Knits on Titchmarsh (or Plarchie meets Daytime TV)

Knits on Titchmarsh - AGH!The world of daytime TV is an odd and quite frankly scary place. It is peopled by folks with harrowing yet life-affirming tales of battling hardship (“I ate my own leg to survive eight weeks trapped in a disused mineshaft”), scary individuals with questionable family ties (“Yeah she is me ‘alf-sister but she’s also me fiance, innit!”), chefs who can conjure a slap-up meal from sheep hooves and a bottle of vodka (“Et voila! I call it From Russia with Lamb!”) , and celebrities that you would probably only recognise if you were off work sick, gainfully unemployed or long enough in the tooth to hang on whether or not the challengers will beat the know-it-all Eggheads this time.

It was into this world that I ventured with the lovely Perri Lewis and, my temporary PA for the day, Mr Gary Northfield.

The Alan Titchmarsh Show on October 6th was all about knitting. Hence calling on the so-called ‘Banksies of knitting’ (according to Alan’s pre-amble) myself and the good Perri. And they didn’t just want us.

Oh no, they wanted the knits too. Cue me remaking our fabled Phonebox Cosy in the 48 hours preceeding.

The Cosy was a nightmare of knits, having been pulled from the Parliament Square Phone Box where it first saw the light of day, in rather a hurry. Several bits had gone walkies and some were just too saggy to be used. So I remade the whole thing, and this time I backed it all with material so it would fit nicely.

Helpfully my cat decides this is the best place she has ever EVER found to sit

Remaking madness

Of course there are two kinds of phone boxes in life. A normal sized phone box. And an extra large one that ITV has made special for Olly Murs…

No one on the Titchmarsh team suspected that a cosy, made specifically to fit on a normal phone box, might not fit on the giant TV one? No? Sigh.

Perri and I went to work remaking the woolly wonder to fit the beast.

Perri, sporting fabulous 'TV make up' hair, cobbles together the door

I wrangle the cosy while Plarchie is utterly unhelpful

Much to my relief we managed to stretch, fold and sew the new Phone Box Cosy in place over the gargantuan phone box.

I got the feeling that Plarchie, the giant knitted squid, had a little bit of stage fright.Β 

Plarchie the frozen

But after a bit of a talking to I calmed him down and he began to give it some vogue. That squid sure does know how to work a camera when he wants to.

Lights, camera, giant knitted squid giving it Blue Steel

And of course no TV appearance in complete without a flock of knitted pigeons and a whole load of Stitch London book knits. It occurred to me at this point that I really don’t tend to knit in muted colours, do I?

Here come the pigeons

The little knitted Queen takes centre stage

The gang's all here

Voila! Knits on Titchmarsh

Time for rehearsals. Plarchie got to hang out on stage while the rest of the guests took their turns. Here he is overshadowing the chick who is currently playing Dorothy in the West End’s Wizard of Oz at her rehearsal. I began to worry about his ego.

Bright lights, big knitted squid

Back to the Green Room where…

Perri got her knit on

Gary met Lulu

Knits on Titchmarsh - the horror of Make Up

And I was slathered in more make up than I had ever worn in my life

Lights! Camera! Alan! It was time…

Mr T appears from our cosied Phone Box looking rather suspicious

Alan knits. Who knew?

Plarchie makes a friend

Book pimping happens! Win!

And just like that we were done. Phew! Our three minutes of knitting fame were over. It took one quick advert break to take everything down and get it off the set. Quick!

Plarchie laments the loss of his new friend

Β You can see Peter Allison’s knitted Brighton Pavillion, Rachel John‘s giant knitting, and Kathryn Hitchings knitted t-shirt rug in there too.

The giant Phone Box was rolled out all ready for us to de-cosy. It appeared rather dishevelled in the rush the poor thing. Who knows where it will end up next.

A saggy and rather exhausted Phone Box leaves the studio

So there you have it. Knits on Titchmarsh. Who’d have thunk it? It’s almost like knitting is making some kind of unprecedented comeback, isn’t it?

Mediawhoring handmade mischief managed


Thanks to Gary for his excellent PAing and Sarah for all those screen captures during the show. πŸ™‚


  1. Crafty Fox
    October 24, 2011

    what a great experience – plarchie looks like he enjoyed his stint on the small screen!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      October 24, 2011

      I suspect he enjoyed it a little too much. He’s becoming a bit of a diva… πŸ™‚

  2. Nancy
    October 25, 2011

    this is *fantastic*. going to see if i can find it on ITV player now. fab stuff! xxx

    • Deadly Knitshade
      October 26, 2011

      I salute you for forcing yourself to watch Alan just to see a gal and her squid. πŸ™‚ xx

  3. CarmenM
    October 27, 2011

    Sooo proud of you, Deadly, you great groovy knitted genius! Thanks for sharing this.. CM x

    • Deadly Knitshade
      October 27, 2011

      Ah, lovely Carmen M. Glad I impress. I do try. πŸ™‚ xx

  4. Shaaron Sellars
    November 2, 2011

    OH MY STARS!!! Lauren. Oh my STARS! It’s me, the Flying Yank from the Halloween Party knit up at Ledenhall Market. I KNEW I’d seen you somewhere…I did. I saw the Alan Titchmarsh show while on a layover in Frankfurt. I was mesmerized by it all. I saw you on tv and didn’t mean it, just stumbled upon the show. Please tell me how small the world is…

    • Deadly Knitshade
      November 3, 2011

      Hee hee! That’s so funny! Well I guess if you’re going to knit in London it’s more than likely you’ll bump into me at some point but catching the TV show is really a coincidence. It was such a one off!

      Great to meet you. Hope you manage to wrestle some giant needles from Gap. πŸ™‚

      • Shaaron Sellars
        November 4, 2011

        Let’s just say I may or may not see you next Wednesday night at a knitting meet-up in London. If you’ve a minute, check your messages on Ravelry. πŸ™‚

  5. Heather aka Niftyknits
    January 15, 2012

    I’m grieved to have missed the show – but pleased to say I’ve seen the knitted Brighton pavilion. In Brighton, funnily enough!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 20, 2012

      I’d love to pop down and see the cafe of the guy who made it. It sounds fab!