While arts and crafts have long been relegated to the realms of geekdom, Londoners are picking up their Pritt stick, donning their walking boots and tearing down the stereotypes that say knitting, craft and ambling just aren’t cool. Join the army of crafty hipsters and stop living in shame – it’s time to be proud of nerdy pastimes.
Knit the City
You might have already spotted random objects in London covered in wool. The knitted car covers, telephone boxes and the like that pop up every so often are the work of Knit The City – a ‘graffiti knitting’ group with the theory ‘where there’s a wool, there’s a way’. Their work, dubbed ‘yarn bombing’, is all about covering a mundane world with colourful knitted cosies. The collective holds workshops and bootcamps (London dates TBC) that’ll have even the toughest crotcheters breaking a sweat.
This DIY haven in Kentish Town would make even the most liberal gran blush. There are no tea cosies or doilies – instead, craftsters can make lingerie and nipple tassles at burlesque workshops, from £40. Add flashes of leather, lace or glitzy beads to your handmade naughtywear, before saucy retro-dancing expert Alice shows you how to twirl those newly made tassels and remove one-of-a-kind garters seductively.
This group not only brings craft to pubs around London, so you can fashion your creations with a beer in hand, but it caters for boys, too. Bring your own crafty project to work on, choose from a ready-to-make craft package on offer on the night or take part in a mini workshop, £15 – last time, guests learned to knit their own bow ties.
This ultra-cool community has put their mark on arts and crafts, gaming and ambling. The group, open to guys and girls, holds booze-orientated origami, jam-making and calligraphy nights, plus trips to the country, where members start drinking and then get knitting. They also have their own gaming community for console fans to wax lyrical and a walking club that treks, strolls and sometimes cycles around London and the rest of the UK – it’s a brilliant way to see Blighty, if you’re up for a hike. When they’re not being geeky, they hold free clubnights in Brixton with themes like death metal vs grime, live anti-folk and ukulele slamdown.
Men’s survival sewing
A cold beer might help lads man up and get into this sewing class especially for men. The two-hour journey, £25, covers the basics of sewing at Sew Over It cafe in Clapham. At the next session on March 26, experts will teach guys how to stitch on buttons, repair rips and machine-hem. They can can also bring items they’d like to alter. Why should you be seen dead with a needle and thread? Because it’ll save you cash when you don’t have to throw out a shirt just because a button
has fallen off. Now that’s clever.
Words: Clare Vooght