Book Review: Stitch London by Lauren O'Farrell
You've known and loved knitted graffiti artist Lauren O'Farrell for years as one of the main contributors (and now editor!) of Crafty Crafty. But did you know that this quintessentially crafty lady is also...an author?
Inspired by Lauren's years running the Stitch London knitting group and meeting Londoners (real and self-appointed) from all walks of life, Stitch London will take you on a stitchy tour of this amazing city that you'll never forget.
What's it about? In a word, London. Whether it's reading on the Tube or protecting yourself from a downpour, Lauren's got you covered. Ever wanted to go on a walk with the Queen and her corgis? You can finally live the dream - thanks to Stitch London.
You'll also learn a little bit about Lauren, who learned to knit while receiving treatment for a rather nasty bout of cancer. She loves life, London and knitting in equal measure, and her enthusiasm for each is contagious.
The projects: There's plenty here for all levels, from beginners whose comfort level makes 'em gravitate towards squares (the fab Parklife Plarn Picnic Blanket, upcycled from plastic shopping bags) to confident knitters who want to try a bit of 3D art (the small but mighty Tiny Tower Bridge).
Left: The Space Invader-inspired laptop sock from Stitch London.
Best of all, you can start knitting without even going on a supply run, because the tools and materials needed to create Lauren's adorable Cooey the Pigeon are included with the book. Each pattern is endlessly customizable, with Lauren cheering you along as you tweak to your heart's content.
What else is there? As well as showing you the knitting basics, Lauren's included a hilarious guide to British slang - essential for any Anglophile - as well as a super-clear knitter's reference, in case you have a momentary mind-freeze while in mid-stitch.
There are also bizarre tips on crafting which appear randomly throughout the book:
"Put your tapestry needle back where you found it or it'll disappear off to the Home for Abandoned Tapestry Needles. A sad, sad place."
"When you've made a wig for your Little Londoner test it out by putting it on your cat to see how it looks. Cats love dressing up. Fact."
"Wear your pigeon on your shoulder to give yourself that urban pirate look."
And did I mention the awesome knitting kit including yarn, needle and pigeon accessories included in every copy? Yes, I think I did.
Craft type? This London club is for knitters only. But a glimpse inside will provide ample inspiration for any curious crafter.
[Images © Lauren O'Farrell and David and Charles Publications.]