Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Monday, 28 December 2009
Our last day trading for 2009 was 23rd December when we closed early at 5pm and went for fish and chips followed by Public Image Ltd. at the Electric Ballroom.
We are pleased to announce we have been invited to take part in a show;
"Louder than Bombs- Art, Action and Activism" at the Stanley Picker Gallery in Kingston in the spring.
Our plan is to challenge the fashion and textiles industry with a bike powered wool mill / disco / boutique / protest platform, with which you are invited to participate.
There are seven artists taking part and each project seems to echo a song from The Smiths, 'Louder than Bombs'. Our song for the work in progress is 'Money Changes Everything.'
More info to follow. See you there!
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Congratulations to Sarah Cobb, who has knitted a Robin Hood bear, who rides through the glen in the most handsome trousers, crocheted from Prick Your Finger's hand spun "Bethnal Green Forest".
There is no doubt that this curious bear is a rebel. Sarah wants to knit him a hat, and is asking for suggestions.
A pukka trilby with crochet feather?
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Mrs Cooper said to Mr. Cooper many times,
"Don't leave your valuables in the back of the car, because someone might break in and steal them!"
Most of the time, when parking the car, Mrs Cooper's words resounded in Mr. Cooper's head, but one sunny day in Somerset, a big green hill beckoned Mr.Cooper, and off he went on his walk, forgetting about the back seat.
At the summit, scanning the view, he noticed two men breaking into the back of his car. Pegging it down the hill, on reaching the car, his bags and new camera were no where to be seen.
Several months later, Mr. Cooper received a telephone call from the Somerset Police. They had recovered his bag from a hedgerow, sadly minus the camera, but his favourite guernsey was almost in tact, apart from a few large holes, where some slugs had tucked in.
(Yes, slugs and snails have been known to eat good quality wool)
Mrs. Cooper asked us to darn it, and it is now ready to be worn by Mr. Cooper on more adventures.
Mrs. Cooper doesn't think Mr. Cooper will make the same mistake again.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Here are the first and last verses of Christina Rossetti's 'In the Bleak Mid Winter,' knitted in a word search, for you to puzzle over through the longest nights. There are clues to the words too, listed below, and the little words like 'in' are all present.
I am fully aware that it is impossible to do this on a computer screen, and it is meant as your Christmas card, so if you require a larger version to print out, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall e-mail you a copy .
1. Charmless, inhospitible and dreary.
2. Half way through the coldest season.
3. Popular snowman in children's song.
4. Experienced after eating too many sprouts.
5. Another way of spelling 'maid'.
6. Noise made with pleasure or pain.
7. The planet we live on.
8. Up right on both feet, past tense.
9. Not soft.
10. Used to flatten creases.
11. We are advised to drink 8 glasses a day.
12. A rolling _ gathers no moss.
13. Atmospheric water vapour, frozen into ice.
14. Not recently. (4,3)
15. To be generous.
16. Lacking in money.
17. Tender of sheep.
18. To take along.
19. Baby lamb.
22. My share. (2,4)
23. Pumps blood around the body.
24. _ from grace.
In the bleak mid-winter,
frosty wind made moan.
Earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone.
Snow had fallen,
snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid winter,
What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part.
Yet what can I give him?
Give him my heart.
Monday, 14 December 2009
The first one hundred customers received a PYF, hand printed goody bag, which we made in the shop last Monday.
Some were red and some were pink.
We were teaching people to knit in the bar, and our stall was set up on Louise's laundry rack.
I've not seen so many crafty feminists in one place for a long time. They all bustled around Tatty Devine's Christmas Tree Tombola.
We laid a wool trail between York Hall and the shop, which proved good for our business.
We taught lots of people to knit, and had a lovely day but by twenty past six we had done too much talking and were ready for chips.
Thank you Victoria for organising such a brilliant event and to Mrs. Higgins of Tatty Devine and Zarah for the photos.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
We are delighted to announce that we are the proud receivers of a Crafts Council 'Spark Plug Award'. This means that we are becoming curators.
It is all due to Mr. Trevor Pitt, who in coming all the way from Birmingham to deliver his 'Soft Bench in a Hard Landscape', stopped for a cup of tea, looked around and suggested I applied for the award.
Taking everything Trevor says seriously, I wrote all weekend, as the deadline was only 3 days away. Ella Gibbs drove over to have dinner and read what I wrote and the Spark Plugs failed on her car. The AA man said that was pot luck, and that they weren't earthed. He had to come out twice, so I hoped my application would be successful. With about 5 hours to go, Louise gathered images and fixed the printer, Trevor juggled the English and I hand delivered the envolope.
Trevor was right, Louise and I are developing a show, which we are passionate about. I shall write more about it in due course.
Friday, 11 December 2009
Please come and visit us and lots of other crafty people at the BUST CRAFTACULAR st York Hall this Saturday. We will be near the bar, ready to help you with any knitting or crochet enquiries, and there is a free Prick Your Finger goody bag for the early birds. See you there!
For more info go to http://www.bust.com/craftacular/About-London.html
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Serious second sock syndrome with this pair! I started them during the Men's Wimbledon Semi - Final and finished last weekend.
The postcode socks are incredably warm, in Wensleydale 4 ply, and contain postcodes of my loved ones, so should I ever be washed up or lost on an adventure, I shall be returned to somewhere familiar.
The second sock was harder, because after my family, there are so many postcodes and places and loved ones to choose from.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Thank you to Bev, who brought us this wonderful package in Spain.
'Kiki, Pelo Especial Para Nidos' is luxury bedding for baby chicks.
It is just rough goat hair sold in a beautiful packet.
Why can't all packets of things be this cool.
Bev has a shop on Columbia road, and she makes fabulous clothes, and witty bits and bobs. Do pop in if you are passing.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Today we told fortunes in our house made of old coats, at the Art Worker's Guild Christmas fair. We have never been fortune tellers before, but it seemed to work. We wrote of good things that could happen, and household tips. The Brothers were then asked to sit on a tin bath in our tent, which was lit with a torch, and then we spun a Chinese wicker hat, containing all the folded papers. The customer picked a paper and we discussed its relevance. There were some freaky co-incidences. It's suprising the belief that people put into this ancient ritual.
Many were warned of moth attack, blocked drains, and hidden abilities to sing, which will hopefully now be worked on over the holiday period.
If you are an art worker and want to apply to be a brother, let me know. Next year's lecture program is very good and I can take up to two guests and propose new members. Lectures are every second Thursday.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
The Environmental Justice Foundation.
EJF highten the awareness of the true cost of cotton.
"More than 3/4 of cotton output is accounted for by developing countries" - John Baffes, Senior economist at the World Bank.
Those countries are forced to live with deadly chemicals on the fields, which cause serious illnesses and birth defects. Child labor is common. Water is short.
Cotton fields drink loads of water and in Uzbekistan the Aral Sea has been drained to 15% of its former volume. The draining has uncovered 40,000Km square of the sea floor. An area the equivalent to 6 million soccer pitches. The area now takes the form of dry mud flats, contaminated with salt and pesticide residues. The winds carry huge dust clouds to poison the neighbouring regions, and the local climate has changed.
The true cost of cotton is too high to explain here, but it might be worth noting that North America and Europe account for 45% of global cotton product consumption, despite being home to just 13% of the world population.
Our Christmas tree is decorated in pictures from the EJF literature, and Katherine E Hamnett postcards saying 'SAVE THE FUTURE'. Aketsun Loveable is offering little wind up and whistling plastic toys, (great for bath time) for which we suggest a donation of £2.
We have collected over £50 already, but there are enough plastic toys to hit our target of £100.
Please donate generously next time you visit!
Thanks to EJF for the photos.
Our Zara, The Uld Pixie, who works here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, has been busy knitting Christmas gifts.
You could buy an Angelic Sheep to put on your Christmas tree year after year, or why not purchase a Mince Pie Tape measure to check the difference of waist circumference before and after the Christmas meal?
Beautifully made, and reasonably priced.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Welcome Aketsun, who has flown in from the land of the rising sun, to bring us a pot pourri of fantastical dolls attire, little bird necklaces, handbag bears who carry a change of clothes,and new directions in Christmas decorations! Aketsun collects tiny gems from micro plastic high heals, miniature spoons, to pretty beads. With delicate stitches in sewing, knitting and crochet, she creates a utopia.
It takes several moments to appreciate how much work has gone into each piece. In Aketsun's world, everything is loveable, hense I presume, her name 'Aketsun Loveable'.
Doll collecting is massive in Japan. Aketsun showed us several copies of a Japanese Magazine 'Dolly Dolly', a bizare publication featuring over sexualized dolls that might have died on their wedding day, complete with roses around the coffin etc. Then, as you turn the pages (backwards) Aketsun's joyus world leaps out from the rest, and is, I imagine, very collectable.
It's the best example of contemporary Japanese doll craft I have seen. Paper dress making patterns, and crochet diagrams are also on show. Recognising, that the English might not get the doll world, she's made beautiful fantasies which you can wear, and decorations for Christmas. We are very proud to be showing something so bright, happy and completely alien.
Built in rather a hurry, due to lots of new books arriving, (including the much awaited 'Dinosaur Iron- On Transfer Patterns') our new bookcase, of which we are most proud, cost a grand total of £8.99, due to the price of mat black paint, covering up the tatty wood, which was mostly found on the roadside between here and Soho.
The irregularity of materials, made it impossible to design on paper, and I love it's No-Wave feel.
Monday, 30 November 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
For now, check out her process at http://thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress/?p=811
99 Hearts are back to spread the love! Lizards, frogs, fish, and jellyfish have swum all the way from Japan to spread Christmas cheer. For the next week, two red lizards will be making love in our window. Meiko has made the jelly fish flash when you hit them. Meiko will be addending our party for Aketsun Loveable next week, and no doubt planting more crochet mushrooms on our ceiling. Do come down to meet these extra ordinary creatures, which according to the Natural History Museum reptile department, are very well observed, with all the markings in the right place!
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Louise bought a half -washed Norwegian fleece on the Internet. I didn't card it and spun it lumpy. Washed and felted it looked very Viking, so I dyed some with Kool Aid for blood and fire.
When the Vikings moved to Iceland, it was risky to take precious metals as currency, so they traded in hand spun yarn. They spun stock and sailed down to Scotland to trade it. I racked my brain for a viking name for the yarn, and remembered my favourite Viking of all time is Moondog, who lived on the streets of New York City and made music. He sold extraordinary rhythms and poems on bits of paper, and busked timeless tunes, which are all now avaliable at good record shops.