I have been on holiday to Istambul with my family. My brother Monty speaks Turkish and is a fantastic tour guide. He suggested that the way to see how the locals behave is to go to a football match.

My mother Diana, doesn't really like football and wasn't sure if she wanted to go. I asked her why and she said,

"It becomes a bit nurdish, who's been transfered to who and for how much money. There's better ways to spend money quite frankly, like having nice gardens or not eating junk food".

Diana agreed watching football wouldn't be a waste of time if she did her sewing and I did my knitting. Diana was stitching acorns from Phillipa Turnbull's 'Tree of Life' in crewel work.

We loved the men's singing, and the man pictured here with the designer stubble told his friends not to block our vision of the game, because we wanted to sit down and all the men were standing in front of us. Monty and Dad David found the 3-0 win very exciting.

The next day we were in the Turkish barbers, watching Monty have a shave with a cut throat razor, when David found our picture in the newspaper 'Banko'. Monty translated the captions which read,

"The fans of Fenerbahce didn't let their team alone despite of the rain at the stadium." and

"Supporters who came as family to support yellow-navy blue set out different sight at Saracoglu" (the name of the place)

We were very excited and the barber took pictures of us with the newspaper and our stitches.

Later I asked David why he liked football so much and he said,

"It never goes quite the way you expect."


Allow me to introduce our new limited edition yarn. The Swaledale, Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. It's a DK yarn which we had spun at the mill and dyed in our Kitchen.

With over tones of Kool Aid's lime, cherry, grape, orange, and pink lemonade, the creamy hill top fibres of the Viking Herdwick's first cousin Swaledale, will give you luminating warmth on any trip to enlightenment.

The full story about the Merry Pranksters and America's cult fruit drink with added vitamin C, can be read in my column next month, in Simply Knitting Magazine.

( I write it every month, and keep forgetting to remind anyone. It's a brilliant publication because Alan Dart writes regular patterns)


Every few years, my knitted hand granade gets thrown around and makes it's point somewhere new. This time I am delighted to see it next to my heroin Vivienne Westwood, at Museums Sheffield. It was also image of the week in the Times Knowledge last Saturday.  To celebrate, I would like to share the pattern. Please Drop Stitches not Bombs. Thank you. 

Materials - Should be knitted in chunky army green and gun metal grey on 4mm needles. Grenade is fastened with a kilt pin and a key ring.


Cast on 40 sts. and work in box stitch for 32 rows. 

1st row. k4, p4, to end.

2nd row. k4, p4 to end.

3rd row. k4, p4 to end.

4th row. k4, p4 to end.

5th row. p4, k4 to end.

6th row. p4, k4 to end.

7th row. p4, k4 to end.

8th row. p4, k4 to end.

rep. rows 1-8, 4 times.

33rd row. k.

34th row. k1, *yrn fwd, k2tog. rep. from * to end.

35th row. k 4 more rows.

Cast Off.


Pick up 30sts. along the 32nd row of the grenade body. Do this by starting and finishing 5 sts. in.

Commence in gun metal grey. 

1st row. k.

2nd row p.

rep. these rows 3 times, dec. 1 st. at each end of p. row.

9th row. k.

10th row. p.

rep. these rows 3 times, inc. 1 st. at each end of p. row.

Cast off.

press, fold along shortest row, and hem into 32nd row of body.


Cast on 4sts.

1st row. k, inc.1st. at each end of row.

2nd row. p.

3rd row. as 1st row.

4th row. p.

cont. in stocking st. for 16 rows.

Then dec. 1 st. at each end of every p. row until 2sts remain.

k2tog.( 1 sts. remains) now make pin loop as follows.

1st row. Cast on 1 st.

2nd row. Cast off 1 st.

3rd row. Cast on 1 st.

4th row. Cast off 1 st. rep. this until loop measures 4cm. 

Cast off, and st. into a loop.

To Finish

St. up side of grenade body. 

Gather the bottom of the grenade by running stitches through row 1 of body and pulling tight. 

Fold trigger in half, lengthwise, press,  and st. onto side seam of body, leaving loop at the top. 

Gather opening of grenade by threading ribbon through holes made by row 34.

Put pin through top, and loop and then top, and now you are ready to throw your grenade!


Any day now, the Guardian are to publish a knitting supplement. What a sensible newspaper!

We have made an I Pod cover out of spun 2ply cassette tape and a Polystyrene Cup Cover out of spun  aran 'weight' plastic bags, the patterns for which you can find in the supplement.

The cassette tape yarn sparkles and has coloured stickers spun in with it. It has an amazing shock absorbing quality to it, so hopefully your i-pod will last longer.

The plastic yarn for the cup cover is durable, crunchy, soft and of course, washable.

We took these photos in our local park in Bethnal Green, which we find more beautiful now we have used the plastic bags and cassette tapes which were growing in the trees and bushes.  The patterns are very easy, and we hope you like them.


Shortly after we opened our shop, Susanna Edwards wrote in 'Design Week' magazine about our hand knitted sign. 

"an example in the whispering category of typography, Prick Your Finger is a contemporary haberdashery in Bethnal Green......It's signage is innovative, yet quiet in its content, process and display. Hand-spun typography has been made from the wool of Rough Fell sheep, the sturdiest mountain breed in Britain. Too rough a material to wear, it has been spun un-washed to produce typography that is full of lanolin that makes it waterproof.  It is homemade: only a spinning wheel and a crochet hook was required, and no sign writer or manufacturer was required.  Even the name "Prick Your Finger" pertains Sleeping Beauty falling asleep."

Our sign was also quiet because I knitted it the night before the opening! 

One year on and Rosemary has had the task of knitting most of the new typeface. It is knitted in Swaldale roving, and soaked in vegetable oil to replace lost lanolin.

Needing a tall man with a ladder, Louise went to our pub, the Florest,  and Bob was just knocking off sick. Fortunatly Bob wasn't that sick, and spent the next hour putting up our sign, for which we were most gratefull.

The letters were a tight fit, but as Louise handed Bob the nails, Rosemary looked on ernestly, and shouted 'left a bit, right a bit,' until we all, along with the people having their lunch in the Wild Cherry over the road, agreed it was perfect.  To thank Bob for his time, Louise darned one of his cashmere jumpers. 

We hope you like our new sign.