Tag Archives: knit

Dress: Halfway and Thoughts

I worked fairly steadily on The Dress for the past month or so achieving a great amount (it’s nearly one piece) and achieving the complete inability to look at the thing in the near future.

I still haven’t come up with a proper title for it, but The Dress is beginning to fit nicely both in terms of my rampant usage of the term (for lack of a better one) and its massive scale in terms of a project (The dress to end all dresses?).

The main idea behind the dress has to do with ambiguity. Is it a spider’s web that entraps you or is it like the net below a trapeze artist to catch you if you fall? It’s an idea I’ve been interested in since moving countries and not being able to bring my friends or my family with me which on one hand is incredibly disorientating and on the other lends a sense of freedom.

This idea is also explore beautifully in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where the relationship between Tomas and Tereza  and Tomas’ lover Sabina wherein Tomas is an incurable womaniser, always wondering about the next woman but is married to Tereza. Tereza can think only of Tomas, but Sabina always remains unattached. It explores basically the pros and cons of each of the three people’s lives in a quasi-scientific, detached way. It’s title comes from the discussion of lightness or freedom of being unattached and not responsible for another person, while at the same time this lightness can be unbearable for not being attached to anyone.  It’s oddly moving for its style and backdrop of the communist revolution.

There’s an innate ambiguity in security and being safe. A prison can be safe and secure as well as life. A relationship can exemplify this idea just as easily.

The method of production has centered on what one artist at Raven Row described as the ‘awkwardness of production.’ The very fact that it’s difficult, annoying, inefficient, yet enjoyable is the point of the  means of production. It wouldn’t have the impact or be what I want it to be if I used a machine or even larger needles or any method to make my life a whole lot easier (sigh). Making this has been a mediation on its production both materialistically and intellectually.


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ReCLAIMation of the City

Graffiti is rather like marking your territory. It’s leaving a mark for others to find and identify with or against. But for the maker and the finder, it’s a bit like a conversation. For me, it’s identifying myself and claiming my existence in a city that can seem very cold and one in which I rarely feel like I belong. And I hope for the finder, they feel less alone. Alex noted that one thing that’s nice about this project is that each piece is a little out of the way, a little out of sight. So the people who are more likely to see it, are more likely to enjoy it. Serendipity.


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An Etsy Faux Pas: Did I copy?

Quite excitingly, I opened up an Etsy shop a few months ago. Still awaiting my first sale, I’ve been slowly working out the bugs, getting the perfect banner, and making things to put up for sale in between what seems like a million other commitments.

Unfortunately, I received a rather unkind e-mail about my shop last week. Apparently there is another knitter using the name HandmadeHandsome and this person assumed and then accused me of, in no uncertain terms, copying her. She demanded that I change my shop name and banner, and suggested that I change my blog name, and everywhere else that I use HandmadeHandsome.

Obviously, we were both rather upset. The chances are rather slim that two knitters would think of the same name independently of each other, but that’s just what happened as I’ve not copied her in any way. Even after the accusations, I had quite a hard time finding her shop to see what she was talking about let alone finding it months ago and then copying it! (Somehow she seemed to know everything I’d ever put on the internet and was able to tell me when I started using HandmadeHandsome on each website and suggested names from my other user names for me to use instead! Proving the point that you shouldn’t put things on the internet if you wouldn’t want anyone to see it and use it against you!)

But what are the Etsy rules and regulations and general regulations for copying and copying accusations? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had this happen to, so I’d like to provide a guide for those who feel they have been copied and those who have been accused. Clearly, I’m not a lawyer and am not giving legal advice in this post.

An Etsy admin suggested the following links for their suggestions regarding copyright disputes:

DMCA, Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy
How-To: Report an Intellectual Property Issue to Etsy
Copyright FAQs

There is also a good article at the Radical Cross Stitch blog about crafting and the Creative Common Licensing, if interested

Etsy states that copying disputes are private and should be worked out between the two parties in question, unless one party wants to report it (see the how-to above.)

But basically, from what other users have said, and from what I know about copyright/ trademark  law, admittedly not much, no one is under any obligation to change their shop name, or any other name for that matter, unless one person has a registered trademark.

Furthermore, copyright legislation indicates that as soon as you create something, you have the copyright for that object. So if there is someone with the exact object you designed in their shop, that’s a case for a copying dispute for sure.

The issue between me and this person is that we both came up with the name independently and we both happen to sell knitwear. A crazy coincidence that in other circumstances I would have hoped would have ended in a friendship, but nonetheless it is quite troubling for building a business. We sell quite different knitted items and patterns, she sells rather chic, cleanly designed accesseories, and I have a glove pattern with skulls on.

We ended up working it out, as I was planning on changing my shop name anyway and agreed to change the name and banner. I also rather desperately and cowardly wanted to be left alone so it seemed like the best option.

In such a dispute, I would encourage everyone to maintain a level head and remember what Etsy and knitting are all about– community! Remember that there is another human being on the other end of the e-mail and try to work things out as amicably as possible. Treat others as you would like to be treated, but yet, on a less biblical theme and in the words of my favourite aunt, “there are assholes everywhere, and you can’t get away from them all.”


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ReClAIMation in New York

Whenever I go home, I usually stay at my aunt’s and uncle’s house for a few days and as they live in Philadelphia, it’s not too far to get the train up to New York for the day. This time, I left a few webs around.


However, I felt very uncomfortable leaving webs. In contrast to London, where no one much cares what you do as long as it doesn’t directly affect them, the New York police took a very keen interest in my project. Whilst they didn’t say I couldn’t do it, I felt very uncomfortable. It was ironic that my freedom of speech felt more stiffled in America, where I am a citizen and where the freedom is so often defended, at least in speech.



In terms of more webs, there are definitely more to come, but I think I’ll stick to London for now. Perhaps, one day you can find me (with permission) in an exhibition. I’m working on it!


There is also a super secret, super exciting new project coming soon. Keep you posted.

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