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orange swan (2)

1,000 strands, 1 knitter

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.
posted by orange swan on Mar 15, 2013 - 47 comments

If Mini-Me took up knitting....

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.
posted by orange swan on Jan 11, 2013 - 13 comments

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