Visit London Blog » knitting Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Stitched Science at the Science Museum Mon, 27 Jun 2011 10:58:25 +0000

London’s Science Museum was full of woolly monsters at the weekend as Stitch London took up residence to explore science through craft.

Stitched Science included an exhibition of scientific objects made by knitting, crochet and sewing, from embroidered cells to a rather charming knitted Professor Brian Cox. The highlight was the incredibly beautiful Orion Nebula pictured above, which was knitted by Lisa Bentman.

Craft workshops took place under a large knitted solar system. The workshops included pompom planets, knitting Mars monsters, recycling plastic bags into yarn and cross stitch classes. In case you’re wondering how scientific this actually was, I joined the Knit a Neuron workshop and while we knitted, PhD students explained enthusiastically how neurons work and their role in the brain. The Woolly Thoughts workshop explored maths and the science behind altered perspectives.

If you’re sad you missed the opportunity to make a Martian at Stitched Science this weekend, the Science Museum will be holding a Real-Life Gaming Festival at the end of September where you can enjoy being chased round the museum by aliens and rope other visitors into playing games you’ve invented. Free entry. Real-Life Gaming Festival 28 September – 2 October 2011.

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Hand Made Tales and the Women’s Institute Craft Day at the Women’s Library Wed, 16 Feb 2011 16:14:51 +0000

The Women’s Library in East London has gone craft crazy. The current exhibition Hand Made Tales: Women and Domestic Crafts, explores the role of sewing, gardening, knitting and cooking in women’s lives. If you enjoy making things, you need to find time to visit this exhibition.

Hand Made Tales is full of beautiful hand-made items, as well as craft tools, vintage craft books and haberdashery. The exhibition explores connections between craft and history – in times when women had limited rights of ownership, they took care over the items they made. The exhibition also considers emotional connections made by craft, for example when we treasure and use our grandmother’s button jar, sewing box or knitting needles.

To complement the exhibition, artist Nicola Malkin has created some art pieces which have been scattered around the building, including giant knitting needles on the wall.

Last Saturday, London branches of the Women’s Institute took over the exhibition with a fun day of craft demonstrations, tea and free talks.

The most interesting speaker was Anne Stamper, the WI Honorary archivist who explained how the WI preserved, shared and developed craft skills throughout the 20th century, supporting rural communities and holding major exhibitions to showcase expert work.

It was also fascinating to see demonstrations of traditional craft and it inspired me to go home and teach myself tatting (with a lot of help from YouTube tutorials!).

Hand Made Tales runs till 26 March 2011. Free entry. The Women’s Library has an ongoing programme of thoughtful talks, walks and events.

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London Photo of the Week: The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace Sat, 09 Oct 2010 11:28:54 +0000

Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not pop up to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace? Yesterday the sewing machines were out under a canopy of fabric scraps!

The biggest craft show in London is packed with stalls selling sewing and knitting supplies, there are exhibitions of work from craft guilds, textile graduates and artists, and you can even take a class to learn something new!

The show is open today and tomorrow. Find out more at

What did you do this weekend? Add your photos to the Visit London Flickr pool.

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Loop’s New London Knitting Shop Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:28:57 +0000

Loop, London’s lovely luxury yarn boutique had an opening party at the weekend to celebrate moving to a shiny new shop in Islington‘s Camden Passage. Nearly 150 customers queued up outside on Saturday morning to be the first through the door!

The new Loop looks right at home nestled between antique shops and exclusive boutiques. Loop now offers a larger selection of stock and a lovely light upstairs space for classes and gatherings.

Head to Islington and check out Loop’s new shop for yourself. You’ll find everything a knitter needs at Loop – wool, needles, books, comfy chairs and a very friendly welcome!

Loop, 15 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA
Check out for a full list of classes

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Make Do Mend at 40 Winks Mon, 30 Nov 2009 11:00:17 +0000 Corsages and other hand made treasures

Make Do Mend launched their chic craft party business at London’s 40 Winks on Thursday night with champagne, sewing, sequins and cupcakes!

Make Do Mend organise bespoke craft class parties for you and your friends. Last night we were offered a little taster of their fun, friendly parties with Christmas cupcake decorating and corsage making.

Novice sewers worriedly announced that they couldn’t sew and then dived into the enticing pile of Liberty print fabric and vintage buttons and made beautiful corsages and Christmas tree decorations. Textile tutors Claire Montgomerie and Bee Clinch were warm and entertaining hosts and were full of ideas and advice to make sure that we all learned how to make lovely things.
Crafting with Make Do Mend
Downstairs in the kitchen, creative cupcake expert Mae Len Nam was teaching guests how to professionally decorate sparkly silver and red cupcakes which were sweetly wrapped in little bags to take home. (The take home bags were nice in theory but anyone who managed to get a cupcake that tempting home has more willpower than me!)

40 Winks is the perfect venue for crafting. This stylish townhouse owned by internationally acclaimed interior designer David Carter is full of design inspiration and beautifully crafted objects – the house regularly features in magazine photo shoots.

To keep the house in pristine condition we were asked to leave our shoes at the door and sat around wearing little red fluffy slippers which added an even cosier, comforting atmosphere to the evening.

Bespoke craft parties are a lovely way to celebrate a birthday, a hen night or learn a new skill with your friends. One class Make Do Mend host is a baby shower party where each of your guests knits or crochets a blanket square for a baby blanket. Too cute!

Make Do Mend will arrange a class for you and your friends in a chic local venue or they can host a craft party in your home. Prices are per person and depend on the venue and your craft desires. You can find more information about their parties and classes at

Everyone attending a Make Do Mend party gets an exciting little goodie bag to take home so you can keep practicing and playing with the techniques you’ve learned.

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The Hammer House of Horror Festival Opening Wed, 28 Oct 2009 13:40:20 +0000 Christopher Lee as DraculaThe Hammer House of Horror Festival opened last night at Idea Generation Gallery in Shoreditch.

Long associated with vampires, mummies and b-grade erotica, Hammer is Britain’s most successful film company. Most of the famous Hammer Horror movies were produced from the 1950s to the 1970s. Some of the company’s best-known titles include Dracula (and sequels such as Dracula: Prince of Darkness), The Mummy, The Curse of Frankenstein, and One Million Years B.C.

Bringing together movie posters, film stills and behind-the-scenes pics of the stars, the exhibition part of the festival is a blood-spattered caper through Hammer’s gory ouvre. 

Photo captions give just the right amount of info about their subjects and the films, and the exhibition contains a good mix of kitsch promotional material and interesting “asides”. However, our favourite thing was the knitted dagger, which was stabbed almost surreptitiously into the top of a staircase, with a trail of woollen blood ending in a knitted blood puddle on the ground floor.

The knitted dagger. Photo: Lettice KempIf all this whets your appetite for the undead, why not catch a late night screening of a Hammer Horror classic in London over the Halloween weekend, or one of the festival’s other parties and events. Check out Idea Generation Gallery, the Lexi Cinema and Curzon Soho for more Hammer Horror Festival happenings.

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The Knitted Poem: National Poetry Day Live in London Wed, 07 Oct 2009 11:47:23 +0000 Judith Palmer, Director of The Poetry Society puttin the finishing touches to the knitted poem

The Poetry Society has come up with a crafty way to mark their centenary – a giant knitted poem!

Knitters all over the world were asked to knit a letter on a blanket square and send it in. The poem chosen for the project has been a closely guarded secret. As each knitter was only working on a letter, they didn’t know what the poem would be! This morning it was revealed that the letters have been sewn together to spell out In My Craft or Sullen Art by Dylan Thomas.

If you want to appreciate the full beauty of this poem (and the knitting!) head down to the Royal Festival Hall tomorrow for National Poetry Day Live!

You can join in the free events all afternoon in the Clore Ballroom, featuring live poetry readings from John Hegley, Roger McGough, Lemn Sissay and Selima Hill. Don’t miss the chance to see Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy reading her first National Poetry Day poem.

The afternoon also includes the prizegiving ceremony for the Foyle Young Poets and exclusive BBC archive footage of famous poets from the past reading their work.

National Poetry Day Live! – 8 October, Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, 2-5pm

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