Yarn Bombs: In the '70s, Knitting Was Totally Far Out is a fun and frightening collection of knitting patterns from the 70s.
Stevie Nicks wants a shawl, and Stephen Fry wants a poster. The catch: Both of them want you to do it for free. Or, rather, "for the exposure." [more inside]
Channeling Elizabeth: Recreating a Family Heirloom: The sweater was threadbare and holey, but it had clearly been much loved - and, as it turned out, it had been knit by one of the greatest knitters of all time. Elizabeth Zimmermann (1999 NY Times Obituary) popularized knitting in the round, re-introduced the continental method of knitting to the US, and was dedicated to greater clarity in knitting instructions. She also came up with a much-used formula for sizing proportions (EPS), the I-cord, and encouraged knitters to experiment and be creative. [more inside]
Norway seems to be particularly good at making interesting museums. If you're touring, the museum of magic is spell-binding. The museum of knitting is a real purl. The petroleum museum is a gas. The Lofoten Stockfish museum is off the hook. And the Norsk Hermetickk-museum is about the history of sealing things in cans. [more inside]
Cirkus Cirkör, a contemporary Swedish circus company, brings you "Knitting Peace", an ensemble performance that combines acrobatics, dance, music, and yes, knitting, to explore the theme of working through complex and tangled realities to bring about peace.
If you haven't been able to find time to watch the recent 12.5-hour broadcast of Norway's National Knitting Evening (previously), Jimmy Kimmel has a 2-minute, 27-second piece on it that might be more your speed, and that features a bonus preview of a possible future "Norwegian Knitting Tour" reality show.
"It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers [that are] found here on the International Space Station."
Klubok, or Ball of Yarn, made in 1968, is a short animated film based on a Russian folk tale about a poor old woman and what happens after she finds a magic ball of yarn one cold winter's night. The movie was directed by Nikolai Serebryakov and the music was created by Eduard Artemiev.
Aleksandr is a fantastic little animated adventure, made in 2010, about yarn production and knitting in a little village set amongst the clouds, and what happened the day a carelessly discarded yarn spool came to the attention of their neighbour down below. Learn more about the production of Aleksandr and the team that created it here.
Ravelry is an animated short, written, directed and animated by Kathryn Parker (AKA the Evil Crochet Genius), about two crocheted and knitted neighbouring gardens and the rivalry that proves their undoing.
In June 2013, the Allegheny County Council approved the yarn bombing of the Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, in celebration of Warhol's 85th birthday [previously mentioned on MeFi]. On 11 August, 1800 volunteers blanketed (heh) the bridge in 3000 feet of hand-knitted panels. More photos and behind the scenes. [more inside]
Dan Bergstein, Sparknotes blogger (and best known for blogging about the Twilight series), has posted some YouTube instructional videos on How to Knit a Scarf, How to Make a Pumpkin Pie, and How to Wrap a Present. Please note that Dan does not actually know how to do any of these things, and that if you do have these skills viewing these videos might be slightly traumatizing.
What happens when knitting invades a subculture? Well, when country & western types take up knitting, they write a hurtin', knittin' ballad about it, entitled "Pardon Me (I didn't knit that for you)". When a couple of goodfellas learn the ins and outs of knitting, they make sure the new guy who wants in is ready for it. When knitting gang members are challenged by a rival, they have an epic one-on-one battle for supremacy.
Voodoo, also titled Mini-Me, is a stop animation short created by Wonky Films featuring two knitted characters named Knit and Purl. Wonky Films has also produced two more films featuring the same knitted characters: Stuffing Up and Tickle. These knitted little guys have won the Bablegum film festival's Jury Runner Up Award and appeared on BBC Big Screens across the U.K. to help promote Children in Need.
Check out this video for a inside look at how an elite squad of knitting grandmas is trained. (SLYT).
The Vikings, pillagers and plunderers that they were, were the possessors of quite a bit of metal that needed to be used in some way. So they made jewelry. By the 8th century they had created a technique that is called trichinopoly or more commonly "Viking knitting", although it is really a type of weaving. If the Viking style of adornment appeals to you, you can learn this technique and make your own Viking-style jewelry. It's less complicated than it looks, and you don't even have to know how to knit in order to learn. You can learn to make a necklace or bracelet like this with this tutorial, or by watching a YouTube video. Once you master the basic technique, you'll be able to start improvising by adding beads and findings and semi-precious stones. It's possible that such jewelry was used as currency on those occasions when the Vikings actually paid for their acquisitions, like some sort of wearable bank account. Ostentatious types, those Vikings, but I suppose when you're known for your ferocity and lawlessness, you don't have to fear being mugged or looking nouveau riche.
Ever wanted to try knitting with 1,000 strands of yarn? Neither did I, but it's a lot of fun to watch someone else do it. Extreme knitter Rachel John, a textile artist and the inventor and creator of Extreme Textiles, is a proponent of using multi-strand knitting to make décor items such as rugs and throws. And when John talks about multi-strand, she really means a multitude. She says, "Up to 300 [strands] is possible, but we think up to 100 should be about right". Knitting with 1,000 strands turns a relaxing past time you can do in a rocking chair into a contact sport, but I have to admit the process is fascinating to watch and the result is a painterly blending of colours. Pro tip: do not try this project with a cat around.
Loes Veenstra knitted more than 500 sweaters since 1955 & kept them in her house in the 2nd Carnissestraat. The sweaters were never worn. Until today. [more inside]
If you take your knitting everywhere and you're getting tired of stuffing the back of an adult-sized sweater and a 100g skein of worsted into your already bulging shoulder bag or backpack, you might try scaling down your knitting projects, as Althea Crome has done. Crome is a miniature knitter, and her projects are so tiny they'd fit into your pocket and still leave room for your cellphone. Her work is not only miniature but amazingly complex and detailed. She makes replicas of historical costumes such as a Queen Elizabeth I sweater, recreates famous paintings or other works of art, or depicts entire scenes, such as an underwater seascape, or Santa and all his eight tiny reindeer flying over a house. You can visit Crome's website, Bug Knits, to see galleries of her work. Crome also knitted some items for the 2009 3D stop-motion movie Coraline, including a sweater for the title character, and she talks about her work and demonstrates her "extreme knitting" in this promotional video for Coraline. If you want to give miniature knitting a shot yourself, you can buy some of Crome's patterns to help you get started, and I wish you the best. All I can think of when I see Crome in action is the time I decided to make ten Barbie outfits as part of a Christmas present for one of my nieces. I got four items done before I cracked and COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. Crome's patience and self-control are astounding, and I bet her children have the most exquisitely dressed Barbies ever.
Two retired women, Lyn Zwerling and Sheila Rovelstad, have initiated and implemented a program called Knitting Behind Bars at a prison in Maryland. They approached every prison in the area with their idea for a knitting class, and all the prisons refused except the last one, where the prison authorities skeptically agreed to let them try it. And the program has been a success. As the Baltimore Sun reported, "Men literally beg to get in. There's a waiting list.... They want it so much, in fact, that they're willing to be good in order to do it. [Prison warden Margaret] Chippendale has noticed lower rates of violence among the men who knit. "It's a privilege to be in that program," Chippendale says. "It's something that matters and they don't want to do anything to be removed from it." One prisoner, who was serving time for stabbing someone and who was busily knitting a hat, told the reporter, "My mind is on something soft and gentle," he said. "My mind is nowhere near inside these walls." [more inside]
In 2011 a group of 40 women known as The Materialistics exhibited a collection of their art work called "The Grand Tour" at the Customs House in South Shields, England. "The Grand Tour" comprised 50 pieces of art work and it took The Materialistics a year to create them. What made this collection remarkable was the medium used to create these art works: they were not painted or sculpted, but knitted, crocheted, and embroidered. Through needlework, The Materialistics had recreated 50 well-known works of art in painstaking detail: Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe, Edvard Munch's The Scream, Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Pablo Picasso's Woman in Garden, Rembrandt's self-portrait, Dante Gabriel's Rosetti's Daydream, Gustav Klimt's The Kiss, and many more. [more inside]
A 22-year old student, Imogen Hedges of London's Kingston University, has invented an unknitting machine to ravel knitted items and wind the yarn into skeins for re-use. I do have my doubts about how much time this machine would actually save, but the machine, which is made out of a bicycle, is a very clever contraption and a lot of fun to watch in action, and its facility for steaming the yarn as it winds it is ingenius.
If you’re interested in vintage knitting and crochet patterns, you might like to check out Re Knitting, the blog of a retired West Yorkshire woman named Barbara who for the past two years has been helping to sort and catalogue the U.K. Knitting and Crochet Guild’s collection of magazines, pattern booklets, pattern leaflets and other publications. Barbara has posted about some of her finds among this collection, which are sometimes drool-worthy, sometimes hilarious, and always interesting. She’s come across such evocative knitting artifacts as: patterns for delicately crocheted WWI-era patriotic tea cosies and milk jug covers, the WWII-era official guide to knitting for the army, instructions for crocheting your own cloché out of paper, patterns for very sexsai 1930’s bathing suits and very mod Mary Quant sweaters, patterns for sweaters commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s 1977 Jubilee celebration, and patterns documenting Roger Moore’s pre-James Bond career as a knitwear model.
In a video shot at World Maker Faire in 2011, artist Andrew Salamone is shown demonstrating the knitting machine he's adapated and programmed to knit images, and displaying some of the amazing work he's produced with it: a ski mask with an image of his face on the front, a "break beat" scarf, and a sweater featuring a picture of Bill Cosby wearing a sweater with a picture of Bill Cosby on it. Salamone hopes to someday get Cosby to accept and wear the sweater he's designed. God knows Cosby can't reject this sweater on the grounds that it's in any way inferior to the sweaters he's worn in the past. Check out more of Andrew Salamone's knitted art on his web site. In my favourite piece, Salamone recreates a still from "The Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody".
Knitters say that you should never knit your boyfriend a sweater. But what if you just knit your boyfriend? Artist Noortje de Keijer decided to try to avert the curse. [more inside]
If you’re looking for a way to carry your laptop about, want to protect it from scratches, or just hope to make the fact that you’re carrying a brand-new laptop slightly less obvious to shifty-eyed individuals who seem to be overtaking you on a deserted, dark street, and you have been disheartened by the cost and ugliness of the laptop cases and sleeves on the market, take heart. You can make a laptop case or sleeve that will not only protect your computer but will proclaim your individuality and style. Like yoga? Make a case out of your yoga mat. Love to travel? Use a vintage suitcase. If you’re a Jim Henson fan, make a Furry Monster case (but just don’t keep your computer under your bed at night because your aging parents are already terribly tired of running down to your basement lair every time you have a nightmare). [more inside]
"This blog is a look at the social movement I call ‘New Domesticity’ – the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex and the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?"
Gamemaster Howard Philips (previously) found a ca. 1984 brochure for the Nintendo Advanced Video System, a pre-NES marketing prototype, and shared it on Facebook: The cover. Pages 2-3. Pages 3-4. Medium-res photo of the whole brochure. And a bit of oddity from the past. (Non-FB link)
Entertaining, collected bon mots and surprisingly interesting, collected poems by various authors. From a likable math brainiac's site, Dr T.E. Forster, a Cambridge University lecturer. He also knits and writes about Buddhist logic [pdf]. Bonus, there's a fun gif.
Tracy Widdess is an Canadian artist who makes amazing knitted masks of sci-fi characters and other things. There's a short interview with her on punkdaddy. [more inside]
The knitosphere is in an uproar after being needled by a US Olympic Committee law clerk who thought it would be a good idea to tell Ravelry to cease using the word "Ravelympics" to describe their summer 2012 knitting marathon for trademark infringement, and because it "tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games". (Last link requires a Ravelry account, but the full text of the letter is here.)
This is the sweater that proves that I am a Certified Math Nut.
After she retired, Lynn Zwerling decided to teach knitting to prisoners. The program has seen some success.
PacMan is SO last year. The current king of retro gaming 'look' is the Space Invader, with Waffles (as part of an art installation, or DIY) and Chocolate! Or you can knit an Invader with a free pattern or take the San Diego Space Invader Walk.
November is not just about Movember - we're now firmly into Wovember, the month-long campaign by knitters to celebrate wool fibres and denounce misleading marketing. But what do we mean when we talk about 'wool'?
Science through yarn: Wooly Thoughts. The Home of Mathematical Knitting, including knitted klein bottles and hyperbolic planes. The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art (previously). Much, much, more on knitting, crochet and quilting used to visualize complex theories in topology, probability, chaos and fractals. [more inside]
Skeinz is a yarn store. Their current newsletter is sending out a request for penguin sweaters due to the oil spill off New Zealand. Surprisingly, knitted wear for penguins is not a new thing.
A commercial. But a commercial featuring two of MetaFilter's favorite things: knitting and stop motion animation. Also, there's a cat. The making of.
The best social network you've (probably) never heard of is one-five-hundredth the size of Facebook. It has no video chat feature, it doesn't let you check in to your favorite restaurant, and there are no games. The company that runs it has just four employees, one of whom is responsible for programming the entire operation. It has never taken any venture capital money and has no plans to go public. Despite these apparent shortcomings, the site's members absolutely adore it. They consider it a key part of their social lives, and they use it to forge deeper connections with strangers—and share more about themselves—than you're likely to see elsewhere online.Why Ravelry is such a great community and social network. Prev
How to knit a GIGANTO-BLANKET! The finished product: Giganto-blanket – finished! Oh yeah, and there's a cat.
Knitting a sweater is like saying "I love you" 150,000 times in a row. But it's too late for most of us to turn yarn into sweater this year (even those of us who crochet really fast). If you didn't schedule your holiday crafting successfully, here are some excuses for not crafting. Don't knit or crochet? Gift ideas for your favorite crocheter or knitter.
Kitten wearing a tiny hat. Tiny plaid ninjas [Flash]. Tiny houses and tiny apartments. Tiny train set. Tiny horse. Tiny wind turbine. Tiny food [slideshow]. Tiny Breakout [Flash]. Tiny plastic soccer players and tiny streakers. Tiny Obama family. Tiny car. Photographs of really tiny things. Tiny trucks pulling realistic sushi rolls. Tiny actual cupcakes, tiny knitted cupcakes. Tiny fingernail art. [more inside]
An entire opera in sock form. Although the opera has a happy ending, alas, the pictured sock seems to be unmated. Another opera sock: La fille du régiment. Apparently, she often creates "stitch patterns out of something very nearly approximating whole cloth." [more inside]