Gretel’s Grimm Mitts go out on the Town

Minty models Gretel, Frankenmitt and her hat

Minty models Gretel, Frankenmitt and her hat

How about some Mitts that contain as many ornate knitting techniques and dubious yarns as possible? The Emperor’s New Mitts were created because the Fingerless Glove Fanatics’ April knitalong voting got a little out of hand, if you’ll pardon the pun. I did promise to make a version in actual yarn, as did a couple of other knitters. My “Gretel’s Grimm Mitt” met “Frankenmitt” at the FGF London meet on Saturday. And they both met Minty’s eye-watering crochet, specially created for the occasion. She was right, we definitely couldn’t miss her in that hat.

We were meant to be going for a civilised yarn-shopping spree to iKnit and Loop, but the fun started earlier when we met over coffee. It was lovely to meet  everyone in person, rather than just online. I can’t imagine why we got so many funny looks from the other cafe customers as we revealed all our hand-crafted treasures. Kate, inventor of Frankenmitt, had also created a Boy George hair-

Boy Georgeous

Boy Georgeous

piece, and one for lucky Gill too!

The shopping was great. iKnit had a lovely selection of yarns, needles, other tools and vintage buttons. I gave in on all counts, with the highlight being a skein of strawberry-coloured Seasilk. Several skeins of iKnit’s own gorgeous yarns were liberated by others in our group. Pub lunch followed, to give us strength for tackling London Underground. Well, that was our excuse for a drink.

We dodged the rain and made it to Loop, which was fantastically well-stocked with goodies from indie dyers. I felt like I was at a mini yarn show. I’m afraid I shopped accordingly. I’d really missed not seeing Juno Fibre Arts at Unravel in February, so here was my big chance to buy some Alice Sock for shawls – I chose a beautiful pistachio and a warm red.

I have a weakspot for Malabrigo lace weight and the choice of colours was ovewhelming…literally. I caused a merino avalanche, trying to dig out a beautiful emerald green. I’m afraid 2 skeins of that came home with me too.

Spinning lesson in unusual venue

Spinning lesson in unusual venue

We were feeling rather thirsty after all that shopping, so we retired to another pub. Now it was time for Kate to teach us how to spin using a drop-spindle made from a length of dowel, a cup hook and a CD. I can’t decide if I was more impressed by the spinning or the home-made portable spindle. Best pub entertainment I’ve seen in a long time, though perhaps a bit niche for a Saturday evening.

The only complaint from our shopping trip, aside from the fact that we’d all spent too much money, was that it was difficult to get to the needles at Loop – I think I’d go to iKnit for those. I left the glossy array of books well-alone in both shops, but the others raided those too. Both places had a great selection, but I needed yarn. Well, I say “need”. Let’s not talk about the state of my burgeoning stash. Maybe it really is time for that yarn diet.

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