Monthly Archives: April 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!

This is a big day! The blog is 1 year old!

but that’s not all! I’ve finally finished the fingerless gloves pattern and the pattern is now available for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

This calls for a give-a-way! Anyone who comments on this post will be entered to win a free copy of my new pattern. The winner will be announced next week.

Thanks for reading my blog this past year! There are many, many exciting things to come and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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Tech meets Yarn: Crafts in the Information Age

Since the advent of web 2.0 and social media, the most unexpected outcome for me has been the appearance and unstoppable growth of previously-described small interest groups. From autism to the open archives to historians of the London Underground to knitters, these communities have found a way to connect and grow.

It’s very easy to take it all for granted, and I did for a long time. (I also didn’t know about podcasts or twitter…) I think there are two reactions to the rapid changes; embracing on some level and being completely overloaded. The concept of information overload has been well documented, but is information overload also contributing to the growth in these small interest communities?

Image sourced from http://www.productwiki.com

It’s easy to see how the internet is overtly contributing to the latest craft revival in such sites as Ravelry and Etsy, but is the overload being manifested in  the very act of crafting as a throwback to an earlier, simpler time? This phrase in and of itself is a bit controversial, but I think knitting has an appeal of escape and of simplicity that is very comforting and is exactly the type of reaction that can be expected with information overload.

I have this theory that I’d love to pursue in some academic way that information overload is contributing to the growth in crafts. It’s partially based on my own knitting response to the stress of life, but it also seems to make a lot of sense to me based on knitting’s therapeutic properties, and what it has stood for since the 1800’s. Basically, the first craft revival was a bit of a rebellion against the industrial revolution and isn’t entirely different from the ethos of Etsy.

Could information overload and the internet be covertly contributing to the growth of craft precisely because of a negative reaction to it?

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Knit Art and Art in Knit

Lately, my brain seems to think of nothing but knitting! Everything I see, makes me thing either “can I knit that?” or “can I knit with it”. Everything from a sweater someone is wearing on the Tube to random objects like chess pieces, animals, kitchen utensils, etc. spark my imagination for design possibilities and every thing that even slightly resembles a fibre makes me start thinking about the logistics of knitting with it.

Happily, I’m not the only one. Joan Dulla makes beautiful sculptures out of knitted wire.

Artwork by Joan Dulla. Image sourced from http://www.joandulla.com.

Sarah Illenberger knits body organs using mohair to create a lovely translucent objects communicative of the delicate nature of the organs themselves.

Artwork by Sarah Illenberger. Image sourced from http://www.whokilledbambi.co.uk.

I’ve been thinking with my art historian cap on and my brain in knit world. Can I knit art works?

I immediately thought of Piet Mondrian and Yves Saint Laurent’s dress based on his paintings.

Image sourced from the V&A website.

There is also this article from a newspaper that I found on Google. (Google does newspaper articles!?)

Can I knit a sweater based on it in an intarsia design?

The possibilities are endless. Can I knit Jan van Eyck pieces? a Duchamp-ian toilet? a soup can?

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The Future as I Declare

The past year or so has been an adventure in planning the rest of my life. Aside from freaking out, near breakdowns, and, of course, the good times, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself, what to pursue, what not to,  how I want to live and how I will afford to eat.

Image sourced from http://www.mbestquest.com/

This year has witnessed big changes and it doesn’t look like things will slow down anytime soon. I’ve graduated, left everything behind and moved countries, and will graduate from grad school soon. I’ve moved in with my boyfriend into a tiny little room and we’re working on getting money together to move. We’re working on being happy with each other.

I’ve always felt that I wanted to be idealistic, because why not? Why be ‘realistic’ and have no hope of utopia? I’ve always wanted to pursue what I love and I’ve always wanted my life to be my job, not the other way around. Life’s too short to spend five out of seven days a week miserable. The only question has been what and how.

Image sourced from http://www.astronomy-pictures.net

As part of my degree and, perhaps, despite my degree, I’ve been writing for theHub, an online magazine. It never occurred to me to write about art before. To reflect on my own insights, coherently form them in words, and share it with others is so satisfying. I do hope I can continue to write and pursue ideas to share. Maybe I have a writing career ahead!

So much of what I do, though, involves art, but passively. I’ve studied it in its historical context. I write about art and live with the most creative person I’ve ever known. So unsurprisingly, I’ve been rediscovering my artistic roots. I’ve re-discovered my passion for art after being one of the many souls that got talked out of a career in the arts in favour of a scientific one. (Thank goodness I changed my major to art history before the end!)

My skills in art are sadly lacking, and I am not pretentious enough to take what I make seriously enough. Also, no matter how good things look they lack an important je ne sais pas if they cannot be used.

Kate on her blog Needled wrote a post about how the repetitious things in life seem to also be the ones that are the most endearing, the most missed when they’re gone. I think that when you use things, actually use them to the point of leather shoes conforming to your feet or gloves conforming to your fingers, they become meaningful in a way that just looking cannot achieve.

Kate’s wonderful blog and the other amazing knitters that I’ve been reading about and talking with have really inspired me, as trite as that sounds. It’s made it okay to myself that I’m a knitter not as artist per se and it’s made me want to combine the two for myself, in my own way.

I’m knitting a chess set and designing my own patterns. I’ve decided that my career path is knitting and World, you’d better watch out.

Image Sourced from http://www.tiffanylorene.com

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