Sunday, 31 August 2008


Prick Your Finger is protected by a superhero called Tony, and this Saturday it was Tony's birthday and Tony's theme. 
Tony, pictured top, calls in daily on his way to the swimming pool. Tonight he was dressed as a Geography teacher. Dick pictured with me in the middle, was the RE teacher superhero called Miss- Information or Re - Education. She carried a book of knowledge and a sharp metal ruler.  
I was enjoying being the Evil Doll Hairdresser. My dress was made by Tatty Devine, and it had evil batteries stitched on the back. My garters held scissors and rollers, and I kept the combs in my hair, ready for action. 
Everything felt normal until The Stylist arrived, pictured bottom.  She made a stunning entrance, the room went cold, and she posed, looked us up and down and said,  'So Last Season.'
Roumers circulated that she was the most powerful of all Superheroes, of which there were many.
Later in the evening, we were at the bar and I noticed The Stylist had a stray curl, so had a go at cutting it off with the hedge trimmers. 
She wasn't pleased.
Miss-Information said that she thought The Stylist looked scared.  

Saturday, 30 August 2008


It's Saturday today, which means it is Sunday tomorrow, and hopefully you won't have a hangover, but if you do, read the Cut Out and Keep, hangover issue of Snippets. is an independent on line social networking site, with step by step instructions of fabulous things to make and do.
Cut Out and Keep was started by Cat and Tom, two Scottish crafters who have recently moved to London. Their instructions are simple, the pictures are jolly, and they welcome you into a world where ideas are free and shared... 


Thursday, 28 August 2008


My friend Dick is a diamond. He is a champion on the dance floor, and the other night, we were dancing, and exhausted, I fell asleep on his shoulder but we were actually moving quite fast. Anyway, he ripped his shirt, so I darned it in silver thread. 
To darn a rip like this, cut away loose threads, and build up rows of running stitch across the rip, keeping it loose and flat. The ideas is to replace the weave that has been disrupted, not 'stitch it together'. When the running stitches are in place, weave in and out of them along the length of the rip, until it feels strong. Press flat. 


Well hopefully not, but just in case, I have designed a flu virus embroidery transfer which can be stitched onto a handkerchief or the lapel of your pyjamas. (Can be stitched in different colours)
In store soon!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Rosemary embroidered this pendent. She bought the original locket with her student loan, from an antique market in Winchester.  She made it's match by stitching on what feels like shammy leather in blue satin stitch, back stitch and closed herringbone stitch whilst watching Arrested Development on DVD. 

Saturday, 16 August 2008


We need to inform you that Prick your Finger have made a decision to go on holiday. 
We will not be open next week, but we will be back the Tuesday after bank holiday. 
We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer holidays. 
You really are amazing customers, we shall miss  your 10 days of stories and masterpieces. 
Ta Ta !


Rachael and Louise, flourishing haberdashery artists, seek Mac Expert for good times, and technical support. 
Wages in the form of good food, fine wine, and darning. 


There are many ways to go shopping. Make sure you do it the way you want to. 

Today the lovely Lottie Child came into the shop and told us all about her adventures on the high street. We know that most Prick Your Finger customers have clear intentions when they go shopping. We are creative and we are not bullied by big corporations.

For ideas on how to have fun in shopping centres, go  Lottie's website

Friday, 15 August 2008


Congratulations to Sumitra who fought back, after the bastards at the parking shop ruined his afternoon by not giving him a parking permit. He came to Prick Your Finger to buy two meters of red ribbon, to top off this outfit, which he has worn to his niece and nephew's wedding, but which he put on specially to show us. He also showed us some Ventician masks, which he wares with this suit, but we were so blown away, we forgot to take a photograph of those.....


Louise has been knitting a parable of planting seeds on a stoney road. For a while, an image of a river and a church was lurking in the front lobe of her head.  This week, not able to resist it any longer, out came her needles and she clicked out a banner.

There is a river leading to a church with Dda / Drwg written either side of the cross. Dda and Drwg is the Welsh for good and bad. 

"Dda and Drwg sums up going to church. The church I grew up with was a bit sin heavy, so I added some flames down the bottom, and an occult symbol up the top, which I spotted on a church in france. The sign is a triangle with an eye going through it, but I think it might be a symbol that Christianity picked up from druidism."

We love Louise's banner. It is a calming influence on our studio as we try to plant seeds on all the little stoney paths we walk on, and learn new stitches along the way. 


Pom Pom International can change your world. Like most people, I meet conflicts which can take a while to resolve. When I first met Amy Lamé,  I wanted to fix a problem I've had for ages....DUST.  Amy is an inspirational host. I love to welcome people, find out how they are, have a good time, serve drinks, and do domestic things,  but somehow, I'm not proud enough to dust.
 I don't see dust, and I don't see why I should have to see dust either. Reassurance came when I watched the 'Naked Civil Servant' a film about Quentin Chrisp, where he explains that after four years of not dusting,  dust will not get any thicker, and you can live in peace. I can live in peace, but not when people come to stay or when we have a party.

A dusting outfit seems to have done the trick.  Rachael does not dust, but this lady does.  She has Pom Poms on her head  made out of dusty Herdwick, scraps and ripped up dusters, and her head scarf is made from 3 dusters stitched together. Her make up is by Mac and her pinny is converted by Barbara's mother from a shirt of Barbara's father's. 

The cleaning lady might be coming round this weekend. 

Thank you to Amy and Mark Chilvers of the Sunday Times for sending this picture.


Oxfam are asking people to knit squares for a giant baby blanket and demand world leaders meet their promises to provide decent health care for the worlds poorest people.  For every mum, the day her child is born should be the happiest of her life. yet, in the world's poorest countries, many mums don't survive to look after their babies. 

They are aiming for 250,000 patches, one for every mum who should have survived pregnancy in the last six months.
Once you have knitted your square, take a picture, send the square to Oxfam, and put your picture up on their flickr sit
Rosemary knitted this yellow square. It is actually the cheese for the burger she is knitting so we can't give it to Oxfam but we will knit some squares for mums tonight in front of Agatha Christie. 

To get involved and make a difference go to

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


In 2003, Ian McMillian, poet, blew my mind with his poem Hat. Part 1. 

Mr and Mrs Doorbell are knitting on a bench, on a cliff in a storm and they see a fishing boat being wrecked, so they help by knitting a new one....

".....And they almost ran out of wool, and their fingers almost broke,
But there, in the end, was a wool boat, with the mast and the

Cabin and the photographs and even a wool mirror and how
Doorbell knitted that wool mirror I'll never know and in fact Doorbell
Himself said that for years after that day he tried and tried to knit
A wool mirror but he never could. A wool mirror for the wall,   
And Doorbell and Mrs. Doorbell dragged the wool boat to

The edge of the cliff and threw it over and you'd think the wool boat 
Would sink but it didn't, it floated, such was the knitting skill 
Of Doorbell and Mrs Doorbell, and....."

Well I kept thinking how could I knit a mirror and then my friend Sabrina taught me that in America you can have any jpeg knitted up into a blanket. It is a popular service for the families of soldiers going off to war.  They don't ship overseas which is annoying, but Sabrina had it made for me, for our film about knitted smoke and mirrors.

Here is one knitted reflection of putting mascara on.  I love the way my nose looks so big.  How they knitted it, I'll never know.....

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


We are comfortable in Bethnal Green, and so are our neighbours,  but quite frankly, it's a bit scruffy. We decieded the Council should get on with whatever important things they are doing, and leave us to fix the railings at the end of our road, because we think we've done the job rather well. 
For more knitting action go to



Maggie has taken to spinning like a duck does to water! We were delighted when she came in to practice on the PYF spinning wheels. 
Maggie started, like we all did on the drop spindle. The drop spindle is the most ancient of all spinning tools. 
The drop spindle takes a bit of practice, but once you have mastered it, it's very hypnotic. Maggie developed an unstoppable creativity, collecting sheep fleece from her local farm and dying it with Kool Aid and spent printer ink cartridges, to get a range of dayglo colours.  
After a few weeks of spindling, Maggie was ready to speed up the process and took to the wheel with ease.  We enjoyed her chats over the squeek of the pedal.
Maggie is flying home to Miami in a few weeks, and has to keep spinning, so all the fibres will fit into her suitcase! 
Come back soon Maggie!

Thursday, 7 August 2008


Thank you to all the beautiful pom pom confronters, who made Friday nights party with Amy Lamé, such a blast of colour and chaos, ending in a psychedelic woolly wig out. 
Panos and Ian T rocked the sound system, while scissors snipped and the ginger beer shandy cups decorated the street.
Pom Pom international is creeping down from the ceiling. The shop feels like a den, which is perfect timing for us because it's August, a time for lying around in a blaze of colour, chatting about parties, people we love, and things that we really want out of life. 
For more pom pom experiences come to PYF and help us drink the rest of the beer.
Pom Pom International will be at the Field Day festival in Victoria Park this Saturday, while Louise and I teach spinning.

Monday, 4 August 2008


At dusk, on Sunday, Jamie, Spanner and I, were walking down the Godstow Rd, pass the chip shop, about to cross over the bridge to Wolvercote, when this traffic light caught our full attention. It had been knitted. My phone camera couldn't do it justice, but it was wearing a gorgeous multi coloured fairisle. We waited until the light shone green and then we went to the pub.