Knitting in public and hunting sheep...
Saturday was Worldwide Knit in Public Day and knitters the world over were out and about doing their thing. Here in London we hosted our second IKL Treasure Hunt, sending teams of knitters and their friends scouring the streets of the capital looking for sheep, answering our tricky questions, popping balloons and knitting at all sorts of places.
The theme this year was sheep, and over the last two weeks we've been searching high and low for them. There are surprisingly quite a few dotted around London, from pub signs to historic monuments. The Treasure Hunters visited the 17th Century Painting Rooms at the National Gallery to track down Rubens' A Roman Triumph (pictured); they headed east to St Paul's Cathedral, via the historic Fleet Street and Covent Garden; north to Lamb's Conduit Street, the Lamb pub and Coram's Fields; back south to Waterloo, Lower Marsh and I Knit London. It was brilliant to see everyone - almost 100 people took part, with 30 teams traipsing around the capital. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it was great to see some teams taking it so seriously!
There were some highlights of the day - Rowan, the phantom balloon burster - did his best all day with quite a few teams making it as far as the end of the street before their balloons (worth an extra 5 points!) were a goner! But he had his comeuppance in Bloomsbury Square when his attack was thwarted by the WNKers team (pictured) who were ready to defend their honour at any cost. Bottled water was involved and it was a nasty skirmish that left the enemy deflated and sodden. For those who think it wasn't worth the fight...the WNKers were overall winners by four points, so that balloon was all-important! (Just to clarify one thing...the team name refers the the Wednesday Night Knitters...OK?)
Part of the challenge was to keep knitting, and the longest scarf of the day went to Denise and Christine, with an astonishing 94 inches! Looking at their answer sheet we do wonder if they did actually do any of the other bits of the Treasure Hunt, but we have some proof they did. They are pictured here (surprised) at Middle Temple Lane on Fleet Street where they were struggling to find the answers to some fiendishly difficult clue whilst being distracted by the wine shop.
As well as answering the questions and hunting the sheep, we had knitting on Routemaster buses, knitting with naked people, knitting with celebrities (a low count this year with only Richard Madeley and Neil Pearson cornered by over-excited ladies with needles exposed), knitting on things, in things and around things. Looking at the photos when we were adding up the scores it seemed like everyone had a wild time - the naked cyclists were especially popular!
But there could only be one winner. As mentioned earlier the WNKers took the title with an amazing 83 points. It was a close call for second place but Team Amethyst took it on the tie-break with a longer scarf than third placed Team Tired. A very special mention must go to team Hobble On who were only half a point away from the medals, in fourth place...and one team member was on crutches for the whole thing! That's dedication for you. Also to The Anzacs, made up of two stragglers with no team to go to - Sarah from New Zealand, and Carol from Australia (pictured). Congratulations to everyone who took part and a huge thanks for making it such a good day.
It took a while to get the score on the doors, but, in the meantime everyone enjoyed the rest and the fresh air out on Lower Marsh, with a few pear ciders and some chocolate biscuits.
You can see all of our own photos on our Flickr page, and, if you took part please upload your own pictures (we really want to see grumpy Neil Pearson!) to the I Knit on Flickr group. If you can't do this, please email your pics to us and we will post them up for you.
Now, what shall we do next year?!