How the Stitch London book was hatched
Stitch London the book crashed into my head and stomped its ideas all over my brain at around the same time my little knitting group, ‘Stitch and Bitch London’, became Stitch London, a scarily fast-growing stitching community with members all over the world (there are Stitch Londoners in 52 different counrtries. Blimey!) I have always been utterly in love with London and a book for knitters who either live in London, are visiting our handmade metropolis or are just feeling the London love, made perfect sense.
London’s knitters are a proud, imaginative and happily eccentric folks, and much like our city they cannot be pinned down to one style or one stitch. The idea behind the Stitch London book was to give people a pair of needles, a push in the right direction and the freedom to take their knitting where ever they wanted to. From stitching on tube train to getting knitty on the South Bank to pulling out a purl in the office, there’s nowhere in London that doesn’t suit a bit of a knit, and there’s nothing in London that couldn’t be improved by being cast on in yarn.
So the folks at David & Charles and I set out to create Stitch London the book. This mainly consisted of me stitching till my arms dropped off (happily reattachment of arms comes as standard with a rest and a cup of tea), scribbling Londony words all over every piece of paper in sight, saying to anyone who asked what I was knitting “I can’t tell you until next year.” (top secret knitting all the way!), eating emergency cake, never sleeping and running about London like a loon trying to find stitching inspiration, while the lovely D&C team cheered me on and made book magic with the pile of knits, pages and often slightly worrying ideas I heaped on them.
The resulting book is crammed full of my favourite London-flavoured things. There’s manky pigeons, cockney rhyming slang, royalty, speculation on the weather, city stories, office banter, grand old monuments, tall tales, endless cups of tea and slices of cake, some totally useless craft tips (and some good ones), and puddles of Thames Water all over the patterns inside. But most importantly there’s the invitation for you to live, breathe, stitch and show off the city knitter in you. I am insanely proud of the finished product and hope you love it as much as I loved hatching and growing it.
Stitch London isn’t about my London, it’s about yours. My city knits are just there to get you started. So grab your sticks and string and take your first few stitched steps into Stitch London. I cannot wait to see where you end up. Just mind that puddle there. Damp yarn is no one’s friend.
Read more of Lauren’s ramblings at www.whodunnknit.com
Join the Stitch London community at www.stitchLDN.com