Tuesday, 30 September 2008


.... I've been a bit slow on the blog recently, because it's taking a while to paint the back room planks. 
... And it's not just planks, we been doing up the whole of  back of the shop, so our classes will be more comfortable and it feels, well, warmer! The base coat on the floor is Dulux Light Buff and the grain lines are middle brown. I sang The Beatles Norwiegan Wood a lot.... it's a wonderful song.  The walls are chalk white paneled doors again, and it's all very cosy, and ready for visitors! Hooray! See you soon x

Friday, 26 September 2008


I hate to make you cringe on a beautiful morning like this, but we have been shocked to hear of a knitting related accident, which must be prevented from happening again.
One of our regular customers, the lovely Miss T, who always has a pair of socks on the go, managed to fall on a 4mm sock pin which went right through her foot. Miss T will be OK, and is just about able to walk, but has endured a huge amount of pain, caused by her favourite hobby.
We wish Miss T a speedy recovery, and hope that she isn't put off knitting.
PLEASE! We urge you all to get tougher slippers, and keep your pins safe.
Knitted first aid sign by Sue Russel


PYF now has a library for public use.  We have collected craft books, embroidery and knitting patterns for many years and have had some generous donations. Here are a few of the shelves!
Mary Cox from Croydon, has given us her mother's lovingly kept Stitch Craft magazines, which are catalogued in decades going back to 1947. There is also an entertaining folder of patterns cut out of other magazines, and some garments knitted in 3ply.
Rothy O'Brian, the last of the terrible knitters of Dent, has leant us folders with very early crochet patterns, and some unique patterns like helmets with ear flaps and jackets for whippets.
There are folders for babies, his and hers, lengthy 2 ply underwear, and things to do with odd ounces. 
You are welcome to spend time with our library. Photocopies are £1.50 and we can help you translate the older patterns into modern language.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


You may remember, dear reader, that last easter time, there was a lot of rabbits.
Rocky found a pattern for Bobby the felt bunny, and kindly gave it to us. The last person to make Bobby, possibly lived in Romford, and was determined the pattern should never be thrown away. Purely by chance, I inherited another Bobby the felt bunny when my friend Richard died. I think Richard might have made him, and he happily lived in Barnes.
When we looked at the pattern, it had been traced in a rather odd way, and some of the pieces were back to front. Our friend Kate, lovingly sorted it out, re-made the pattern and made a new Bobby, chewing a more modern yellow carrot.  I'm sure you'll agree he is very sweet.
Bobby patterns are on sale soon, or you can make one as part of our our Christmas presents class. How could a strange relation resist a bunny like this?

Friday, 19 September 2008


Hedgehog sprung to life when he grew pins, and leapt on our Rosemary. 
He was pleased to meet her properly after all this time in her hands. 
He'll stare you out, and do you needles £3.50 a pair - if you approach him in the appropriate manner.


For a complete new look this winter, start here! Charge yourself up by looking through this season's fashion collections, then make your way to the scout hut behind the old gun shop on Brick lane, for a vintage sale.  Choose a £10, £20 or £30 bundle bag and fill it with old clothes. Take it home, try them on, in as many ways as is physically possible. 
Get ready with the scissors, a dye chart, pins and needles, and customise. 
For help with customising, bring your ideas to Fleur's "Get it to fit, Love it forever" class at Prick Your Finger on the first Wednesday evening of every month. 

Thursday, 18 September 2008


Sometimes our creations don't always turn out how we expect, and it can be such a lovely suprise. 
We are  bonding with Rosemary's hedgehog. He's much bigger than we thought, not finished yet but he introduced himself to us yesterday afternoon.  

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Folkology is a Hungarian folk art company, who sell traditional cross stitch designs, which we stock at PYF. This is my attempt at 'Starflower 3'.  
For generations the women in my family have produced beautiful cross stitch samplers, but the talent has not passed on to me. I find it difficult to stick to the pattern, and tend to go a bit off road.  I did wonder, had I lived two hundred years ago, would the mess on the reverse side of Starflower 3, have meant I could never marry?
 Louise suggested that many religions use pattern as a form of meditation, which I tried to do but my head was a bit over cluttered this week, it being fashion week and all.  To my delight I realised I am not trying to imitate God by being perfect. I enjoyed the red and white and learned that I need to practice symmetry, and through that, I could learn about music, astronomy, cosmology and natural forms, and untangling my thread.
Folkology patterns start at £5.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


It's Fashion Week Tuesday and we've seen a lot of good looks already. Last night I had the pleasure of being kissed by a man wearing Monet's Water lillys in the form of a foam rubber mutton sleeved bolero with skinny black jeans.

Here is David Bowie's fashion.

Saturday, 13 September 2008


I've written about tumble dryer filters before, but I need to bring it up again. We've always found them beautiful, but short of a use, until now.
Louise read on the internet that the fluff collected in our tumble dry filters can be very flamable. We must remember to empty them. 
So they make good fire lighters!  Hooray! 
Store them in a metal tin, ready for your camping trips next summer. 


Trevor Pitt is possibly the only man on the planet that understands the connection between 17th century philosophical gatherings, knitting circles and a trip to the suburban hairdressers. To experience Trevor's refreshing outlook on the world of craft, you might like to take a trip to Birmingham, where his knitting salon is working on a knitted harvest festival as part of ArtsFest in Victoria Square, Birmigham, 13-14th September. 
Trevor knows his community, and together they have knitted the 'Soft Bench' in reponse to the changing landscape of the estates he grew up in.  Local estates were designed in 1920's and 1930's around Art's and Craft's utopian notions of what suburban housing for working people might be. As Trevor grew up, problems crept into the estates, and he developed a passion for bringing craft back into the community. There's a whole essay to be written on Soft Bench, which I don't have time to write today, but one day we hope to show it at PYF. 
In the mean time, have an adventure, book a knitting appointment, and meet the locals and develop some brummy knitting jargon! 


If you are like me, love a disco but feel the need to continue some sort of textile production on the dance floor, then Wool and Dance could be the party for you. 
Sue Russel has felted and travelled for years and is interested in the way nomadic people gather together to make felt for their yurts. Wool and Dance creates large felt carpets by laying wool fibre on the ground in a design, and then with bare feet and a lot of soap flakes, create friction by dancing, which makes the wool fibres lock together to form a solid fabric. 
Wool and Dance is presented by Sue Russel and Barley Massey of Fabrications and can be found on the Southbank outside the Royal Festival Hall today Saturday and Sunday. Rain or Shine, you are invited to lend your hands and feet.

Friday, 12 September 2008


The little brown rabbit in the window invited me for tea this morning. She told me of her concern that people in London Town walk past shop windows so fast that they fail to notice small being's like her. The Glass Pingle dressed her in a lace ruff with a thimble for a crown, which she wears under the paper foliage.


When the seasons change it can be difficult to work out what to wear.
Our Rosemary didn't know what to wear yesterday, so she wore a jumper as a dress!
How clever!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

AND SO....

Anita signed a lot of books, and Jenny (Customer of the month February and March 2008)  taught us how to do robotics and the moonwalk.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


Knitty Gritty, the new book for beginner's knitting by Aneeta Patel, will be on sale at Prick Your Finger from tomorrow, Wednesday 10th September. 
Aneeta is one of those teachers that never gives up on you. She's taught so many people to knit that she is not phased by silly questions or impossible tangles. Knitty Gritty has everything you need to get you started on your knit and purls, or, it is a brilliant book to carry with you when you meet knitting virgins. 
Please come to her book launch for a signed copy and a drink, between 7-9pm.


If you are heartless enough not to come to the launch of Anita's book 'Knitty Gritty' at PYF tomorrow night, then why not hang out with these cool people instead?!

www.craftguerrilla.com are a new gang of crafters, who make parties for making things.
Take your heart and make one while you are there! They have tutors on standby and invite you to bring your 'Guilty Pleasure tunes' songs that you love to hate, and you will know it is your song, but no one will tell anyone.
Hearts for the Heartless is part of the E17 Art Trail. Meet at The Castle- on the corner of Grosvenor Rise and Eden Rd, Walthamstow  Village 8pm -11pm and the entry is FREE!

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Commiserations to Miss Rosie Cooper who has had a difficult week organising a Tribute to Bear Costumes in Contemporary Visual Arts, due to be shown in the  New York City Art Parade, to-day Saturday 6th September. 
Rosie made bear suits and a poster in plenty of time to be shipped off to an address in New York. Two models were waiting to wear them for the said event. To Rosie's horror, the bear costumes did not arrive. Telephoning the airport, Rosie discovered they had been seized by customs and she was expected to pay ransom money of two hundred pounds, for no apparent reason. Haggling in her best English Rosie accent, she reduced the ransom and persuaded her friend to waste an day at the airport waiting for the bears to be released. 
The bears were set free last night, and then Rosie received the sad news that the Art Parade has been cancelled due to a hurricane. 
Prick Your Finger is saddened by this news, but delighted to pay tribute to bear costumes in contemporary visual arts, right here.

Friday, 5 September 2008


Miss Fleur Oakes of the Glass Pingle will be hosting an evening class on the first Wednesday of every month, from 6-9pm called "Get it to fit, love it forever!"
Fleur trained as a fashion designer, but has a love of all textiles, and extensive experience of  being practical and stylish.
Fleur can help you turn your flares into drain pipes, or if you inherited an over sized dress of your Grandmother's, re- cut it to your shape. Worn out favourites such as ball gowns ruined with red wine that you've put your heal through, can also be fixed. Knitwear that has had accidents such as moth attack or 'boyfriend put it in the tumble dryer' syndrome, can be re-fashioned. If you have found a dress pattern and you don't understand it, you can also bring it to this class. 
The aim of this class is to develop confidence by getting clothes to really suit you. 

The three hour classes are limited to five persons, and tailored to suit you, so booking and consultation is essential. Please e-mail fleur@prickyourfinger.com with a description of your project or a picture if you have it.  Fleur will consider your project and then we will get back to you to make a booking.

Classes are £40 or £30 concessions. 
A series of 3 classes is £100, £75 concessions. 


Louise and I went a bit deaf over the last week. We had blockages in our sinuses and ended up shouting at each other.  The washing machine's drainage pipe had a blockage as well. It was clogged up with limescale and lanolin, from washing hand spun.

Help came from Miss Fleur Oakes, the Glass Pingle, who whilst putting up a fantastic show in the shop, calmly suggested that Bicarbonate of Soda might help. So with a long piece of wire, we rodded pipes and listened to buzzing in and out of our ears. 

Then Fleur invited Bruce Gilbert from Wire to our party, and we listened to him talk about noise. 

Please enjoy Eardrum Buzzin' by Wire.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Prick Your Finger is proud to present new work by Glass Pingle - Fleur Oakes.
We will be having a party to celebrate Fleur's fabulous display of handmade -dashery. This Thursday 4th september, 7-10pm, please come for a cocktail with embroidered eye buttons, forlorn ribbon, pingles and new corsets to name a few.
We look forward to seeing you there!