OUR NEW BOOKCASE!


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.

FELIX'S SEA SOCKS.

Felix has had her ear to the ground and knitted a pair of upbeat socks based on the sound of the sea. They are incredebly warm, made with PYF's own DK Swaledale and Cornish Organic's Indigo. The two yarns sit comfortably together, like they have been there for years. Felix is perfecting the pattern, and it will be downloadable from our new website, when we've got it built!
For now, check out her process at http://thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress/?p=811

99 HEARTS FOR CHRISTMAS.





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!

MOONDOG.


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.

Very Warm Hand Spun Viking yarn £2/10g.

SYCAMORE TABLE AND BENCHES.

Our new sycamore table with two benches has vastly improved seated activities at Prick Your Finger. Me and my Dad made them from a tree which blew down about 10 years ago. Dad had it planked up, and it has been seasoning in his shed ever since.
It's my first woodwork project where the wood didn't come from a skip or street corner. Dad has an electric planing machine and a circular saw, which made things easier, faster and yes, straighter!
The table is two dinner plates wide and fixed with pegs, so we can dismantle it for parties. I carved the little finger marks in homage to Stanley Davis.
I had a hunch that we would work more productively if we ate soup, altogether, in rows on benches. We have found chicken stock most beneficial to our health, and the conversations are much more enlightened.

Our classes are also held around this beautiful piece of wood, and they are £30/ 2hrs for beginners and £40/2hrs for a private lesson. Much as we'd like to offer you a bowl of soup, it's probably best if we don't.

FABULOUS FIBRES.

Lacebark Fan, jamaica. c. 1900

Fabulous Fibres is a loan exhibition of plant fibres and textiles from Kew Gardens. It will be at the Haslemere Educational Museum, High Street, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 2LA
It will be open from 1st December 2009 - 9th January 2010, Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5pm
Early closing 24th and 31st Dec. closed 25th-26th Dec and 1st Jan.
Gallery talk 14.30 on saturday 5th Dec.
Admission by donation.
Marvelous.


THE TATTY DEVINE PARADE!



Tatty Devine have opened a new shop on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden. On Thursday, we helped them move by marching in our most sparkling attires from the old shop in Brewer St. Soho, down Old Compton Street, with a slight pause to wave at the French House, across Cambridge Circus, around Seven Dials, and down to the shop where we were greeted by hot cider and more cheer. We waved as we strode and everyone waved back, including the policemen.
You can't stop happiness. It was absolutely brilliant.
(Louise is on magaphone, I'm the witch, and Rosie and Harriet are leading us all. Thanks to Sandra for the photos)

BEACH COMBER.

November, it's cold and damp outside, and I'm glad I went beach combing in the summer. The funny bits of string tangled in weed, which shone in the sunlight, are dried out on the book case, but the smell takes me back to that warm, special day. I've spun the nearest I could get to that memory, except it smells really nice, because it's been felted in the washing machine.
North Ronaldsay is a breed of sheep which only eats seaweed. It comes from the island North Ronaldsay, in the south Orkneys, where the owner of the isle built a wall all the way round his island to stop the sheep eating all the plants. Over time, they have developed a tummy which can't handle a copper based diet, and a fleece wich is soft and slightly waxy. Ronaldsay forms the base of this chunky yarn, by felting it's way around scraps of washed up fabric, and is smothered in a light coating of green mohair.
The label is from a painting given to my Grandpa by I don't know who, and it's slightly expensive at £2.30 / 10g.

INTRODUCING -THE VOMIT MONSTER!

The UFO Project Administration Service

proudly presents a finished piece,

'THE VOMIT MONSTER' by Rachael Charnley, aka Miss String.

Back in the Spring, we administrated a half finished back of a jumper. Sarah thought this tweedy Rowan pink with yellow and blue flecks in was a good idea at the time, but her friends kept telling her it looked like puke. We called it 'Puke Piece'.

We sent it to Miss String a creative knitter of the magazine 'Pieces of String' who has also started the fantastic Felt Up Craft Club

http://www.myspace.com/feltupcraftclub

of which you can read more at

feltupcraftclub.blogspot.com

Miss String, whilst traveling between London, Reading, Brighton and Newcastle, has managed to create- THE VOMIT MONSTER, a friend for anyone suffering from a hangover.

We are looking forward to a visit from Vomit Monster and Miss String soon.

Arrangements for the visit are difficult because one of Miss String's relations kidnapped the Vomit Monster for a great right of passage; learning how to stomach raves and hickies.

We wish the said relation well.

Miss String has tackled Puke Piece in a responsible way, and Sarah, the original knitter, was delighted to see the result.

Thank you Miss String, for the love and comfort you have spread through all the ghastly hangovers. You confirm our belief that knitting can be useful even when you have your head in a bucket.

Marvelous.

HAND SPUN DUKES OF HAZZARD.



Prick Your Finger's Chunky Hand Spun Dukes, starts with burning tyres on hot tarmac. As the engine revs and the wheel spins burn black, the cousins are off.... chased down a dirt road, where cloud's of raw cotton dust, fail to fog the orange flash of the General Lee, or dirty the freshly laundered denim on the arses of our boys. Phaw. Dukes of Hazzard Yarn £2.35 for 10g.
Oh and here are pictures of the boys as they come on the label.

POIGNANT STAMP OF AN ELEPHANT.

The UFO Project Administration Service is pleased to present a successful completion by artist Celia Pym.
Three quarters of a 100% white acrylic confirmation bag was administrated in May, having been posted to us by Trisha in Northampton, who thought it un-likely to ever hold her daughter's prayer books.
Pym, typically injected the piece with love and a flow of cosmic clarity. One of the few artists to actually cause earth beats with a needle and thread, Celia settled a full stop on the piece forever, stamping her mark by creating a trustworthy Elephant's Foot.
Beautifully done. x


WALTER'S CROOK.

In July, I posted about a crook, which was left behind at Woolfest 2008. It was put aside for me, because they thought I used it to be Bo Peep for the Knitted Sheep auction. One one side, beautifully carved in horn, it said 'W.J.Brown' and 'Langleeford' on the other. It was made so well, I had to return it to it's owner.

Searching on google maps, I discovered Langleeford to be a very remote hamlet in Northumberland. I wrote a letter, (in blue dip pen on blue writing paper, with matching envolope) containing a picture of the crook.
A week later I received a telephone call from Mr. Walter Brown, son of W.J.Brown. He said he had been out shearing sheep all day, came in tired, and was quite shaken when recieving my letter, which looked like it had been lost in the post for 30 years, but had a modern stamp.
Walter's father died in 1978, and he carved the stick back in the 1960's. W.J.Brown was the best in the valley at hand writing, and carving. His family never left the Langleeford farm, so he had no idea how the crook came to Cumbria. He was very moved and wanted to meet me and have the crook back.
The safest way to deliver the crook, was to persuade my parents to drive to Walter's farm. Langleeford is a long way from the Lake District, and a very long way from London. We drove over the moors, which were stunning.
After about 3 hours, we reached the sign post to Langleeford.
The landscape was most unusual. Huge moors with soft red earth, and rivers which had recently become much more rapid, and carved up the valley.
The flow had been so strong, it had knocked down the bridge to Walter's house, a few weeks before.
On the other end of the bridge, 'W.J.B' was carved in the stone.
There were a lot of sheep in the pens, who had just been sheered and were waiting to go back on the moor.
Walter's house had roses growing around the front door. We went to the back door though.
Here was Walter. He was delighted to see the crook. He said he didn't know what to say, but he wanted to thank me. He was really cool. Full of fresh air with a twinkle in his eye.
He took us inside, where his wife Valerie had prepared some tea. The crook leaning up against the wall, is the crook that Walter normally uses, which W.J.Brown carved from the bar in the local village of Wooler. When the publican changed the design of the bar, he gave the old wood to W.J. B because he'd held up the bar for so long. Walter also had modern crooks which had metal heads. He explained about the shape of the crook, how it has to comfortably fit the shepherd's hand, but also the neck of the sheep.
Valerie and Walter showed us the family photos. That is W.J.B on the left, at Walter's brother's wedding. Walter is on the right. Walter's father was called William, but William's brother was called Walter, and our Walter's grandfather was also called Walter. They call themselves the 'Broon's' because they are geordies, and you can see from the title how good William was at writing.
And here is the prize Blackface Shearling Ram, who's horn became W.J.B 's crook. He won first prize at the Lanark Ram Sale on 10th September 1957. When W.J. Brown bought him he was worth £800. (That's about £30,000 in today's money) Walter explained that in those days, and all the days before these days, the income from wool was used to pay the rent on the farm.
We drank Sloe Gin, made with Billberries, picked on the moors above the farm. Delicious. I would like to visit again next summer. Walter said he would show me the moors, and hopefully I will get to meet his beautiful Border Collies.