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.


This is Bimbo. Julia brought him in today for a bit of T.L.C.  Bimbo is nearly 60 years old, and has a few injuries which need attention. He has a rip across the back of his head, where some of his stuffing has come out, leaving his face a bit flat.  All four limbs have holes, and he has lost his jacket.
He is just having a rest over the weekend and then we will start surgery next week.
Sleep well Bimbo x

Thursday, 13 November 2008


The Southbank Centre has a large pile of foam blocks, which were once part of an instillation. They are now redundant and free to a good home. They are all different sizes and covered in brightly coloured coverings. Some of them are quite large. 
If you have a vision for these blocks, e-mail
(The man is not part of the deal - we checked.)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Every week we have a visit from a handsome Italian Philospher. His name is Claudio.

Claudio is an expert in Retro Italian Disco, and other twists of Italian mojo.

When we card and spin our yarns, we listen to Claudio's choice and think Versace, Prada, Gucci, and Feragamo, D&G etc. etc.    

This week we are dancing to Dr. Flagio - 


Sometimes you have to stick at something for a long time before clarity comes.
At the end of day 6, Celia tried on the jumper that she has been so lovingly darning and "OH! It's a man's jumper!"
We never expected that. We think the sweater belonged to a man named Laars

Laars has been a wood cutter since he was a child. His father and grandfather were wood cutter's before him. It's a lovely job in the summer, but blisteringly cold in the winter. His mother knitted this jumper for him when he started working in the forest full time.
Laars has held a flame for the pig farmer's daughter, since before he had the jumper. She would come and walk the pigs in the forest, and share her brown cheese, pickled herring and chrisp bread with him.
Then she moved away. Not long after, there was a dreadful night where Laars realised what he'd missed out on, and getting a bit too drunk he got his sweater stuck in the bark shredding machine. Why didn't he just ask her out? What an idiot...


Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Pauline and the Knitchicks invite you knit hair with them, at the Hair Exhibition this Friday 14th November, 7-10pm.  It's FREE! at The Wellcome Collection 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE


OOO! The LOUDEST Firework display we ever saw. Knitted and installed by Felix, with additional smoke and flames from Rosemary Haddon. ah!

Monday, 10 November 2008


It's easier to get through grey Novembers if you have sparkly, fun things like fireworks, pop corn and Felicity Ford.  

We have a Felicity Ford a firework display in our window, which is so real and explosive, I'm finding it difficult to photograph. I might manage it tomorrow, but in the mean time, I hope you enjoy the Felicity Ford 'Popworks'.

For more Felix sparkle, visit

Sunday, 9 November 2008


We had a marvelous skills swap on Saturday at the Pump House Gallery Smoke Fayre. It turned out the Wandsworth Fire Brigade are keen on knitting.  One of them had just knitted a cardigan for his baby son.  Louise taught them how to cable plumes of smoke, as Chris is doing here in the photo, and I demonstrated plying with Angora 'smoke'.
In return the guvnor Larry showed us all the tools, including the new battering ram, which was in action on Friday night to break down the door of a fourth floor flat, where a bedroom had caught on fire. 
It was difficult to knit with them in their oxygen masks, because we couldn't hear what they were saying, but it was strangely endearing at the same time. 
Chris was modeling a brand new oxygen mask which still had it's peel back cover on the lens, but when he took it off we saw he had lovely blue eyes.  Chris has only been a fireman for a year, so he still takes a bit of flack down at the station, but he seemed like a fully developed fireman to us.  
Big love to firemen everywhere.


....the Prick Your Finger Smokey Handspun Collection.  It's thick, dark, smokey and warm. Made with Alpacca and Shetland with whisps of Smokey Angora and silk toile, right here, in the window of our shop, as we gazed at heavy October/November skies.
Carding by Louise, spinning by Rachael, photo by Rosemary, make up by MAC at the Pump House Gallery Smoke Fayre. 

Friday, 7 November 2008


How lucky we were this bonfire night!  Felicity Ford  brought her explosive, sparkly energy, and showered us in fun.  After kick starting the day with Nigella's spicy pop corn, Felix set to work on our knitted bonfire and firework display in the window. The knitted  rocket, complete with fuse, and  Catherine Wheel look LOUD!  Rosemary set her knittting machine up in a cupboard and knitted smoke and flames.  As the day drew to a close and we warmed our hands around the window, Felix explained how good it felt to finally find a use for all that sparkly, fuzzy yarn, which she bought but couldn't wear. 
The weather has prevented us getting a good picture of the full display, so we''ll try and put one up tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Here is a picture of Louise doing our accounts. Louise has her own, methodical mind. She matches things up and puts things in columns. Her columns form the structure, of a small castle, which is our shop. 
Our Castle is built on Rock, and we are on a roll. Not a big roll, but we roll around laughing a lot, so I guess that means everything is OK.

Saturday, 1 November 2008


Congratulations to Tika, who solved the problem of her over flowing drawers of  bits, bobs, odds and ends of yarn... by putting them all together and knitting a gorgeous scarf. 
Tika is learning to turn the heal of a sock, and we look forward to seeing them soon.