Thoughts from September 2010

become a student Big Knit ambassador

Are you a student with a passion for (knitted, small, hatty) fashion? Then The Big Knit Needs You.

Big knit needs you

We're looking for Big Knit ambassadors across the country's schools, colleges, and universities to organise knitting events to make hats for this year's Big Knit. As the Big Knit ambassador for your student body you'll need to collect as many hats as possible, and send them in to us by the 13th of October.

We'll be running a competition across every school and university which enters, and those ambassadors which present the most hats will win a whole bunch of innocent goodies, as well as being featured in our family newsletter.

(but no, you won't get a smoothie bath)

You can download knit-in invites and guides on how to knit here.

We've also got 5 knitting packs to send out to the first 10 students who get in touch. Don't worry if you've never knitted before, you can learn with our easy how-to-knit-guide.

Please send your final bundles of hats in to:

Big Knit Ambassador Competition
Fruit Towers
1 The Goldhawk Estate
Brackenbury Road
W6 0BA

Any enquiries, please email

The more people that get stuck in, the more money we can raise for Age Concern, making winter warmer for older people.

Now get recruiting - friends, lab partners, study-buddies, roomies (or is that just America?), cast-on, and get knitting.


pattern of the week - easy peasy

A couple of weeks ago Suzy won hat of the week with the beautiful peas in a pod. Due to popular demand, she kindly sent in the pattern so you too can get down to the bottom of the garden, among the birds and the bees, where live a lot of little people, called The Poddington Peas.


But hopefully nothing as cree-pea as the black-eyed-pea. Spooky.

Get the pattern here.


the tale of the whale who once lived in a skip

Still gently flagellating yourself for not bidding on the 80kg fibre glass whale that sold on eBay a few months ago?

Willy and friend

Well, you can stop the whipping right now as we've tracked him down and there is a happy ending to this whale tale.

As homophonic luck would have it, the whale formerly known as Willy is now living at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in West Wales after the centre manager, Steve, and his girlfriend, Sarah, bought the ex-clubbing fibre glass mammal to help raise awareness for the conservation work they do.

At present, Steve and his colleagues aren't entirely sure how they're going to use the whale to raise funds for the centre but they've made an excellent start by entering him as a whale mobile in the Aberaeron Bank Holiday Carnival to promote their Adopt-a-Dolphin scheme.

Whale mobile

If you're ever Cardigan Bay way, then the centre is well worth popping into and the boat trips a great way to spot bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seals and leatherback turtles (not to mention a whale who used to go clubbing).

Whale rider

Dumped by a Leeds nightclub, roaming the skips and back gardens of North Yorkshire and then being sold to the highest bidder, it's the stuff of fairytale endings that Willy the whale ended up being carnival king and the toast of the Teifi

Who'd have thought eBay would be responsible for such Hollywood gold?

spreadable line up

At the end of every summer, my mum sends a massive pot of her damson jam to Fruit Towers for toast duty

Condiment line up

It's been in the kitchen less than a week now but has already taken over as king of the breakfast spreads.

Here's a rare early morning sighting of two Philippa's by the toaster, about to engage in some homemade-jam-on-granary action

Phil jam

Thanks to Mrs T for making stolen re-homed damsons and breakfast taste so very good.

Mrs t

hat of the week

The Vikings won it out in last week's very close battle, but no pyres burnt after all.. Well done Susan.

Kicking off a series of themed hat of the week competitions, this week we have the best-hat-with-dangly-things-hanging-off event. You'd be surprised by the number of hats we've had which fit the bill, including a rasta hat with its own dreadlocks, an octopus with all eight arms, and some nordic themed hats with some seriously long tassles. But we've managed to wittle it down to these two.

Week 3 Jennifer Clarke
Jennifer from Leicester sent us this funky little number, like a disco anemone.

Week 3 Patricia Rushby
Whilst Patricia from Lincolnshire made this sophisticated bejeweled fancy.

So who's it going to be? You decide, by voting here.