PRESENTED WITH A POT PLANT.

I would like to thank the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Keith Axon Centre in Fairlop for such a warm welcome yesterday afternoon. Pam, a keen knitter and librarian from Redbridge, invited me to talk to her community about knitting. She publicised it well and there was a fantastic turn out. There were four different knitting circles there, who were all busy making things.
I talked for I don't know how long and was then inundated with questions, stories and finally a pot plant, which touched me greatly.
Pam then drove me back to the station. On route we were followed by a police car for ages, although we were both sure we hadn't done anything wrong, Pam tried to shake the police off by turning down a side road, which turned out to be a dead end, but fortunately, the police didn't follow us, so we didn't have to volt the tall fence straight ahead.
Thanks Pam, I had a really cool time.

ELEN INHABITS TOKYO.




When Elen won a scholarship to visit Japan, we knew she would knit something special along the way.
Here is Elen finishing the right front of her "To Tokyo, In Tokyo, From Tokyo" cardigan.
The yellow specklety and pink yarn, are from Shin Gin Koo - (Which we know we have probably spelt wrong.)

Elen noticed that in Tokyo the Pharmacy has pink squares rather than green ones. During the day the colours are all greys and pastels, and then at night the real colours appear with all the lights.

All this happens in one garment. Sadly, Elen had such a tight schedule that she didn't pick up any related buttons. Does anyone have any ideas? They are to go along a beautiful cabled edge.



LUX INTERIORS.


Since Lux Interior died, earlier this year, I've rekindled my love for The Cramps.
'Bend Over I'll Drive' has, at times, kept this business rocking.
Recently, I've been concerned that should the remaining members of The Cramps visit our shop, we might not have anything they wanted.
So now we have three new, faux fur, animal print ribbons to jolly up the rest of our brightly coloured trims, currently on sale at 60p a meter.

DOREEN PERRY R.I.P.

We were sorry to report the sad news that our friend Doreen passed away last week.

If you have been to our private views, you will have conversed with this extraordinary lady.

We first met Doreen, aged 90 something, dressed in leathers in the Bethnal Green Library. She became a great encouragement to us. With every visit, we learned something new, usually about the finishing of good quality underwear, which she always wore.

When Stephen Jones and I-D Magazine asked us to make an Easter Bonnet for the parade at the V&A, Doreen came with us. She brought a couture hat for each of our girls to model.

We all cut a dash, but on arrival in the V&A foyer, Doreen was shocked that none of us posed for the cameras properly. Flinging her cape, fluttering her eyelashes, and strutting across the hall, she showed us how to do it and a mob of men shouted 'to me! to me!'

For the short time we knew Doreen, we have learned what a wonderful time we could possibly have when we grow old. Her world was huge and she will be missed by many. Lets hope Doreen has found a really good party to go to.

Doreen's obituary is written much better in the Times but this is how we knew her.

Thank you to her daughters for the lovely knitting books which we shall cherish.

IN MY CRAFT OR SULLEN ART BY DYLAN THOMAS.

It's huge! We finished it last night and had a lot of fun jumping on the letters. The poem was shown at the British Library this morning, and it will be at the Royal Festival Hall tomorrow. (Thursday) You can also hear about it on BBC 's Poetry Please.

Left to right measurement: 13 metres (43 ft) at its widest point
Top to bottom measurement: 8.7 metres (28 ft) at its widest point
Number of squares: 1200+

Dylan Thomas

In My Craft or Sullen Art

In my craft or sullen art

Exercised in the still night

When only the moon rages

And the lovers lie abed

With all their griefs in their arms,

I labour by singing light

Not for ambition or bread

Or the strut and trade of charms

On the ivory stages

But for the common wages

Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart

From the raging moon I write

On these spindrift pages

Nor for the towering dead

With their nightingales and psalms

But for the lovers, their arms

Round the griefs of the ages,

Who pay no praise or wages

Nor heed my craft or art.


Copyright Dylan Thomas.

Used by

Permission of David Higham

Associates.

POETRY NEWS.

By last Friday tea time, Louise and I had almost stitched the first 6 lines together. Our morale had improved after managing to Invade an Invasion in the Poetry Soc. Cafe basement.
Our friend, Judith Dean, who took this picture, is invading the Poetry Society with a strategy and manner similar to that of the Romans. The invasion seems to be formulating a brilliant show, but for the time being we were proud to have taken up all her space for the afternoon, and let our battle commence with the huge task ahead. Keep an ear out for movement of Judith. She might 'build Rome in a day' again.
The moving thing about the knitted poem is that stories are told with every square, all injected with love, of immense importance, and each story will merge with all the other extraordinary squares and oblongs. It would be impossible to show each one.

THE LINES ARE STITCHED TOGETHER NOW.


Thank you to everyone who came and stitched the poem with us! This is Rebecka, she got the whole thing rolling by administrating the knitting of the letters. That was a HUGE job....
It took between 2.5 and 4 hours to stitch two lines together, so with 23 lines, you can calculate the numbers of fingers we needed to help. Fingers came from every where, including some which were on holiday from Australia.

Deportment was important. We stopped for stretches as much as we stopped for tea.
There was nothing boring about this job. Every square came with a message and we felt that we were surrounded by hundred's of friends and comrades. Even the man on the radio gave us a shout out.

The poem was bigger than the Poetry Soc building, so we couldn't roll it out to read it. There was only one mistake, no gap between 'the' and 'moon', but Brigit managed to un pick that area and insert a blank. Phew!

I didn't speak to Louise for hours. She was fully absorbed and occasionally lifted her head to encourage everyone.

We got a lot of stitching out of Ellen, because she was meant to be writing an essay, and wasn't ready to start. I reckon her essay came together through the stitching of this poem.
Next instalment of the poem to follow shortly.

ZARA'S FIRST SPINNING.


We lost Zara to the spinning wheel this afternoon! It was a good first day's work, and we know as the weeks pass her yarn will get more and more relaxed.
Zara was taught by Uncle Kim, pictured here. Kim is a good pirate who lives in the West Indies and grows coco. He comes to visit a few times a year, gets drunk and tells amazing stories.
Kim taught me to spin too. He says you have to let the wool do it's own thing.
For a really good adventure, you can go and stay in his converted chicken shack with en-suite everything. I can put you in touch. He's got a toe missing where a shark got him but he can still build houses and catch your dinner.
Kim tells it as it is , sings the blues, and isn't really my Uncle but he likes it when I call him that.

LISA ANNE AUERBACH IN NOTTINGHAM.


For those of us who couldn't make it to Lisa Anne's show in Nottingham, here are some pictures she kindly sent me.
The first, her wonderful window display at Nottingham gallery.
The second, Lisa Anne by the big tree where all the rebels go.
“Stop making scarves, start making trouble,” she challenges..
Lisa Anne Auerbach is a rebel and a very good one at that.
We love her work, and all the ideas she has.
Read her blog Steal This Sweater.


Thanks for coming Lisa Anne! Here we are, as you saw us, waving hello and goodbye. X

POETRY CLUES!

Watch the worlds biggest and most beautiful poem emerge at the Poetry Society this weekend. There are a lot of letters to stitch together. The poem is still secret but clues are sure to come to those who lend fingers and company!
Here is picture of the lovely cafe, which will be on hand all day.

Here is Philosophy by Gwyneth Lewis

"Knitting is like everything," it's tempting to say.
No. Knitting's like knitting. sure, there's cosmology

in Norwegian sweaters with vertical stars,
but as science that doesn't get us far.

If space is made of superstrings
then God's a knitter and everything

is craft. perhaps we can darn
tears in space- time continuum

and travel down wormholes to begin
to purl in another dimension's skein.

But no. There are things you can't knit:
a spaceship. A husband, though the wish

might be strong and the softest thread
would be perfect for the hair on his head,

another, tougher, that washes well
for his pecs and abdominals. You can stitch a soul

daily and unpick mistakes,
perform some moral nip and tucks-

forgiveness. Look out. your Frankenstein
might turn and start knitting you again.