came to look at the memorial while the film crews prepared and waited for the 6pm news to begin.

News Crews

The thing that struck me walking in and around the park is how fun London is. It was 5:30pm. People were coming out of work, enjoying the sunshine or were on holiday taking in the sights. I went past giggling young women, sweaty joggers, sleek cyclists, stuffy business types, happy and bewildered looking tourists and a school trip of teenagers all wearing magnificently fluorescent "I love London" hoodies. Those lurid, acid coloured garments expressed my feelings perfectly.

My bus route took me home past the buzzing theatres of the West End, Soho streets with their hidden secrets - both naughty and nice, delicious Chinatown, green squares, and people. Hundreds and thousands of bloody marvellous people.

Many things calm me when my mind is racing. One of them is that this vibrant city has survived world wars and plagues as well as terrorist attacks, and will no doubt face more in the future. The comfort is that London and her people can cope with it. It may be grim at times but we will cope,survive and go on to bigger and better things.

I always try to remember is life here is good. We have clean water, plenty of food, and most of us have a place to call home. Some of us are even luckier and have a hobby full of soft fibres and like minded people.

Life moves forward yet I will remember.