For years, an underground revolution has been taking London by storm. It involves needles, hooks and stitches, and it may bring back memories of those itchy Christmas jumpers from your grandma. That’s right, folks: knitting continues to be the new cool and with the temperature continuing to drop, more timelier than ever.
Knitting has always been a popular pastime, but unlike the olden days, when it was reserved for women making socks, scarves, and the awful aforementioned jumpers, nowadays it’s common to come across knitting socials, with even groups of guys picking up the habit. The reasons for this are numerous. Knitting is relaxing yet sociable; it can be both simple and wonderfully complex; and it provides a creative platform for your individuality. Most importantly, it proves to be exceedingly fun.
If you’ve noticed London’s grey streets suddenly looking more colourful on occasion, chances are you’ve spied the handiwork of Knit the City’s graffiti knitters. This guerrilla knitting collective have been ‘yarn bombing’ the capital since 2009; their multicoloured creations have adorned telephone boxes, London buses and various exhibits at the Natural History Museum (where their mascot, Plarchie, a giant orange octopus stitched out of carrier bags, was most notably discovered draped across Sir Isaac Newton).
These imaginative ideas spring up from the numerous knitting communities around the city, the largest of which is Stitch London. They hold weekly meetings with additional monthly learner sessions, so no would-be knitter feels like they’re dropping stitches, and knitters of every level can attend. You can also visit Ravelry online, and just type in your postcode to find out the knitting groups local to your area.
For all your knitting needs, head to I Knit in Waterloo, where the shop doubles as a meeting space for knitting events such as classes, film screenings and club nights – it even has its own licensed bar, cementing its reputation as a veritable sanctuary for knitters.
Whatever your knitting status, there’s a London activity for it. So in the wise words of the Stitch knitting mob, ‘Keep Calm and Carry Yarn’. Lovely. (Words: Flora Baker)