Friday, August 31, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Jas, Alex and I are taking down the exhibition on Monday and work will be available from Tuesday. To you wonderful folk from further afar, we will be sending the work to you in the next week or so.
In addition I'll be emailing you too.
Here's a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated, who took the time out to take their knitting out of the world of blogs and put it into our world here at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre. It has been great to getting to know you all and hear your stories and share your thoughts about knitting and blogging. I have learnt so much about knitting and blogging and now I am interested to see where I go with that. Still mulling over what to do with this blog - its become a bit of a friend, a bit of a chore and definitely a door to many other places.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We have had our professional photographer in to document Knit1 Blog1 and I tell you it always makes a difference. You should have seen the many poses of Lulu, the demands, the angles, the non stop badgering - but the effects were worth it! Never underestimate the cost of having a professional document your work, it always pays for itself, and for Lulu, the fashion world for lambs awaits.
I started my blog at www.olma.blogspot.com in 2003 as a way to publish short pieces of writing. Slowly it has come to be more and more focused on the things I make, particularly knitting and felting.
I’ve been felting my knitting (this technique is more properly called fulling) for quite some time but feel I’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of the possibilities. I started out making small protective cases for cameras and ipods. Then I made bowls (both crocheted and knitted). These days I continue to experiment with various shapes of vessels, and options for embellishment.
Many people prefer to use a washing machine for felting, but I prefer hand-felting – seeing and feeling the transformation as it happens. The technique I use combines hot soapy water and agitation to open up the scales of the wool and make them shrink and cling together, with intermittent rinses in very cold water to ‘shock’ the wool into shrinking more. Under ‘Felting resources’ in the sidebar of my blog, there are links to several articles about felting and fulling.
Knitting has always been part of my life. My Mother and maternal Grandmother showed their love with the work of their hands. They are equally skilled knitters, sewers and embroiderers.
Knitting connects me these generations of other women.
Until joining out Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group, knitting was a solitary and often ill-regarded pursuit. Stitch ‘n’ Bitch and my blog brings into contact with other fibre freaks and textile terrors. It provides a community of acceptance- in the knitting blogsphere I’m not that weird.
Fast forward to 1991 when I moved to Canberra. Mum sent be down here with my own ripple rug, but the loneliness and the need to be creative led me to crochet my own granny square afghan rug. Then I discovered sewing and quilting, a crotchet was once again put on the back burner.
A couple of years ago I took up the knitting needles again, but my frustration at not being able to “get it” was still there even though countless garter stitch scarves rolled off the needles that year. Then I found my crochet hooks and felt right at home again, crocheting scarves and hats and ripple rugs, tackling other designers’ patterns and creating my own designs.
My blog was created originally in 2004 to document my quilting and stitching, and it still does that. Currently my crocheting has taken over the blog- winter 2007 seems to have invigorated me to create extra warmth with my hooks and I am taking great delight in acquainting myself with different yarns and learning how crotchet stitches and different yarns will work together to create something truly amazing.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I don't know about any of you, but with spring on the edges, it seems like the work just continues to buildup to keep your head from raising up to the sights and smells of wonderful spring. Can't wait.
Yet another hectic few days at the desk and no new knitting rows on my scarf, groan. Still one consolation I am posting today yippee.
Its bits and pieces today. I had a wonderful email from a good friend who is now living in the UK (not happy Jan) and she sent me a pick of a wonderful blanket that she made for her chick.
Isn't it beautiful, she's a natural for anything she turns her hand to and that in not in the least an exaggeration. She studied painting at the ANU School of Art, we were students there at the same time, and then went on to do a degree in Architecture and she just knits like that and changes the pattern to suit her needs. To read her funny story about pattern changing check out her fledgling blog warm jewel, its a delight.
A good friend of mine has a blog about the world of glass making and happenings. She is now reporting on other art happenings and she has global reporters dropping in many stories. For a good read (she can definitely write) and to see another view of the world of glass check out glasscentral.
Kevin Murray the Director of Craft Victoria is a very busy man, if he is not working on the Craft Victoria program, of the wonderful south project, he is probably presenting a paper at a conference overseas, or writing for the paper or producing a radio show or just writing an article for one of his many clogs - craft blogs - that feature on the Craft Victoria website. Check out this website for a wealth of information, their online publication Craft Culture is a great read too. Kevin was in Canberra recently and visited Knit1 Blog1 and now it has been featured in an article he wrote for the Craft Revival Trust. You can view it here and see how he connects the links about craft and the Internet age.
In the meantime here is another story from our participants:
I learned to knit as a small child and then as many do, cast it aside for other activities. In university I came back to the art and relearned the skill, my hand never really forgot but my mind needed a little coaching. When I was living in Asia I began a blog to keep in tough with my family and friends. Through that blog I discovered the wonderful world of knitting bloggers. Over the years my blog has evolved into a place to showcase my knitting, gripe about life, share events and perhaps most surprisingly a way of keeping in touch with the community of virtual friends that has developed.
I love being creative. Ever since I was a small child, I’ve done many things to express myself creatively but knitting came as a big surprise. I started knitting in January 2006. This was my fourth time attempt. Any previous attempt was an exercise of frustration. But this time I had the internet at my fingertips… literally and that made the difference. And thanks to free instructional videos KnittingHelp.com, I learned long-tail cast on and continental knitting. But, even with these tools at my disposal, I still managed to find my own style of knitting, which I discovered later, could be called Combination (or Combined) knitting. And the rest… as they say is history,
I’m not sure why I started my knitting blog but I’m finding that I enjoy it. I’m very much a solitary knitter, so the blog give me a chance to share the joys and frustrations of knitting and commiserate with people who understand. To communicate about this highly challenging (and expensive) hobby with other people is very cool.
I’ve discovered the therapeutic effects of knitting, discovered a love of fibre, challenge myself in many different ways and met some very nice people in the knitblogging world. Its been quite the journey, this last year and a half…and I know It’s just begun …so stayed tuned!
Two years ago a dear friend encouraged me back into knitting, after a twenty year hiatus. She showed me Knitty.com. She took me to Stitch’n Bitch – and suddenly something just clicked on inside. I was utterly hooked, and it shows no sign of abating! In the past two years I have become involved in the most wonderful group of women of all ages, and reconnected with the whole tradition of craft and female companionship (not that we don’t welcome men!). I find knitting relaxing, creative, challenging, and endlessly fascinating.
Part of this community has developed through my Blog, which I started because my friend started one, and she started hers because a friend had one… and so it goes. I didn’t really know what I’d say at first, but I’ve found it to be a great place to let my friends know what I’m up to, record my achievements, keep track of what projects I’m working on, ask for help, make friends, share knitting patterns, tips, recipes – a place to have a bit of fun, and forget daily hassles.
My mum taught me how to knit when I was young, but I started knitting obsessively when I was 14. I knit everywhere – on the bus to school, in class, at home. Recently I got a spinning wheel – well, actually, two spinning wheels. So now I can knit with yarn I’ve spun myself.
In 2005 Mum and I started going to Stitch’n Bitch, and I met my Yarn Sisters! I started my Blog in January 2006. I don’t update it that much, but I like to put up my drawings of kittens and yarn, and photos of my current projects. I like having a record online of what I’ve done, and getting comments and help from my friends even if I can’t see them.
Othlon's Demon Knits
Thursday, August 16, 2007
As a teenager I tackled a complex Aran sweater for myself- but I had not grasped the notion of gauge swatch at this stage so the jumper was more suitable for a child than me. I did the same with an emerald green jumper in beehive stitch - of which only a small square remains. I have only just realised the importance of the gauge watch after spending 6 months on a 4ply lace cardie which was then too small.
In 2000 I was working in Melbourne for 6 months and not knowing many people started knitting again. I knitted a long Dr Who inspired scarf in pink, green, orange and yellow, then a multi coloured jumper for my godson. Two years later back in Melbourne again- over winter I found myself at Sunspun in Canterbury. The amazing textures and colours seduced me into knitting with a passion. It was about this time I discovered Knitty.com and started browsing the web for ideas and inspiration.
I toyed with the idea of a blog for at least two years. My knitting community in both the groups I participate with and on the web inspired me to start blogging earlier this year. I was working on the Gold Coast. I need to feel connected with my community and share my knitting frustrations and elation's with more than my poor workmates. Kris at web-goddess.org has encouraged me from the start and inspires both my blogging and knitting.
Dad’s rug was a project that I started for Dad when he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. I picked the colours he liked and felt that this was something that I could do for him. I could think about him with every stitch I made. It was his mother who had taught me to knit. Dad only used the rug for about 4 months before he passed away and I was happy that he had all my stitches with him for some time at least.
Knitting is for me a meditation process. I enjoy planning what to knit, the colour and texture. Researching and discovering new techniques and patterns, then the actual process of knitting is very meditative. I definitely need to knit everyday. And at the end there is a finished item.
Justine is not my first design but one where I combined the rhythm of a lace pattern with a simple garment. I wanted a simple lace pattern that knitted up to a rhythm, one easy to memorise and knit. I was inspired by a children’s song, Watermelon written by Justine Clarke and the languid nature of summer.
She rediscovered the knitting obsession in January 2006 after a 10 year break.
Her obsession with craft blogs started soon after when she stumbled across an article about Loobylu (http://www.loobylu.com/) in an old Wired magazine.
Within 6 weeks The Shopping Sherpa (the blog) was born and had been demanding to be fed ever since.
The camera flash caught them enjoying themselves on missyfee's blanket
Too much wine and cupcakes is a dangerous thing for a lamb and a bunny, slurping from the jug and then two satisfied, one might say soaked gals, contemplate what the stars might look like if it weren't for the gallery ceiling
Recruiting one of Bev's rabbits, Lulu bonds straight away, and Trudy is contemplating the funnel...
Longing for the city lights, bright nights and the end to community service, I don't think Lulu's ways will change.....
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
But they graciously allowed me to pass on the important knitting stuff to know that was discussed.
Important knitting stuff to know number 1:Don't point out your mistakes. Other people probably won't notice them unless you show them.
Important knitting stuff to know number 2:
If you don't notice your mistake until you've knitted too much to want to frog, simply incorporate it into your design.
In this case, one backward scarfy bit (I'm a rabbit, not a knitter!) 4 repeats back could be skillfully made to look deliberate by working the next scarfy bit backwards and continuing to do the same every fifth repeat. Thus producing a unique, one of a kind creation. Mistake? What mistake?!
Important knitting stuff to know number 3:
How to join on another ball of wool (and not need to darn in the ends later)
a)Knit (or purl) using the first ball of wool until there is about 8cm left (of the width of the hand you're holding the wool with.) Take the new ball and place the beginning of it against the wool you are about to knit the next stitch with.b)Knit with both strands of wool until the old wool runs out (usually about 5 stitches) c) continue knitting with the new ball of wool(On the way back, remember to knit into both strands of the five stitches otherwise you'll have some sudden unexpected increase action happening) And remember, although metal knitting needles make fine skewers and cake testers in a pinch, the opposite is not usually true...
Love and carrots
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Online searches led me to blogs and to information about Canberra knitters who met regularly. Eventually, I got the courage to show up. Soon after, feeling left out of the blogging fun, I started Bellsknits. Sometimes I think blogging is almost as fun as knitting and it’s opened up a world of new friends to me.
I stumbled into blogging two years ago and discovered a plethora of people who are as passionate about this ancient craft as I am. I cannot remember when I began… I’ve been knitting from an early age and always enjoyed the process, and it is a process. With an end result that always amazes. Stich by stich, row by row, hour by hour, but exciting at the same time… The completed piece is usually something you cannot purchase, a one off… something that is uniquely you!
Blogging is the same - uniquely you, but in words and pictures. As any blogger knows, once you read one knitting blog, it inevitably leads to another and another. Before you know it, hours fly by in seconds…stich by stich, word by word.
I’m a designer/ knitter living in Sydney, with a library that would rival most book stores and a stash that has now become embarrassing.
In 2003 I wrote and published a knitting book- an exciting time in my life.
At home in my studio is where dreams and designs originate.
My secret life only knitters understand and acknowledge. We meet and laugh, nibble, sip and knit, review and discuss patterns and yarn, model each knit as it is completed… exciting, inspiring, rewarding… it is friendship… it is a world I will never tire of.
My non-blogging/knitting friends and family know nothing of this life.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Knit1 Blog1 has been visited by so many people both virtually and physically and I love the way almost every visitor to the gallery loves to talk about "their" knitting project.
A common refrain I hear is: " I still have the baby jumper I started knitting for my niece who is now 22 years old", or "I just could never finish anything and my mother finished them for me", or "I haven't knitted for years I probably wouldn't know where to start", or "I still have a piece of knitting hanging around from 10 years ago".
Well as I have been telling these visitors and to anyone else out there who might be a reader and knit a knitting blogger, or you know someone struggling, we have the perfect workshop for you.
This Sunday 12 August from 10am to 1pm you can come along to the Craft ACT gallery and sit down with super duper friendly and supreme experts Denise and Penny who will individually start your knitting off again. Mend any gaps, untangle any knots, remedy bad sequences, translate the almost untranslatable for any one who has that bag with the knitting that has been there for well over 12 months or more, or less! Begin the end of the project today!
Knicked my filofax and tried to cast on
Trudy came too for the action and knowing she could add some advice
It's MY project
Help - knitting first aid...
Monday, August 06, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
And here it is in practice as Merryn Gates comments on Bronwen Sandland’s House Cosy: For two brief, mercifully dry, weeks Housecosy transported Bronwen's neighbourhood out of the normal. Northbourne Avenue traffic had a new landmark which made Canberra a kind of Lilliput. Scale and materials were suddenly, gloriously, out of joint, and in that space we could imagine other possibilities: collective action, civic pride, the artist and the public in dialogue, play, a moral dimension to social policy.
And part of the literature for the exhibition Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting writes: Artists employ a variety of media, from traditional yarns and laces, to found objects and video, and explore contemporary currents in art practice of socially engaged, participatory work. Radical reformers in the world of knitting and lace making have overthrown the status quo from the inside out. In the space of ten years, knitting has emerged from the “loving hands at home” hobbyists’s den into museums and galleries worldwide.
Knitting can simultaneously talk about gender politics, feminism, domestic issues, history, survival and nurture as much as it can reflect one of the wonders of the human world – engineering. It can throw out your usual expectations, and engage in topical issues of many political causes including the environment, identity, war and migration. It has as Jennifer Craik suggests regained its place in the crafts and arts pantheon.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
This exhibition has surprised and inspired me with the millions of different knit patterns possible. I'm not much of a knitter myself but could see myself getting into it more after looking at this.
... I wonder if this rebirth of knitting is an indication of a shift in society.
...this exhibition has made me realise im a truly talentless knitter but i aspire to finish the scarf i started 10 years ago.
my favourite pieces in this exhibition are the miniature cabled cushions; they are amazingly fine and intricate.
:) woo hoo
there is so much more to knitting than scratchy sweaters and scarfs. i wonder what those cupcakes taste like...
My thoughts on knitting have come a long way from the scarves that I used to knit for my toys when I was a child...I am truly inspired by the remarkable patterns and modern design that is possible!!
Today's forum and the collection of blogs was a very insightful insight into the huge world of knitting bloggers. I thought it was an interesting point that Chris Chapman made about the ratio of woman to men interested in knitting.
i like the little black rabbit i think it is a really good way of using the speciality wool which i don't normally like...
Never before have i seen such an amazing range of knitting techniques. This exhibition has really changed the way i originally looked at the craft. It has such talent!!!!
i have a jumper my mother knitted in the 70's that i love and wear all the time.. there is the question of knittings new popularity but to me its always had its place
My aunty Freda died and her best friend, my mother inherited all the unfinished knitting projects. Over a few years she completed all of the projects including a beautiful knee rug which I have in my studio. My mum used up every ball of wool knitting jumpers for children and donated them to charity. I still have the bakelite round container for the wool and her knitting needles and the fake red leather knitting needle holder and the bell shaped needle sizer.
I borrowed a book from the Dickson library about 10 years ago and I would love to know the name of it. It was about how to knit a garden including vegetables. When I showed this book to my sister she thought it was hilarious. She asked me why would you want to knit vegetables? Why wouldn't you just grow the real things? Well you know I would like to knit my favourite vegetables - like an eggplant and pumpkin. In this exhibition The ShoppingSherpa has knitted one dozen cupcakes. They are beautifully iced and decorated and would look fantastic on my kitchen bench. Thanks to all the exhibitors - it is a great show and a good jumping off point into blogsville.