Thursday, 13 October 2011

Unravelling the NHS

If you follow me on twitter you'll already know I have a healthy interest in politics. Our current government is slowly and steadily dismantling our beloved NHS (National Health Service) from one with full public accountability to one which is more dependent on profit margins rather than evidence based medicine. THIS MAKES ME VERY ANGRY.

There's a lot of despair at the moment, many of us feel our government is not listening to us, the people, or experts in the field such as the British Medical Association or the Royal College of Nurses.

Yesterday our unelected second house, the house of Lords, voted through the government's ill-advised health reform bill. We all felt hopeless, then I read this blog post. You should read it too.

Many of us are working out what to do. How can we reverse this disastrous decision when essentially the democratic process is failing us.

"The NHS reforms did not appear in either the Conservative or Liberal Democrat manifestos. They were not in the coalition agreement. This government has no mandate to implement such wide-ranging changes." 

Lying in bed last night I had an idea. It's only a small idea but it's a way of demonstrating how we feel through the medium of knitting.

Unravelling the NHS

Knit the NHS logo, carefully, with time, building it up slowly just like the NHS was built over many years. Record your knitting progress through video, if you have it, or through photography. Do not tie off your final stitch, leave it undone...

Point out how long it took you to knit, the care and attention involved and how it it yours. You may also like to share your stories of how the NHS has helped you. Also point out what you fear about the NHS reform bill's implementation. As you talk about your fears unravel your knitting, demonstrating how quickly something that has taken much time, care and love and can quickly become unravelled.

This could also be used as yarnstorming.

You could knit something personal to you instead or as well as the NHS logo. eg I would make an inhaler to show my gratitude for a lifetime of NHS asthma treatment or a knee joint for my thanks to the NHS for repairing my knee following an accident. You get the idea.

This is just an early idea. Please feel free to add to it, make it your own. At the moment the NHS is ours, but I fear it won't be for much longer unless we take action.

If you like the idea please share it (twitter hashtag #unravellingNHS) and spread the word. Also share other ways of demonstrating that we, the people do not want this to happen. I'll leave you with the wise words of the great Nye Bevan:

"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it."

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ally Pally 2011

I've been working at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace for the last few days. I'm a bit zonked after three full on days of yarn selling so here are the photos I took.
Ally Pally 2011
Knitted bunting at the entrance

Ally Pally 2011
Ghanaian Kente weaving demo, check out the length of those warp threads.

Where I've been working. Lovely MillaMia stand with squishy merino and very cute and contemporary kids knits....
Ally Pally 2011

... in a brilliant range of colours.

Ally Pally 2011

Some super work in the graduate show. I love the colours and texture Maria Sanvito has created here. (website should be up at the end of the month)
Ally Pally 2011

More Marisa Sanvito creations
Ally Pally 2011

Check out the crochet (sorry, didn't get the name of the designer. If you did please let me know, thanks)

Ally Pally 2011

I loved these knitted birds by Alice Wolfe
Ally Pally 2011

Islamic textiles. This is Tunisian fabric.
Ally Pally 2011

And as always that superb view of London that greets you when you stagger out of Alexandra Palace into the daylight.
Ally Pally 2011

I've only bought a set of square knitpro DPNs and a fantastic reversible cloth shopping bag so far. There hasn't been much spare time to shop as the stand has been so busy.

If you are there today please try and visit stand TGI10 (In the smaller hall where the graduate show is), where I bought my reversible shopping bag. They sell textiles from Burma which are made by Burmese refugees. The money from their products goes to several development projects and they have some beautiful things for sale. If you're not at the show their website is here.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Stitch London?

On Wednesday evening I took a lovely walk across Hungerford Bridge to the Royal Festival Hall...


...well to be accurate, Foyles Bookshop which is under the RFH, for my friend DeadlyKnitShade's book launch. It was pretty exciting, so much so that the Queen and her corgies came too.
The Queen Came too
Lauren's book, Stitch London, is inspired by and based on London and is packed full of quirky knits which capture the knitterly side of our fabulous city. Here's the author busy signing her book

Author signing

and giving a speech, in which we all cheered the marvellous news that Lauren has been cancer free for five years. Not a bad way to celebrate not being dead.


The cakes were ace, decorated with balls of yarn and tiny knitting needles, they tasted good too. I must admit I still don't have a copy of Lauren's book but it is so much fun with great photos and of course the projects. You even get yarn to knit your own pigeon. Coo.

Cakey Clare
Cake & Clare aka DragonflyKnit

Part of the money from Lauren's book is going to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, to help fight the horrible disease that put Deadlyknitshade out of action for so long, so if you buy her book you are also helping to kick cancer up the arse. Not bad, eh.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Not knitting?

In my self imposed knitting break I had to find other things to do to fill my time. I love reading but over the last few years knitting has eaten into my knitting time. Rather than going to bed a little earlier to read I'd be browsing Ravelry or knitting just a few more rows...

So no knitting meant lots of reading. I also realised I wasn't keeping track of what I have read this year so I think I'll start another post to keep a log of what I have read.

You can never have too many

I'm currently reading a Victorian crime novel based around a part of London I know very well. The MSF office is on Saffron Hill, so named as saffron used to be sold there and it often gets a mention in the book, though I'm pretty sure it looks fairly different now, with the 60's style buildings which line most of the road.

As for the books, I get most of mine from charity shops though have splashed out on a couple of brand new novels. I'm passing some of the books I don't want to keep on through p/hop, rather than taking them to the overstocked shelves of my local charity shops. If I had the space I would keep all my books but I'm not sure there's much space left in my flat. Unless I start double stacking or , horror of horrors, get rid of some yarn!