Tuesday, 19 January 2010

prick your finger


Finally, after months upon years of promising to visit, last week I made it to Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green. A yarn shop with a difference, the owners Rachel and Louise built all the shop fittings themselves, spin some of the yarns and try where possible to support British designers and yarn companies. It is filled with trinkets, button jars, scraps of fabrics, wonky creations, needles, hooks, spinning wheels and even a little studio out back. This leads to the shop having a friendly and welcoming atmosphere with an ecclectic, eccentric feel and you cannot help but come out with a smile on your face.


The yarns from companies such as Tait and Style (above) and Jamiesons are displayed unconventionally, presenting them in their full glory, hanging from walls allowing their pretty hues and interesting texures to be admired easily.
Below are some of the unique yarns spun in the shop in short runs from unusual materials such as fabric and cassette tape, ensuring if you knit yourself something from these, you will not see its like anywhere else. With this and the shop's thrifty 'make it and mend it' attitude, there are no embarrassing matching party outfit worries here!



Ribbons tumble from drawers in some kind of colourful organised chaos which just adds to the shop's quirkiness...

The sales desk is a display cabinet filled with 'sock specimens' and topped by jars of thimbles, spools of thread, crocheted creatures, a bell jar showing off free-form crochet foliage, a massive pin cushion and all kinds of other nik naks.
I wondered if the girls know where eveything is, or if things kind of find their own little space in the charming clutter and get lost there in their own world....I almost imagine this shop as a kind of Bagpuss & Co, where, when there are no customers around, the little toys and creatures come to life and help Rachel and Lousie with their spinning, darning and knitting while singing a little song....
Oh, how I wish that were true! As A toy maker myself I have a strange kind of affinity with these little characters, with their own individual personalities and I adored the crocheted reptiles and amphibians hanging from the ceiling and the massive crocheted hedgehog with needles for prickles.
With so many lovely things to look at and with my self imposed eleventh commandment; Thou shalt not leave a yarn shop without making a purchase, at the front of my mind, I succumbed to this Money For Old Rope yarn. I was drawn to the defined ply and washed out lilac colour. Hopefully this will be whipped up into a floor cushion in no time at all! Will post the first pictures of it here, in the meantime, make sure you take a trip to get your finger pricked.
P.s. There is also a fab cafe round the corner, the Gallery Cafe which you can catch your breath in afterwards. I have written a little about it here.

6 comments:

Hence72 said...

Hi, pleased to meet you. nice blog

claire montgomerie said...

thank you! nice to meet you, too.

Skein Queen said...

Wow - it looks amazing! A lovely Bagpuss shop.

HookandScumble said...

On my "to do" list...especially as it was my old stomping ground and many a saturday morning was spent in the Gallery cafe with friends having brunch !

claire montgomerie said...

make sure you get down there! x

Ali said...

What an amazing place - thank you so much for sharing it. I have popped it in my mental filing cabinet.