Parliament Square Phone Box Cosy: The Revenge

Posted by on Mar 15, 2012 in Deadly Knitshade, London, Shorn-a the Dead, The Fastener, Yarnstorms | 15 comments

There is one thing that Knit the City are definite about. It is our golden rule. We will NEVER do another Phone Box Cosy. No. We won’t! Nope. You can’t make us! Uh uh! NO! NO! NO!

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - tiny guard keeps watchWe have been graffiti yarnstorming for 1118 days and February was our three year yarnstormiverasary since we began yarnstorming in London.

Since we arrived on the graffiti knitting scene we have done some crazy things:

Cosies knit: 3 (we got bored of those pretty quick)

Yarnstorm locations: 25

Total amigurumi creatures and items left in the wild: 296

Yarnstorms on foreign shores: 2

Words invented: 1 Yarnstorming! (We invented the term ‘yarnstorming’ as our alternative to the ‘yarnbombing’ name. Bombing and London don’t mix well)

Longest yarnstorm: 6 hours – our Oranges and Lemons Odyssey (also the first yarnstorm to be tweeted live on Twitter)

People eaten by our giant knitted squid: undisclosed

Books: 2 (One in English and one in German)

Highest yarnstorm: 7 metres

Police warnings: 1 – Parliament Square Phone Box Cosy ‘Stop and Search’ notice

We’re proud pioneers of the public purl. When we got bored of the whole ‘putting knitting on stuff’ thing, we decided to start telling ‘stitched stories’. Rumour has it we were the first group to start using amigurumi to give our yarnstorms a voice (and a sense of humour). Today there are dozens of groups worldwide telling stitched stories. A fact that makes us Snoopy dance about our secret wool-lined bunker with glee.

Web of Woe: our Web of Woe in all its glory

Our Web of Woe back in 2009 cast on a new row in graffiti knitting history. Cool, no?

So how do we celebrate nearly 300 woolly creatures in the wild and 3 years of yarnstorming? By giving London a present to say thank you, and by breaking a rule. It’s what Banksy would do (though he’d swear more).

*drum roll*

It’s big. It’s bad. It combines ‘the cosy’ and a ‘stitched story’. It brings back some of our past makes and throws in some new ones. And it takes us back to the very start in one of those pleasing circular ways. Ladies and gents…

Parliament Square Phone Box Cosy: The Revenge

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - naked

Boooooorn freeeeeee, as free as the wiiiiiind blows...

So this Phone Box then. Where is it again?

It’s on Great George Street. On Parliament Square. Right near Big Ben.

Uh. Isn’t there a lot of CCTV and police there?


And we’re still going to…?

*makes chicken noise*

Sigh. Ok. But if we go to prison then you’re digging the Shawshank-style tunnel out of there with your crochet hook.


[Right: the target pre-yarnstorm. Isn’t it pretty? And so innocently unsuspecting…]



Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - Bong! Bong!

What time is it? Time to knit another bloody cosy! BONG! BONG! BONG!

Hang on. Can’t we just use the old cosy? Do we still have it? The police made us take it down the first time, right?


Umm… No. Some of it has been eaten by radioactive acyrlic moths.

All of it?!!

No, but most of it. We can maybe Frankenstein the old bits with some new bits…?

Will you hurry up?! There are important people watching!

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - the Queen and her corgis in the private balcony

One has brought one's corgis to observe your yarnstorm. Carry on.

Alright! Pass the most eye-popping yarn we have. Let’s do this thing. Theme music, please!


Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - look out! It's Spiderman! Yeah!

Stitched Spiderman! Stitched Spiderman! Does everything a knitted spider can!

That’s the theme music to Spiderman.

Oh, sorry.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - Batman keeps watch

Dinner! Dinner! Dinner! Dinner! Batman!

Still not right.

I’m sorry! My theme-tune generator is playing up. How about this?

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - Superman in his felt pants

Derrrrrrrr dum der der der derrrrrr dum, der der der derrrrr dum, duh duh duh duhhhhhh...

Alright! Ok! Forget about theme music. Let’s just get this cosy sorted. EEK! WHAT IS THAT?!

That’s a mouse. There’s been a mouse in almost all of Knit the City’s yarnstorms. Don’t you know anything?

Clearly I don’t…

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - Toerag the tube mouse peeks out

Do you have cheese, perchance?

 And that’s a Raven. You know, Tower of London and all that?

I fail to see how this is making the Phone Box any more cosy than it was.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - Grog the Raven nests

I really should be eating that mouse over there...

It’s not about the cosy this time. Cosies are so last season.

So, what is it about? What’s our ‘stitched story’ this time?

Umm… London… Jubilee… Reclaiming the streets for knitting kind… More knitted things on stuff… Pigeons…


Knitted ones. In pockets.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - Cooey the Pigeon hangs with Baby Big Ben and stitched Spiderman

Coo! Coo!

You know that pigeon is nearly as big as Big Ben, right? And it’s too cute to be a pigeon. It’s got both feet! How is that a London pigeon?

Alright! You put something on it then.

Fine. I will.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - tiny guard keeps watch

Ten shun!

Oh. Now that’s Londony. Flag and soldier. Colour me impressed. My go!

Phone Box Cosy - The Revenge - Crafty Catwoman

Hear me roar. Go on. It's a good roar. I've been practising.

That’s Catwoman.


In a tiny PVC outfit.

Yes it is.

You don’t have anything more Londony? More woolly?

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - eye see you, tiny jumper

Eye eye

The Invisible Man.

I despair. I really do.

To be fair at least we got the ‘cosy’ bit right.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - tiny people on a big phone box

Mmm cosy...


I’m pretty pleased with those stripes.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - stripy side

Stripes make you look thinner. Even if you're a phone box. Fact.

And the back is pretty cool. If I were a Phone Box I’d be happy to wear that in public.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - the swanky back

Spot the punk rock tear

And those people who have stopped to take pictures and have their pictures taken with it, well they seem quite happy about it.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - posing with the Phone Box Cosy

This is me on my holidays with a knitted phone box...

You’re right. So, not a bad effort all in all. Does this mean that we’re going to go back to doing cosies from now on, then?

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - mischief managed

Tiny knitted Phone Box hangs with his big cosy brother

Do we have to?

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - tourist shot

Obligatory tourist shot

No. No, we do not.

Phone Box Cosy the Revenge - distracting passers by

Hang on. My commute is being disrupted. By yarn! And tiny knitted creatures with no real theme!


Well, at least we can say we tried.

Happy yarnstormiversary, London! Here’s to many more years of sneaky stitching in this fine city. Thanks for putting up with our public purling. Woolly mischief managed.

Phone Box Cosy: The Revenge was yarnstormed by Deadly Knitshade, The Fastener and Shorn-a the Dead on March 14th 2012. It was filmed for the BBC’s The One Show and televised on March 15th (you can watch it on iPlayer here for a limited time. It’s about 9.40 minutes in).

Patterns for all London creatures, landmarks and the Union Jack can be found in the book Stitch London: 20 Kooky Ways to Knit the City and More.

The original Phone Box Cosy can be seen here, and the full tale features in our Knit the City book.

We’re not trying to sell you stuff. We’re merely pointing it out.

(subliminal message) BUYOURBOOKSYOUKNOWYOUWANTTO (subliminal message end)



  1. You guys are amazing! 300 woolly creatures out into the wild! I don’t even have that many bombs I don’t think!
    I have been watching you guys for 2.5 of your 3 years of yarn storming (great term btw) and I am constantly excited for more. Keep rocking you guys! I love the second cozy! Thanks again for your awesome inspiration.

    • Gosh. *blushes to tips of ears* That’s lovely of you. Will hope we will continue to entertain. 🙂

  2. Bloody marvelous keep it up the knitting anarchy…brill.Ax

  3. AMAZING! We are…as you say…gobsmacked! Much kudos from Minnesota!

    • Hee hee. Gobsmacked is an English word we’re proud of. Cheers and happy knittings to your fabulous shop. 🙂 xx

  4. Thanks for the lovely comments!

    We have had so much fun these past three years (although it’s slightly less for me). Im so proud to be part of Knit The City and indeed part of London. Thanks from me too for accepting our wooly wierdness and our purly presents!

    I hope we can have many more years of stitching london’s streets to come!

  5. Congratulations, what a beautiful article and a wonderful story and how great to see a nice but very grey piece of London brought to life once again…

  6. Oh this is just brilliant. Sometimes us Londoners need our lives brightening up once in a while – how did you not get caught though?! Hope to see some Olympics stuff soon!

  7. Love it! Love it! Love it! Only wish I could have seen it in person last time I was back in my hometown.

  8. You guys rock!

    • Hee hee. Thanks! We try out best. Woolly hugs from us for saying so. 🙂

  9. This was GREAT. What a wonderful article. I wish I could have seen this in person, but this is the next best thing. Kudos and admiration from Nebraska

    • Awwww. Thanks! You never know. We turn up in the oddest of places. 🙂