Sunday, 21 December 2008



We don't usually open on Mondays but we will be in the shop tomorrow eating Stilton, pickles with Port. You are most welcome. 
Knitted Baby Jesus's come in matchboxes with straw bedding.

Friday, 19 December 2008


Thank you poet Margaret Whyte for the a postcard of  
Mars by Diego Valázquez c. 1639-1641
Margaret suggested I could knit for him, and that I do. Everyday.


We love knitting Baby Jesus,
he's made in Jamiesons Shetland, from a pattern by Allen Dart and his halo is made from a little bit of picture wire.


I've bought records from Neil at Rough Trade since I was about 16.  Neil has always had good taste in jumpers. My favourite jumper of Neil's in this red and black mohair asymmetrical number which looks so no wave. 
One Monday, which is my day off, I was at the listening post and as Neil turned around to look me out some records, I noticed that he had three massive holes in the back of the lovely said jumper.
Neil kindly let me take it home for darning, which was good because he doesn't know me that well. 
I'm glad I did it, because I found 7 moth cocoons hiding in the mohair. That wouldn't have been Neil's fault, it's a very common with mohair, which needs a comb and a shake every now and then. 


We were sad to stub out our last knitted fag at the Colony Room Club this week.

Good bye Colony, we are sorry that after 60 years, you are closing along with all the other great places of character. 


Thank you very much to all you gorgeous boys who joined us for our PYF Christmas dinner last night at Lorelli, Soho's best Italian restaurant. You really were marvelous company, keeping us entertained all night and wearing our paper hats so well. It was lovely to make your acquaintance and we do hope to meet you all again some day.


Jenny has made a blanket of many colours for her boss who is just about to have a baby. Jenny has been signed off sick for such a long time, that she suspects her boss might be a tiny bit cross, but Jenny's boss is such a lovely lady, that Jenny thought the best thing to do was crochet for the baby. The blanket is made from a beautiful selection of dayglo acrylic washable yarns from Fabrications on Broadway Market.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Rosemary, the knitting machine and all Rosemary's talents have been squashed in the cupboard. On a bright sunny morning she emerged with this incredible piece. It is a garment that does everything. Knitted in navy blue, cream and ochre Lionbrand cotton, it flickers and falls and wraps and flaps, and works as a complete and cosy outfit.  The said garment has now flown to New York where I'm sure it will be much coveted.


Well done Tica, you did a brilliant job with your first sock....

Tica does not need to make up the pair because she knows her sock is too good to wear as a sock, and instead wears it pinned to her PYF knitting bag. It is such a marvelous talking point, and so jolly. 

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Drunken Duck Inn in Cumbria is a lovely place to go. The name dates back to Victorian times when the landlady found her ducks lying in the road, thought they were dead, and plucked them.  In fact, the birds had been drinking beer and were merely indisposed. Full of remorse, she knitted jerseys to keep them warm until their feathers grew back. 

This Lake District pub has 16 rooms with a beautiful Brathay Black slate bar. Doubles from £95 knitters welcome.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


Thank you Oliver Postgate for all the love you gave in making our favourite television programs. You taught us that we could make brilliant things out of what we had in sheds and cupboards. You encouraged us to knit and sew and talk to our toys in funny voices and we continue to take lessons from you. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Fleur Oakes of the Glass Pingle loves and understands all seasons, but especially mid-winter. We were delighted to be invited to her Museum of Objects of Virtue, last Sunday afternoon for a trip into Narnia. I've always wanted to go to Narnia, and couldn't believe Fleur actually found the entrance.  
As we arrived we were offered a cup of tea in fine bone china and a piece of golden syrup cake. That calmed our nerves before we walked through the wardrobe of fur coats, one at a time. 
As we entered Narnia, the temperature dropped and there was a fluttering of snow around a lamp post, with a candle burning next to a box of turkish delight. We know someone had been there before because there was an old umbrella leaning on the lamp post and a boiled egg and Eccles cake on the table, which also held our presents. (We were advised not to take photos because Mr. Tumnus thought it might spoil the occasion, sorry!)
Rosemary opened a leopard skin girls grooming kit, Louise had a bag of plastic laundry rings and I was delighted with my moroccan lipstick and Glow in the dark false finger nails.
Thank you for looking for Narnia Fleur... It takes real intuition to know where to look, and thank you for taking us with you. It really was the most magical afternoon. 


Jessica Haigh is a clever girl, she's cleared out her stash drawer, and made all these lovelypom pom necklaces for Christmas presents. The colours are put together beautifully.  They are very reasonable at £10 each. E-mail her now for a brilliant stocking filler.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Hello! I am the model they usually have in knitting magazines. I am wearing quite a good jumper this time. I wouldn't have chosen the yarn, but you could always buy something lovely from Prick Your Finger instead.  The stylist got me into this position with no safety pins or sticky tape. You can see me again at a new magazine for creative knitting.


My friend Cecilia is always teaching me new things about the world of textiles and how it relates to life and the universe.
We all have tangles in cupboards and draws, and the propper old English word for them is "Snocksnarls - all of a heap; generally used of entangled thread".
This is Cecilia's mohair snocksnarl.
 I recommend Cecilia's blog at

Monday, 8 December 2008


The problem with working and playing so hard at PYF, is that we miss our mates, who work and play hard with their businesses. Well here we all shall be under one roof, with Father Christmas at the Tatty Devine Bizarre Bazaar on 21st December, for last minute christmas shopping and mid winter cheer. Do come! 


Wednesday, 3 December 2008


This Saturday 6th December, as well as having our usual busy Saturday in the shop, we shall be raving from mid day until midnight at the Bust Magazine Christmas Craftacular Sale.
St. Aloysius Socal Club, 20 Phoenix Rd, London. (near Euston Station)
There's lots of other lovely crafty stalls.....for more information go to;


Congratulations to Miss Celia Pym who has finished darning the holiest jumper anyone has ever seen. There are no holes now.  Do come and visit the jumper because it's hard to catch all the stories that fly out of it with a camera. I can not describe it's presence, and more to the point, Celia, hurry up and find another project, we miss you being here....


Yesterday my Mother telephoned from the lake District to say they had awoken to a light flurry of snow, about an inch deep. Much to her suprise, when she went into the village to collect the bread, everyone was talking about it as if it were a problem. The school children had been sent home and the post wasn't delivered. My Mother went about her business as usual and here at Prick Your Finger, we didn't get any snow but we did build a snowman from our own Swaledale Ropey and Dk which is 90p for 10g.

Friday, 28 November 2008


Marie Paysant - Le Roux staged an extraordianry experimental  performance at the Hockney Gallery at the Royal College of Art Friday last. These photos do not fully capture the beautiful colour work, and intense atmospheres, all created through the medium of eggs. 
Marie found an egg box lying on a street in Norway, and it got her thinking about emotions. 

"We are like a container of emotional stories. Our shell is porous, we need to protect and build up our precious happiness...
Playing with the qualities of eggs, I suggest an assortment of four main dishes to explain four different emotions. The laying of this experimental table offers a rich vocabulary for a new language. Through an appetizing sensitive research, I hopefully reveal the emotional expressiveness of the specified colours."

Marie, worked with the egg boxes, making them grow with crochet, colouring the eggs by injections of dye, mixing colour with raw eggs, dying boiled eggs, and making meringue. 
The menu contained Hard boiled eggs on green salad for fear, eggs injected with red and boiled in anger, yellow Royal golden boiled egg for sadness, and Lemon meringue pie for happiness.
As dishes were slowly added to the table by Ode Marie and Marie Gibet, Nahum Mantra made sounds taken from the kitchen, reflecting the colour and emotion of every dish.
Check out her blog....

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Thanks be to Anne for adding even more sparkle to our week.
Anne is down sizing her glamorous wardrobe and we are the proud recipients of a Dior Belt and a gorgeous handbag. Anne who was born male, insists that women must have their own lives before they dedicate any time to a man. She has led an outrageous life so far, working on the QE2 as a hairdresser, climbing up flagpoles, making porridge with gin, and flirting with some of the world's most handsome men.
I asked Anne wether she had any photos of herself on the QE2 and she came back with this one. 
Anne is the Conservative candidate for Bethnal Green Council. We hope she gets the vote so she can promote outrageous and caring behaviour in which ever way she wishes. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


This week, Claudio the Italian philosopher recommends to stitchers everywhere - 

 Martia Bazar - Ti Sento


It is a pleasure to sweep the floor under my spinning wheel.  Nothing is wasted.  The bits go straight back through the carding machine.  This weekend it's been  'Paris Hilton' chunky pink hand spun. Available now £2 / 10g.

Monday, 24 November 2008


I've noticed since I was a child, that some men, display their last meal on their chests. Women do it too,  but mostly it is the trait of the type of men I know.   I am not dissing them as dirty or clumsy - quite the opposite; men with dinners displayed on their chests are content and thinking to high purpose. He who is well fed is never angry; until he discovers a collection of holes down the front of this best cashmere.  

Moth larvae eat protein fiber, especially if it's greasy. That's why we get holes in our knitwear. The cashmere jumper pictured here provided the larvae with a delicious meal of goat wool, gravy, coffee and biscuit residue. 

Holes continually appear on this garment, so I thought it easier to make the darns a feature. I worked them  in primary colours.  To my delight, I saw the said jumper this weekend, in all it's glory, showered in croissant crumbs, now camouflaged in the darning 'design'.  This man no longer looks like a dribbler, he displays decoration.

Gucci have announced darning is 'in' for men this season.  


Bimbo was admitted to Prick Your Finger on 15th November with exhaustion from over loving. His face had collapsed, there was loss of stuffing, and he'd mislaid his waistcoat. Julia and Bimbo have loved each other for nearly 60 years, and through that time, it became unclear wether he was a monkey or an elephant.
We put him to bed, under Rosemary's charge, and she has nursed him back to full strength, with a fatter nose, new seams and v neck black jumper. Dancing to Miles Davis, with a new spring in his step, we did wonder wether he was in fact a mouse?
Anyway, Julia is coming to pick Bimbo up on Saturday and we do wish them both well...
It's been a joy to have you around Bimbo! Bye Bye!

Friday, 21 November 2008



All dressed up, ready to go, and 'Whoops!"  Your skirt level is wrong.  Louise's Grandmother in Law, was brousing a junk shop when she found a way to get the perfect skirt line at the hight of fashion. The Milwards Skirt Level.

1. The Milward Skirt Level consists of a rubber bulb, a length of rubber tubing, a filling stopper, powder ejector and a rubber sucker attached to the powder ejector. The chalk refills contain sufficient powder to mark approximately ten garments. 

2. The purpose of the skirt level, is to enable you to mark a level hem line on the garment you are still wearing. The mark is obtained by a fine ejection of powder, and the operation can be carried out by yourself, with out any assistance. 

3. First charge the ejector with chalk, by carefully removing the stopper and filling the ejector with the contents of one powder sachet. Replace the stopper making sure that it is snapped firmly in place. Decide what height from the floor, you require your hemline and press the rubber suction pad onto any convenient vertical flat surface at the required level.  The rubber suction pad, enables you to fix the "Skirt level" to any polished surface (a full length mirror, stove enamel, painted doors and tiles are ideal surfaces.) Slightly damp the rubber suction pad before applying. Make sure you fix the powder ejector up right so that the rubber tube enters from the top and the nozzel is level. 

4. The powder line on the skirt is obtained by a series of sharp compressions of the rubber bulb. Before commencing to mark your skirt, stand aside and give two or three vigorous puffs. This is to clear any surplus powder that may be in the nozzel. 

5. Stand so that your skirt is either touching or very close to the nozzel and give a short sharp puff of powder; turn a little, wait until your skirt has settled in its natural hanging position and mark again in the same way. Continue to do this until you have gone all the way round the skirt. Do not try to mark while you are turning round. The skirt must be still when you eject the powder. 

6. When removing or altering the height of the powder ejector, do not attempt to pull it directly from the surface to which it is attached. Deform the rim of the rubber sucker with the finger when the ejector will come away quite easily.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Thank you for e-mailing us pictures of  knitted chess and music. You are having a lovely time. We wish we knew where you live. If we lived near you, we would like to be your friends. We are in admiration from that that you do too. 


Thanks Janet for this gem which you found in a junk shop. We will frame it and put it up next to the rest of our ancestors....
What do you think the story was?


I said, "Is this important?"
Louise said, "That's me showing Tica how to turn a heal."

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


At Prick Your Finger we have so much on that when we actually want to sit down to some knitting, space is a little thin on the ground.  If using a knitting machine the problem is made much worse by protruding tension wires and a cumbersome bed of hundreds of needles...a thing better NOT seen and only heard muffled from behind a door.  On Tuesday the 18th of November I was sent to knit in the cupboard out the back with nothing but the hoover or ironing board for company and with my suggestions of possible tea breaks met with little optimism. Feeling a little lonely and Harry Potter-esk I hatched a plan on Tuesday night for a bid for freedom and baked a batch of flapjacks with a secret but delicious layer of apple in the middle. 16:15, Wednesday the 19th of November and my brain being a little yarn crazy I opened the door a fraction and made mention of my bargaining tool.  Unable to resist Rachael and Celia insisted on my release and even offered stretching advice.  If you ever get trapped in knitting confinement, be it physically behind a door or mentally imprisoned by your misbehaving stitches I recommend baked goods as an excellent problem solver!

Love from Rosemary xxx (first time blogger)


Amy and Ella are launching the world's first 'Energy Cafe' from a horse box in Gunpowder Park. You are all invited to visit and lend skills, materials, company and ideas. 
Energy Cafe will run from food and energy found only within a six mile radius. 
As well as cooking, farming or building skills, they need experts in textiles.... to keep everyone warm in this wide open space! We are thinking of building looms, which can stay outside.
If you are craving fresh air, wide open space, hunter gathering, new friends, and a mission, this could be the project for you to get involved with! The local council are being very lenient on Health and Safety, so anything (within reason) goes. 


Tika is doing well with her socks. She's turned the heals and is on her way to the toes. The knitting is fine, but she hadn't recognised that one ball of printed sock yarn was DK and the other was 4 ply. One sock is much bigger than the other. Whoops. Tika thinks it will be fine, she'll just have to knit four socks instead of two, and then one pair can be for her boyfriend.


Jane just quietly gets on with everything!  She's knocking out knitted carpet yarn bags for friends and caffetiere covers to keep the coffee warm down the allotment.  In between all that, and reaping a harvest, she's created this beautiful scarf in Shetland red and yellow woven stitch. Jane pointed out that as well as being a 'textile piece' it also doubles up as a pantomime costume to wear in the school playground where she works.  Well done Jane!


Congratulations to Pauline and the Knitchicks, who made a hairy, soapy, felty, knitting circle at the Hair exhibition at the Wellcome Trust last Friday. By adding water and friction, hair is proved to be natures most high-tec fibre because it felts! Annie invited everyone to felt balls of wool with soap and bubbles, and the gathering almost resembled a dance floor. The knitters looked on, chatting about hair. We thought about all the different hairstyles we could have, and how different we all are.....
...And how different all our dogs are.  Anne had knitted a gorgeous cardigan from her five Golden Retrievers. It had the feel of Angora, and the glow of a sunset walk on the South Downs where she lives.
Wigs from Ede and Ravenscroft, take a full eight weeks to make. White horse hair is looped into a bouqlet yarn before being stitched into rows of curls by hand, over a mesh. I forgot to ask how much that costs.

Louise and I have completely different hair, but the structure of it is the same. A bit like this...

Saturday, 15 November 2008


Louise and I went to visit the Wellcome Trust Collection last night and saw this snuff box. 
We thought that if we had a snuff box like this, we would offer you snuff before the knitting lessons. The Wellcome Thrust Collection is brilliant, it's on Euston Rd, and they've got Napolean's toothbrush and Roman iron penis's with wings and legs and everything. 
We went to see a show about hair, but I'll write about that next week.....Check it out.