Keep warm and cosy on!

January’s Knit and Natter will focus on the East London Yarn Triangle (Fabrications, Broadway Market; Wild and Woolly, Lower Clapton Road; Knit with Attitude, Stoke Newington High St  Keep Hackney Warm This Winter initiative. They are looking for cosy scarves which will get passed on to rough sleepers in Hackney.

 The East London Yarn Triangle is four-and-a-bit miles, which is about 466 scarves. Their aim is to get as many knitters as possible involved and collect 466 scarves! The scarves can be knitted from any yarn with whatever stitch pattern you want. They recommend casting on for a width of about 25 cm and knitting a 150cm length.

Every East London Yarn Triangle shop will also be acting as a yarn exchange where knitters with extra yarn can drop it off, and knitters in need of some more can come and pick it up.

Once you’ve knitted your scarf, drop it off at any one of the shops and they will make sure it gets passed on to a rough sleeper. You can also bring any you have knitted along to January’s Knit and Natter and we will arrange a drop off of what we’ve got.

If you’ve never knitted before this is a great way to get started! Scarves are very easy to do and this is for a great cause. We will have experienced knitters on hand who can teach you how to knit. We’ll even have some yarn and needles on hand if you’ve not been able to pick up your own supplies.

 If you’d like to get yourself some supplies, we recommend checking out the shops of the East London Yarn Triangle: Fabrications on Broadway Market; Knit with Attitude on Stoke Newington High Street and Wild and Wooly on Lower Clapton Road.

January’s Knit and Natter will take place on the 24th of January 2017 from 6.30pm at Leon in Spitalfields market. This event is open to non-members too, so feel free to come along!

At the Knitting & Stitching Show 2013

We had members representing us all over the place at this year’s Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Over in the Upcycling Academy we helped out The Craftivist Collective engage the public to stitch their names for a giant petition. It says “We the undersigned believe that everyone should have the right to a living wage. No one should be exploited to make our clothes. Together we can  end the ugly side of fashion.”

We had members on the War on Want stand, asking people to sign a real life petition about the Rana Plaza factory disaster in which over 1000 garment worker died. Please sign the petition to demand compensation for the victims families.

Then over on the WI’s own stand, was our President Martha convincing people that the WI is awesome and they should join, with Liz from MFWI, Elin from Gothic Valley WI, Yvette from Stroud Green and Beatrice and Sarah from MFWI.

August 2013 Knit & Natter with Special Guest Kate Just

Kate Just (centre) knitting with us at Leon, Spitalfields- thanks to Kate for letting us use her photo!  

We were lucky enough to be joined by Kate Just, a lovely Australian visual artist at our latest Knit and Natter meeting at Leon in Spitalfields. Kate is currently in the UK working on the Knit HOPE project, in which she invites knitters, such as ourselves, to join her in knitting a large banner made from neon and reflective materials and later march with the banner. To find out more, you can like KNIT HOPE on Facebook or have a look on Kate’s website.

Kate talks to Tina about the project

If this sounds like something you’d like to take part in, Kate will be running events throughout the UK – again have a look on the KNIT HOPE Facebook page for a list of upcoming events, including a stint at I Knit London and an event in Colchester.

Getting our neon knit on – thanks again to Kate for use of the photo

Our next Knit & Natter will take place on the 10th of September at Leon, Spitalfields with a focus on the Innocent Big Knit – come along and join us! You can find the Facebook event here.

Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day

I (Jen) am a teeny bit obsessed with Christmas.  From October onwards, my flat is covered in stray scraps of red and white yarn and felt and recipes for cinnamon-y treats.  So, I was lucky enough to be invited to an intimate craft bloggers’ event at the lovely Save the Children Living & Giving shop in Primrose Hill to represent the Shoreditch Sisters.  The event was to raise awareness for the charity’s amazing Christmas Jumper Day.

Magda Rakita/Save the Children

On 14th December, more than 250,000 people will be wearing a festive woolly to school, offices and workplaces all across the UK, with everyone taking part donating £1 to Save the Children.

Money raised from Christmas Jumper Day will help bring life-saving care to some of the world’s most vulnerable children. In the world’s poorest countries almost 7 million children die every year from easily preventable causes like diarrhoea and malnutrition. Simple solutions, like vaccines and mosquito nets, save lives – so our knitted jumpers could make a real difference. 

As well as meeting lots of lovely fellow knitters on my table (Leanne, Karen and Rose and Claire), I got to meet one of my heroines, Debbie Bliss at the event and managed to keep my knitter geek sweats down to a minimum to talk to her… and she had even heard of us!   Each of the bloggers got the chance to try out making exclusive adorable jumper-shaped egg cosies and now I get the opportunity to share the geek love with the Sisters – choose from a wee Santa, Aran or snowflake jumper to make.  Or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can also make your own human-sized jumpers as modelled by Debbie.

Magda Rakita/Save the Children

If you need any help making these, you can always pop along to our Knit n Natter group.  

Knit, Natter and Crochet

I will go ahead and quote our treasurer, Jen Luk, here when talking about our most recent and highly successful knit and natter sesh, “My world = turned upside down”.

What had caused this inversion I hear you ask?  Well, I crocheted a granny square.  Yes, woollen crafts have finally got their hooks (no pun intended!) into me.  After months of just nattering, I am now a bona fide crafter too.  Admittedly I find it impairs my ability to speak as my tongue is hanging out the side of my mouth, but surely that’ll improve!
If you would like to come along to knit and natter please do, you don’t have to be a member, it’s just an opportunity to get together, craft (any craft welcome) or just natter.  It’s always two weeks after our main meeting, check out the calendar here Drop in from 6.30pm to  Leon in Old Spitalfields Market.  They give us a table, we order their food, symbiotic, like.
It’s a great opportunity to learn something new, perfect something you did as a kid but can’t quite remember anymore, get some help with a tricky pattern or advice on where something went wrong.  It’s an unintimidating mix of professional knitters and crocheters and total beginners who must be given more elbow room so as not to poke people’s eyes out.  We also have a ravelry group where you can share tips, get help and generally indulge your knitty activities.

Hope fully see you at the next one, remember, Christmas is coming and everyone loves a hand-crafted gift.  Unless you’re my brother, in which case it’ll be the usual CD…

Knit & Natter group met up at Prick Your Finger

Wednesday 8th June at 7pm

Some of you may already have seen the event via Facebook (RSVP to the event on Facebook) or heard Caroline talking about it at the last meeting. To make our tent at Big Feastival really unique we’d like to decorate it with an array of woolie wonders, a full knitted high tea with cakes and sandwiches.

So we are having a group knitting project to whip up some woolie cakes and sandwiches from patterns by Rachael Matthews book Knitorama. Rachael is very kindly going to host an evening for us at Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green.

There are parts of the patterns suitable for complete beginners, and parts that are crochet, so all levels of knit ability are catered to. If you want to make some of your own creations, anything suitable for an afternoon tea would be great too.

View Knitting venue in a larger map

lease bring real cakes if you can to thank Rachael and Louise for the hospitality and the not knitted cups of real tea  and size 3.5mm or 4mm knitting needles (size 9 or 8 in old UK non-mm sizes) if you have them.

Also bread or swiss roll coloured wool or small balls of red for cherries would be useful. I have some supplies of pink, yellow, white and cream for battenburg cakes, cheese and ham slices and the icing on the bakewell tarts.

As well as woolie cake making, you can drool over the lovely yarns at the shop and giggle at the rude knitting patterns, have a natter and talk to Rachael and Louise who run the knit-emporium. Here is their website: and see more about Rachael below, from the Craft Council website:

Rachael MatthewsWalking down Globe Street in London’s East End, you will come across a unique yarn shop and gallery called ‘Prick Your Finger’, the creation of designers Rachael Matthews and Louise Harries.  Prick Your Finger grew from their desire to make textiles with UK based and ethical yarns. Half the stock is spun in house, and the rest is from farmer producers who are spinning yarn themselves too.Rachael Matthews, the knitter from the Lake District, has achieved quite a lot in her time! From early beginnings at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, she is now the writer of various books on knitting such as ‘Knitorama’, full of outlandish illustrations and original patterns designed to be shared between friends and portable enough to be taken to your knitting venue of choice.  You won’t find your average pattern for gloves amongst her repertoire! Rachael is definitely the champion for doing things in a new and different way.Rachael started out by running a knitting club for boys and girls called ‘Cast Off’ with Amy Plant, and she encouraged events that would promote knitting and other crafts as a more constructive way of spending our time. Cast Off met in nightclubs, pubs, and other non-typical places.  As part of an exhibition called ‘Ceremony’, Rachael organized an entire knitted wedding at the Pump House Gallery in London’s Battersea Park in 2009.  It was a huge success that opened the public’s eyes to see how much can be achieved with yarn and a pair of needles!  Knitting groups were invited to attend and make things for the wedding. Everything was knit from the wedding dress to the cucumber sandwiches, and even the cake.  Cast Off’s ventures promoted the revival of KIP (Knitting in Public) in London, demonstrating how knitting is the ideal craft to take with you wherever you go- Rachael has knit on the London Underground’s circle line, folk clubs in the East End, in Paris, and even at a specially organized evening called ‘Craft Rocks’ at the V&A Museum