Thoughts from October 2010

drink, shop, knit a small hat

Last week we popped into Drink, Shop & Do, a new craft and design cafe in Kings Cross.


Every Tuesday they have a knit night, and so we thought we'd tag along to meet some knitters, have some drinks (freshly made mint tea, thank you) and show them how to make a Big Knit hat. We met some expert knitters who've been contributing for years.


Along with some newer knitters who were keen to learn their knit from their purl (check out the furious concentration).


Smoothies were drunk, wine was drunk, no-one seemed that drunk, a few hats were started, other knitwear was created, and everyone admired the tapestry of a sexy nude lady watching over proceedings.

A big thank you to Coralie and all the team at Drink, Shop & Do for having us along to such a fun and creative evening. We'll certainly be going back for the cakes.



hats hats everywhere, but not a scarf to see

The hats have been coming in thick and fast to Fruit Towers, with many an overflowing set of mail bags appearing each day (much to the annoyance of my desk buddies).


We've had ladies coming in who've made 400 hats each.


And photos of girl guides with all their hats (the Blythe Guides)

Judy Snowball Blythe Guides 2

But imagine you've been opening up packages of hats all day. You've seen some beautiful knitted beanies, a few soft berets, a couple of teapots, a patch of strawberries, even a pirate hat. It's been a pretty good day. Having got through 5 mail bags, you then pour out another package over the floor. But wait, what scanty treasure trove have we here? Is that a frog? Isn't that grandma? Hold on, I think that's a Christmas tree. Isn't that a mythical beast with golden horseshoes? And, my goodness, a cauliflower?


I think I can see a worm coming out of an apple, and that bee is covered in ladybirds.


As if that bundle of joy from the readers of Simply Knitting magazine wasn't enough, just as I was about to close down my computer and make a run for the weekend, Kat's mum Christine arrived at Fruit Towers with the 1000 hats she's made in the last year.


That's right, one thousand hats. If you were to put three beans in a jar every day for a year, that's (almost) as many beans as hats that Christine's made. And that's a lot of beans.

I wonder what wonders next week will bring.


conker the world ... championships

This Sunday sees the annual World Conker Championships kicking, or rather hitting, off in Northamptonshire. There can be no tampering with any conkers as they're supplied by Ashton Conker Club (who also kindly supplied this photo too), so soaking them in vinegar is out. Mittens to protect your knuckles are most definitely in.

patterns of the week: sheep, pineapple, and ladybird

With our hatty deadline being next Friday 15th October, we hope you have the time and the fast fingers to get your needles round this selection of patterns. We thought as an extra special treat we'd bump up the pattern to patterns, and give you three this week. Kicking them off is this baaaa baaaaa ball of wool, a lovely little sheep like shaun. Get the pattern here.


Next up is a fruity juicy pineapple, pattern from here.


And then we have this beautiful ladybird which was a featured hat in Big Knit's bygone. The pattern is available here.

Ladybird pic

Happy knitting.


a little knit-in we had

Last week we opened up the doors of Fruit Towers to the knitting group Stitch London. We untangled some balls of wool, got the teapots out, and spent the afternoon in preparation making lots and lots of sandwiches and the odd cake too (Emma made a rice krispie cake that you could cut diamonds on).


Knitters came flooding in, and soon enough the towers were no longer filled with talk of just fruit and veg, but knitting, crocheting, and general nattering.


We also met some first time knitters and helped them learn their knit from their purl.


But it wasn't all just fun and games*, as we set the out three competition categories for the evening. Who could knit the most hats, the most creative hat, and the worst hat. As the hats flooded in, judging grew even harder, and Lauren, Oli and Emma had their work cut out for them.

*well, it was mostly

Judge 1

Tension mounted in the boardroom, and nearly came to blows.

Judge fight

But the judges managed to put aside their grudges, and crowned the winners. The most hats was six, the most creative hat was a lego viking, and the worst hat's bobble fell off if you were eating near it.


And here's Jenny with her award winning hat (the award was a bag of innocent goodies).


Thanks to everyone from Stitch London for coming along, to Juliet for helping make it happen, and for continuing to send us your hats (an extra special thank you to Maddie - and for the dancing ladybird).