Tuesday, 28 October 2008

knitting : networks

I'm pleased to say that I've finally got round to setting up a group for people researching knitting on Ravelry.

Meeting other people at the In the Loop Conference earlier this year who are looking at knitting form an academic perspective was such a useful experience. Although we were all focusing on different aspects and had arrived at the subject via different disciplines, we all had something to learn from each other.

It's great to see how many other people out there are, or have been, studying knitting - I really hope by having a place to talk to other knitters it will help us all to discover so much more than we would on our own!

Monday, 27 October 2008

knitting code : knitted art

rachel beth, knitting and code[image from Rachel Beth Egenhoefen's website: http://www.rachelbeth.net/work.html]

A Disappearing Number : pattern recognition

[image from: http://www.complicite.org/productions/detail.html?id=43]

I recently went to see the wonderful A Disappearing Number at the Barbican theatre in London.

The play takes as its starting point the story of the famous Indian mathemetician from the early 20th century, Srinivasa Ramanujan and parallels abstract mathematical concepts with human raw human emotions of love and loss.

To be honest, I have never needed much convincing that mathematics is about patterns, and that patterns are beautiful. But many people seem to have been put off maths at an early age and see it as a tangled and difficult mess of rules that are the antithesis of creative.

But, on the other hand, many crafts (and knitting particularly springs to mind here) are quite fundementally about patterns, I often wonder if there is a natural affinity between knitters and mathematics. Perhaps that explains the many scientists, software developers and accountant knitters I have met?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Ma Ke : useless fashion

I took these photos at the Ma Ke Fashion in Motion event at the V&A in May 2008. Ma Ke is a Chinese fashion designer who focuses on the handmade, rather than the mass produced that is so often associated with China. These clothes are from her 'Wu Yong' collection, which translates as 'useless'. These outfits were created from discarded and useless material and have been transformed into beautiful, sculptural but ultimately unwearable and useless creations.

Fashion in Motion is usually a catwalk event, with models walking around. This one was different as the models were absolutely stationary, on plinths, and the audience was in motion, moving around and inspecting the models - a strange and haunting experience.