Monday, March 31, 2008

knitting for special care units

The following email has been forwarded to me and could well be of interest!

I don't know whether this is of any interest but Radio Cambridgeshire and CSV Action were advertising getting everyone knitting for Bonny Babies charity - to supply 80 Special Care Baby Units across the country (including Addenbrooke's) with knitted bonnets, bootees, cardigans etc. Radio Cambridgeshire are offering a free knitting pattern to get people started!

Edited to add:
I've just heard back from Pam, who runs the community action desk at Radio Cambs. here's what she says

if you could ask the members of the group to either call me on 0845 300 10 90 or e-mail me on and leave their name, number and address I can send the knitting patterns to them.

Thank you for your involvement.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Finally, birthday pics!

So here we all were at the Granta Bar on Wednesday night for the 5th birthday party ... These photos were taken without flash so there's an amount of blur - but less self-consciousness and running away to the bar to avoid the camera then there would otherwise be! I've added blog connections and Ravelry names [in brackets] for people whose details I know - do leave a comment if there are links I've missed out and I'll add them [I can't find Emma's blog at the moment, for instance, but I know there is one!]... And I think there were a couple of people I didn't photograph at all, so many apologies...

Photos are labelled from right to left... because that's the way I went round the circle...

Rosie [caughtknitting], Chika [chika], Claire [tigerchilli]

Alison, presiding over a table of drinks and crocheted coral-bits...

Emma, Jackie [jackier], Lil (a little bit in the background), Manda [Vespertine], and part of Emily [knittedrabbit]- sorry, Emily!!

Carole, Bekki [pigwotknits], Avril,

Heather [sparkleduck], Claire (with one of the IKnit lollies - thanks, guys, and for the mention in this week's newsletter!)

and Anne [MrsNiddyNoddy]...

A good time was had by all; the bar guys were as friendly as ever (which bodes well for future Saturday afternoons; we've outgrown the upstairs café by so much that we're a bit of a hazard up there!)...

Hope to see everyone tomorrow night at the Blue. I'll be the one hacking, coughing and sniffling pitifully.

April dates (and a maths lecture!)

Thur 3 April: Ely KTog at The Lamb, 7-9pm

Sat 5 April: Norwich awayday. Full details here

Tue 8 April: KTog at Granta Bar, ground floor, University Centre, 7-9pm

Thu 17 April: Ely KTog at The Lamb, 7-9pm

Sat 19 April: venue change KTog at Granta Bar, ground floor, University Centre,2-4pm note that, as numbers have grown so much, we have moved downstairs

Tue 22 April: KTog at The Cambridge Blue, Gwydir St, 7-9pm
If you crochet, you might be interested in the crochet coral reef project which some of us are taking part in. See here for more details.

If you are free on Tuesdays during the days, don't forget about the Knit and Natter Group that meets at Christchurch on Newmarket Rd (see here) with the exception of school holidays and the 4th Tuesday each month, which is when John Lewis hosts the Rowan Knit Club (for more details of that just ask their haberdashery dept).

Last--but by no means least-- a lecture by a mathematician, which is likely to have some crochet content (but it might be very small): Dr Daina Taimina from Cornell University (famous for her hyperbolic crochet) will be giving a talk to go with "Beyond Measure: conversation across art and science", and exhibition at Kettle's yard. The talk will be at Kettle's yard on Sat 12 April, 2pm (admission free).

Now We Are Five!

Here's a rather wonky scan of the wonderful card that Carole made to celebrate the group's 5th birthday. Here are just a few of the messages that got written inside:
"I feel like I have a new family, one that understands my obsession with yarn!!!"; "We're a lovely bunch of knitwits"; "here's to many more knitty and crafty years"; "knit on!"; "long live KTog".

I think that Liz is planning to add some photos soon. Meantime, we've been featured as I Knit London's first-ever knitting group of the week. We also owe I Knit a big thak you for providing the delicious lollies that Liz brought along to the party (I can vouch for their yumminess): thank you, I Knit!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the UK crochet coral reef project

Coral reefs and the UK aren't often mentioned in the same breath (and if, like me, you grew up with frequent dips in the North Sea, then you probably had your breath taken away by the sheer coldness). But, bear with me: this is the KTog's chance to participate in one of the most exciting conservation projects going. On Sunday I went to a workshop at The Royal Festival Hall, with Margaret Wertheim, of The Institute for Figuring, and crocheters from all over the UK and found out more.

The aim is for crocheters--and that's you, even if you've never picked up a hook before since only the most basic stitches are used--to create corals, urchins, sea anemones, sea slugs (and even hitherto undiscovered deep sea life forms)--to make a coral reef to be displayed at The Royal Festival Hall this summer. At the same time a fabulous reef from the US will be on show in The Hayward Gallery. Or, as Wikipedia puts it: "The crochet reef project is an interdisciplinary marriage of geometry, marine ecology, environmental activism, feminine handicraft and collective feminist practice." So it is good to report that Gerard, from I Knit London, was there on Sunday, flying the flag for men with an environmental conscience and love of craft!

What does coral matter to us?
Well, according to Margaret,

we should think of coral reefs as being like "the canary in the coalmine", as an early warning system for disaster. Incidentally, that fabulous sea creature she is displaying was made by someone who went to a workshop in LA, never having crocheted a stitch before. Be warned: this project can become addictive! Coral reefs are being destroyed at 5 times the rate of rainforests. Their decline is largely due to a rise in sea temperature.

At the same time, our oceans are becoming increasingly clogged up with plastic detritus, which is why we're being encouraged to make yarn from plastic bags to use in this project (frankly, anything flexible can be used, packing ribbon looks good, and we were shown some wonderful jellyfish made from a combination of crochet and sliced up plastic bottles.)

You can read much more about the project here. UK contributions will need to be at The Royal Festival Hall by 6 May (I'll be happy to collect them at KTogs) and you'll need to sign a submission form (again, I have a stock of these).

To get you inspired, here's what I've done since hearing Margaret speak:

First, Sunday's work. I'm not sure whether this is a coral

or the beginnings of a jelly fish!

Monday: sea anemones (combining some Lang Mille Colori left over from a scarf with some fluffy stuff that I found at a stash swap).

Today: hyperbolic sea slug, made from some of my handpainted yarn. (This one may not make it to the reef, as it has great potential as a bracelet)
(sorry about my lousy photos, I'll bring these along to KTogs so you can see the real them in reality)

and to get you really inspired, take a look at the blogs of Inga Hamilton and Ildiko Szabo and Helle Jorgenson

Edited to add: "Divebunny" has added this information over on the KTog group on Ravelry:Hi,
I’ve just seen the blog just a quick note. We do have coral in this country and it needs protecting every bit as much as the tropical stuff. (Picture of UK coral pink sea fan I’m therefore urging you to sign the petition for marine reserves in this country ( and push for a Marine bill (
Thanks for your time

Monday, March 17, 2008

Five on Wednesday!

Don't forget that Wednesday night is our fifth birthday. Do come along and join the celebration if you can (details in the March dates a couple of entries ago).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

World Wide Knitting in Public day 14 June 08


Yet another day for your diaries - Sat June 14th is World Wide Knitting in public day.

Last year some of us went to WWKIP picnic in Bury St Edmunds with a new S’n’B group and it was a LOT of fun. We returned the invite for them to come to Cambridge as we would host one ;-)

Announcements will follow …….. watch this space

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Norwich awaydays: 14 Mar, 5 Apr

Here are the details!

From Cambridge:
Train: depart Cambridge @ 09.12 on the National Express (train) service to Norwich.
Ticket: ask for "an Anglia Plus One Day Ranger with added Norwich Plus Bus" which costs £14. Edited to add: the staff at Cambridge Station will (as Ann and I discovered) insist that you don't need the PlusBus (as the Ranger ticket covers bus rides from Norwich station to the city centre). But you do need it: please tell them that you are travelling through several zones in Norwich.
Important: please allow plenty of time for queuing and for getting through the new automated barriers (ranger tickets don't work in barriers!)
From Ely:
Train: depart Ely @ 09.27 on the National Express (train) service to Norwich
Ticket: Anglia Plus One Day Ranger with added Norwich Plus Bus (£14)
From Thetford:
Train: depart Thetford @ 09.52 on the Natuional Express (train) service to Norwich
Ticket: cheap day return to Norwich with added Norwich Plus Bus (£8.80).

The train will arrive in Norwich at 10.30am (approx) and we will take bus 25 to the University, arriving at approximately 11.00 -11.15

please use this link

THE EXHIBITION (we'll be there from 11.30-13.30 approx)
for more information about the exhibition itself use this link. There's not much knitting but it is full of inspirational ideas!
admission costs £2 (£1 for concessions)
please note that the exhibition is split over two floors and there is a spiral staircase, but it has wide and not very steep steps.

The cafeteria at the gallery is rather good. A light lunch (eg ciabatta or salad bar) costs under £4 (excluding drinks) If you would prefer to bring a packed lunch you will need to eat it either outside or whilst we travel to Norfolk Yarn.

for amazingly friendly service and lots of tempting yarn including Kaalund laceweights, Colinette (dk and fancy yarns), Noro, Araucania, Louisa Harding, Ashford, Mango Moon...
by bus: service 26 or 27 from UEA to "Mecca, Aylsham Rd" (every 10 minutes)
by car: use this link
We should all be able to meet at Norfolk Yarn by 14.15 (probably sooner, but if you're a regular bus user, you'll understand why I'm being cautious...) NB: Becky, the owner, has offered us coffee and biscuits!


train/bus users will return to the City Centre (Castle Plain) using bus 26/27. Here you can decide whether you'd like to head straight back to the station (trains leave at 15.40; 16.40 and 17.34) or to have some free time. Good places to visit close to Castle Plain include The Yarn Stall on Norwich Market (lots of "value" yarns including Twilleys, Wendy, James Brett, Elle and Stylecraft...owner indicated that he may be prepared to offer discounts if there are enough of us buying enough!) and Jarrolds department store, which has a good selection of art/cardmaking/scrapbooking materials on the top floor).


If you'd like to come (or if you have further questions)please email me:
(replacing the AT with an @ sign, and each DOT with a .)
letting me know which day. If you are a Ravelry user, send a personal message to me (I'm caughtknitting).

New dates for Ely Ktog

As I'm sure most of you've heard by now, the first Ely ktog was a resounding success with 8 attendees plus one tiny baby - start 'em young! Emily and I think it's a good idea to alternate Ely meetings with Cambridge ktogs, so that there's a choice of venues, with something happening every week, and to start this off we've decided to hold another Ely ktog this Thursday 6th March at 7pm, followed by Thursday 20th March (ok, the real reason is that we didn't want to wait 3 weeks before meeting up again!).
As you can see from the photos, much knitting was done, a fair amount of beverage was consumed, and there was a good assortment of knitting literature to peruse! What more could a girl ask for?
Thanks again to everyone who helped to make the first Ely ktog such a great evening and we hope to see you on Thursday at 7pm in the bar of the Lamb Hotel in Ely.