Thursday, 11 December 2008

ho ho ho!

We have had a relaxed attitude to updating the blog and emailing round everyone reminding them that it is knit night, that may be that we are caught up with Christmas knitting (see above) or that the very prospect of knit withdrawal as Christmas approaches is too much to bear.

Yes, there is no knit on Wednesday 24th and Wednesday 31st December but to cheer ourselves up we have a few knit nights out to look forward too.

Next Wednesday (17th) the lovely Picnic (Butter Market, Reading) is opening it's doors for the evening for a knitting special. No home baking required as we will be able to buy a delicious slice of something with a cuppa. Come along between 6.30-9.30pm.

We will meet again at jelly on Wednesday 7th January from the usual time of 7pm and then the following week, 14th January, we will be going en masse to The Royal College to see Emma's current work in progress.

I've shown you some of my Christmas knitting, now it's time to show me yours......

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Lego knitting machine

What we would like for Christmas?

Knit is on this coming Wednesday from 7pm at the Town Hall, see you there

Sunday, 16 November 2008

We are exhibiting at South Hill Park, Bracknell

This weekend 15th and 16th November you'll find Outcastians, Knithappens, Kikiknits, Angharad, knitwit, knitclicking, Skein Queen and Skimmity Jig selling their crafty goodies at South Hill Park, Bracknell.

Come and find us on stand 39 in the Wilde Theatre.

more info see here

Monday, 3 November 2008

My knitty chum Melanie Bond who I studied with at Winchester made this dress. I think it is marvelous and wanted to share it with you. The pattern will be available soon at Knit On The Net

See you all on Wednesday.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Knit Night

Knit Night will be on as usual at the Jelly from 7 pm on Wednesday 29th October 2008. In addition, the Jelly will host Felix' workshop on Knitted Vegetables on Halloween night from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm. All details are available on:

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Knit Night

Knit Night will not be on at the Jelly this Wednesday, 22nd October 2008. The Outcast knitters will be off to the Charity Private View of the Affordable Art Fair in London. You can check details of the Art Fair, which will run from Thursday 23rd October to Sunday 26th October, on

But we will be Wednesday 29th October at the Jelly from 7 pm.

Friday, 17 October 2008

the hats are on their way

So here they all are, ready to travel to Fruit Towers to the lovely innocent people, if you missed what we were up to, it's all here. 228!

Thank you everyone, Jan at the Post Office who kept making more, the Esmerk team who just couldn't stop knitting and even those innocent bystanders/ people trying to enjoy cake on a Sunday who got dragged in

And an extra big THANK YOU to Jon and all his lovely staff, including Cat and her amazing macaroons, at Picnic for welcoming our knit takeover and keeping the kettle on.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A new baby to knit for

Beatty and Ben have literally just become first time parents of a little boy, I don't know a name yet as Granny Bridget texted me. Good timing I think as I saw this lovely snuggle sack on the purlbee.

Sorry for the gratuitous yellow, I can't help myself....

And whilst we are in the subject of yellow, I shall say the words, VINTAGE again - wow, how much you love the vintage stuff so knit night this very Wednesday 15th October will be a plethora of cheese and pineapple on sticks and smelly old patterns rootled out form the bottom of the cupboard or some other unmentionables.

I know you will love the family trunkt project, go on, I encourage you to open the trunk.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Saving the odd ones under the pile or rubble

On a very cold and windy Saturday afternoon I found myself on my knees in a charity shop going through a pile of old knitting patterns. The pile didn't look very inspiring with all its 1980s ladies looking at me in big pompomning shoulders and fluorescent makeup but I kept rummaging and found two 1960s patterns for gloves and tea cosies. I guess sometimes you really have to look harder to find the odd ones...

Then I found this article in the new issue of the BBC Homes & Antiques magazine about the Knockando Woodmill, which lies in a Scottish valley and looks like a disused mill. But if one looks harder through the pile of rusty roofs and shaky walls, there is a working weaving mill which uses the same tools as when it started 200 years ago. The mill needs help to survive through the 21st century and beyond, and if it does survive it might start producing yarn for sale. So I guess that sometimes the little gems do lie under a pile of uninspiring 'rubble' be it paper or bricks and steel.

The image of the mill is from:

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Thank you!

Thank you, all of you dear Outcastians

What an afternoon, the sun shone, the knittarazzi came and took some snaps, we ate cake, drank tea, knitted, enjoyed the sun and then quickly it was over..... 109 hats complete in 3 hours.

Thank you all x x x x

superstars x x x x x

Monday, 22 September 2008

The Big Knit Marathon 2008

Just a reminder for the Big Knit Marathon sponsored by Innocent drinks for Age Concern. The Outcastians will meet at Picnic in Reading from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm on Sunday 28th September 2008 to knit lots of cute little hats to go on Innocent bottles. Some of us have already tried our millinery creations on our favourite models like Willow the cat.

Her mummy Jenny knitted this beautiful creation which could be reproduced for winter skiing in Switzerland! Very becoming indeed!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Happy Birthday Wildfennel

Image from Memake -

Happy Birthday to Wildfennel today!

Love from your knitty friends xxxx

See below post about Knit night tomo

Yarn pRon

There is this kind

or this kind

Choose at will

Knit will be back at the usual place this week, from 7pm at jelly workshops.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Event: All-day workshop: “Stitching Into Your Knitting”
Tutor: Sarah Hazell
Date: Saturday, 11 October
Time: 10.00am to 4.30pm
Cost: £35, payable at time of booking

New in conjunction with Rowan’s 30th Anniversary collection, this workshop teaches how to confidently add embroidered decorations to your knitted projects. Participants will produce a decorative panel which incorporates intarsia and embroidery. Suitable for knitters of intermediate to advanced levels looking to extend their skills.

Rowan workshops include lunch, refreshments and all materials. Guests are asked only to bring a pen and paper for optional note-taking. In addition, a 10% voucher will be offered for use on the day for all Rowan and Rowan Classic purchases. Spaces are limited, so best to book early.

You can book by either visiting the Haberdashery Department in John Lewis, or by calling 0118 9575955 ex. 4450.

Friday, 12 September 2008

As life becomes more technologically advanced we tend to cling to certain basic and fundamental things

quote from Andrew Salmond, Creative Exhibitions

The joys of knitting - the debate was is this just a temporary return? What do you think?
Information here

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Big Bang Knitting Wednesday

Captain Kirk Knitting chart
Knitting Chart

The end of the life, the universe and everything?

Wednesday is Big Bang Day but it's also knit night. This week we are going to Sally's. Please contact us if you need directions. Same time as normal. See you there.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Happy Birthday Ginko

Wishing Ginko a Happy Birthday for Tuesday from all your chums at Outcast.

We hope that dress is nearly finished!


Thursday, 4 September 2008

old fashioned knitted things

A little treat for you old fashioned knitters (who, us?), some free vintage knitwear downloads..... mmmmmm

They look quite glam but a photoshoot in a field of sheep is not neccessary.

A new book of vintage patterns recreated into current knit speak is available here

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

New hats, new shoes, a wedding maybe?

I was completely inspired by Wildfennels post below and the fact that we are returning to our newly wed knitter, bombella's house this week for knit night so I thought we should celebrate the love of knitting.

Any newly wed hubby who invites a group of renegade knitters to his house is a keeper!

image from the cast off wedding

Knit night for Wednesday 3rd September will be at Bombella's - contact me for directions

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Just a quick message to confirm that Knit Night is on from 7 PM to 10 PM at the Jelly as usual despite the holiday defections....

and i love this from

Sunday, 24 August 2008

the big knit

the outcast knitting marathon

So you didn't know that knitting is a sporting activity??? Well it is and we are going to host a knitting marathon in aid of the Big Knit 2008

What’s the Big Knit?
Every year innocent run a campaign to get folks up and down the land to knit little hats for their smoothie bottles. For every behatted bottle sold, Sainsburys and innocent will give 50p per bottle sold to Age Concern to help keep older people warm in winter.

Why are we doing it?
It’s a really sad and largely unknown fact that every winter, over 25,000 older people die from cold related illnesses. It’s tough for many to get enough food, warmth or activity to stay fit and healthy. The money raised from The Big Knit goes towards providing hot meals, blankets and advice to older people on how to keep their houses warm.

How can I help?
Last year The Big Knit raised over £200,000 for Age Concern and this year they’re looking to raise lots lots more. So they’d love our help.

All we need to do is knit a little hat and pop it in the post. All the knitting patterns are available here and we will bring more along on the day, including yarn, needles and a lot of knitter natter.

Join us at Picnic, from 2.30pm on Sunday 28 September for a knitting marathon.

Last year we got a top knitter award, what this year?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Song of the Knitters

When I was at the 'In the Loop' conference in Winchester last month, Rachael Matthewshanded out song sheets. The exact date of the song is unknow but I'm guessing it dates back to the 'Knitters of Dent' era. This song would ideal to help keep you cheerful if you were knitting a plain jumper in black yarn.

It goes like this to a tune similar to 'Three Blind Mice'

We're a busy and joyous band
Terrible knitters of Westmorland
And many's the stocking we send away
To Kendal town up on market day
Week in, week out
You may see us sittin'
In t'ingle nook a doin' our knittin'
In t'ingle nook a doin' our knittin'
A do in' our knittin'


Knit Knit Knit!
By Morin', by noon and bu night
Knit Knit Knit!
So lang as there's owt of a light
When ever you're sorry
When ever you're sick
There's nowt that cheers like t'needles click,
So knit knit knit!

T'men may snuff or drink or smoke,
But thats not 'way with Women folk
To pass the time or to soothe her grief
She takes up her own lile knittin' sheaf
And hours on end
You may see her sittin'
Just doin' nowt but knittin'
Just doin' nowt but knittin an knittin'
Just nowt but knittin'

By WT Mc Intire and George Rathbone

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

KNIT NIGHT - bonfire and baked potatoes

A change of venue for knit night this week - 13th August 2008.

Contact me for details.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Twist Collective - knitting Magazine

image from

Whilst surfing the internet I came across this magazine and quite liked it so wanted to shared it with you. It also features an article by one of our faveourite author/blogger The Gentle Art of Domesticity/Yarnstorm - Jane Brocket.

Enjoy the photography!

Click here to read more

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Love found, love lost

Knitters, listen to this Leonard and Marianne

Only one thing made him happy, but now it is gone everything made him happy

It will be gone 7 days from now

The story of the love affair between poet and singer Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, the beautiful wife of a Norwegian novelist. The two met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Their romance and eventual separation is immortalised in one of Cohen's earliest and best known songs, So Long, Marianne. 45 years later Cohen talked to Norwegian Radio about the song, and later Marianne spoke for the first time in English about her role as muse.

Monday, 21 July 2008

In the Loop Conference - Winchester School of Art

Last week I attended a conference at my art school called 'In the Loop'. They had amazing guest speakers covering a variety of knitty topics from the past, present and future. The conference touched on historical knitted collections from author Jane Waller and the late Montse Stanley and how hand knitters of the 16th to the 19th century (such as the 'Terrible Knitters of Dent' - see previous post for more info)earned a wage from their knitting skills.The Terrible Knitters of Dent
and I discovered what a 'polka' jacket looked like...'The School Girls Hymn' by William Holman Hunt 1858-9. A young girl wears a knitted tight fitted jacket known as the 'Polka'.

Also boundary pushing and avant-garde knitters brought the conference up to date with talks on new technology such as Designaknit and guest speakers such as Sabrina Gschwandnter founder of Knit Knit,
Rachel Beth Egenhoefer - textile artist combining traditional knitting techniques with new technology
Rachel Beth Egenhoefer - image from, Liz Collins, Lacey Jane Roberts Image from and Freddie Robbins shared with us the inspiration and motivation behind their work.

There is so much more to say as the conference was jammed with interesting knitty facts and inspirational stories. I nearly blubbed when one of the event co-ordinators said her thank yous and said 'this is the end [of the conference]'. Not only did those words mean the end of a lovely 3 days but to me it also symbolised the end of my three years at Winchester and what a wonderful way to end.

Friday, 18 July 2008

The joys of freeform

When I think of a new piece to knit or crochet I look for inspiration in texture and colour. As a novice knitter I still find it hard to follow a strict pattern and, because I mostly knit or crochet jewellry or small items, I can be as bold as to improvise while I go along - no fear of jumpers with three head holes. So, I'd like to celebrate the technique of freeform, its inspiration from art, and the work of Prudence Mapstone which looks fab and reminds me of paintings by Gustav Klimt (check him out at a current Tate Liverpool exhibition)

and Austrian genius Hundertwasser.

and for all tea cosies lovers...beautiful freeform teacosies

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Fab yarn sale in John Lewis! Check it out girls :)


Wednesday, 2 July 2008


For me knitting is about escapism. Whatever else is happening, you can submerge yourself at some point in a quiet act of making something, all around could be a hullabaloo or debris from life but once those needles begin clicking and the methodical repetition begins then a calm kind of descends. A kind of yoga I guess, something at the very least that goes back to the basics.

Quietly whilst you sit there you end up with wonderful things, to keep or to share.

yellow socks by alabamawhirly, made from hand dyed custom order yarn by skeinqueen

tea cosy by knitwit

picture of knitwit by cardinal wolsey

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

knit night and art

Well done to our brainy and talented knitters, who all got first class honours degrees.

Knit night is off course a wednesday, but this wednesday also coincides with the opening of a new exhibition at 10 Gun Street, from 6.30-9pm so maybe an early art plunge before a knit evening?

Details of the exhibiton are as below:

arjeea21 is a new contemporary art group in Reading. It provides a supportive critical forum in which artists can discuss and exhibit work that is developing in new ways or exploring current issues. Allotment is arjeea21's first exhibition.

It reflects a diverse patch of ideas and practical manifestations by artists whose work is growing and being actively cultivated.

Jean Aust, Belinda Fitzwilliams, Gill Goodwin, Elizabeth Heydeman, Ingrid Jensen, Helen Lunn, Karen Malik, Chris Mercier, Chris Quintrell, Roger Smalley, Hazel Strange, Roxana Tohaneanu-Shields and Janet Walton are showing work this time.

Informal meetings are held once a month for discussion and planning. Work either finished or in-progress, may be brought along for feedback. New members are welcome.


The exhibition will be open from 26 June - 13 July, 11am - 6pm daily.

Sponsored by Danny Fraifeld and Greg Muden of The Purple Turtle

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Knitting Hen Night

Knit night last Wednesday was at my house.
Lovely Outcasters came to try some practice wedding cake and to offer some creative advice and support for the big day (next month). All the ingredients for a perfect sophisticated hen night were there, a beautiful evening, knitting, Pimms, cake, scones and fantastic company all offering positive enthusiasm -it doesn't get better than that!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Continuing in a theme....

Knit night is tomorrow - hurrah

That is good because I have had a long long week and it is only Tuesday as I have written this

In fact there feels like there has been hardly any knit time in my house at all, and seeing as I knit whenever I can and too make me relax, that means that everything is at full tilt and there is no relaxing, so I found this movie and thought maybe that's what is needed

A metaphorical hug will do and then all is right in the world again.

Many congrats to Max, our knitting genius - in researching *knitted mortar boards* I found this article - I sped read it but found this interesting info for you *By the mid-fifteenth century Masters of Arts had a kind of knitted skull-cap, the caleptra.(30) In 1529 a pileus was allowed a candidate supplicating for the degree of Master of Arts* mmmmm, interesting!

see you at the workshops

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Knitting with Dolly and the Clothes Pegs

Knit night is on as usual from 7pm at the jelly workshop tomorrow but with the added bonus of Sarah, an outcast knitter performing with the rest of the band in the 3b's bar! wooty wooty, yeh -ha

If you have never heard them, you can hear a sneaky peek right here. Go on click, you know you want to.

Described by themselves as *Ramshakle clog stompin red neck music*

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Poetry Please

This weekend has been so busy that I hardly got any knitting done - apart from trying to make a sock to match a lonely one.

But the bit of time I found for myself also coincided with Poetry Please.

Check it out to hear these featured poems:
How to Knit a Poem by Gwyneth Lewis
Not yet published

Memorial Sweater by Gwyneth Lewis
Not yet published

Knitting Needles by Roger McGough
Not Yet Published

Nana’s Knitting Needles by Roger McGough
Not Yet Published

Saturday, 31 May 2008

the debate on why handknits cost so much

Someone on Etsyknittersteam, photostream here and team info here, forwarded this blog post about why do handknits cost so much

A good read!

Whilst you are pondering that, stroke the gorgeous yarn. Over on Ravelry, the wonderful Skein Queen has her own group of SQ addicts. I have see wonderous yarn and knittiing and this particular image comes from Maverick......................... mmmmmmmm. yarn.

For further etsyknitters info read here

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Call for seaside postcards

Would you like to contribute a ‘seaside postcard’ to be displayed in folders within the exhibition?

We will welcome creative responses on the theme of The Sea, in any medium as long as it is postcard size (15 x 10cm), fairly flat so that it can be slipped into a folder (so collage, painting, photography, stitching, drawing, printing, writing etc. actual works rather than photographs of works please).

We will welcome ‘postcards’ from individuals or sets of ‘postcards’ from groups of artists so please tell you colleagues.

‘Postcards’ can arrive at the museum at any time during the summer.

We will do our best to return work if you include your name and address on the back of the ‘postcard’ but, as the folders will be for public browsing, we cannot guarantee it.

The Sea, the Sea
10 May - 5 October
The sea in all its moods has inspired generations of artists. Paintings and drawings from the museum collection evoke the cry of gulls, the smell of salt spray and the feel of sand beneath your feet. Complementing the artworks are seldom-seen objects collected and created by people who lived, worked and dreamed by the sea - from shells, fossils and birds to tools, models and ceramics. The exhibition includes works by important artists as varied as Johannes Lingelbach, Julian Trevelyan and Maggi Hambling with plenty of things for all the family to see and do.

See Reading Museum for details

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

knit night is still a wednesday

So it is half term , you might really need too escape or even bring any wee bairns with you (you don't need to if you don't actually have any)

Knit night is tonight from 7pm at the workshops but in the meantime, I came across this handy book if you really love coming too knit night but really don't want too knit why not use the ideas from here - the uninitiated would never know!

Check out their blog

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Knitting, cake and beer?

Last week I think I was a little optimistic regarding the sunshine, but at least we all enjoyed a quick drink en plein air before retiring to the sanctuary of the workshop area.

This week we are probably having a visit from the knithappens in Newbury group. so I am planning to make some cake. Not the cake in this picture as all the cake gets eaten. In our house we have decided it is cake week, just because we can, so every day a new cake is made.

Cakes aside, I think it will be a busy night - Teresa V-B needs help with her environmental display piece, Knitwit and Trudie are being interviewed by a journalist and CraftyYarnGirl might be bringing some sale yarn she has got and Skein Queen has a competition to celebrate her one year anniversary.... check out the blogpost

And one final note, to bring the tone down, I found out something new about SEX today - it is an acronym for Stash Enhancement experience = buying yarn according to The Ravelry Knitting Lingo.... but if your partner says any chance of a quickie and a wink I doubt if a yarn spending spree is what they had in mind ; )

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

anyone for a beer?

mmmmm, beer and sunshine - quick, only sunny for at least the next 36 hours….. want to meet at the pub tomorrow instead of inside?

You could always have a glass of wine instead or a cup of tea ….

So knit night is from 7pm, sat outside the 3b’s - sounds perfect

If only my special Ravelry beer glasses were here..... get them whilst you can on Ravelry!

It is so very quiet out there.....

Have you noticed?

The number of knitting blogs that are slowing down?

This is the reason: The Detonator

Sock Wars III is now game on! I know there are a few Berkshire knitters taking part in this worldwide deadly knit game but who will survive the longest?

For those who aren't fighting for their lives with some yarn and a pair of sticks, come along to knitting tomorrow night, Wednesday 14 May from 7pm.

The knit is on

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Knit night entertainment

A multi talented Outcastian is playing in her band tonight 'Dolly and the Clothes Pegs'. You can see them play after 9pm in the bar next door to Knit night.

See you there.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Stitchy Mcyarnpants


The Museum of
Stitchy McYarnpants is Knitclicking's faveourite book. This book celebrates embarrassing and cringe worthy knitwear collected from decades of knitting faux pas with hilarious commentary and observations. Stitchy McYarnpants is a true 'Knit Wit'. This book is sarcastic, honest and very funny.

“The Museum of Kitschy Stitches’s hilarious tour through the annals of yarn history is a not-to-be-missed comedic cautionary tale.”—Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch ’N Bitch

Check out her blog. I particually like the post about "The Ballad of Dusty Sorrow"

Her website also offers free knitting patterns like the 'Beer Can Hat' - pictured above.......and she has an etsy shop too......