Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knitting with what???

For those among us who knit we all consider ourselves fiber artists on some level. Part of the fun of knitting are the colors and textures. It is more fascinating to see what materials (other than traditional yarn) people choose to knit with.
Recently I found online a woman, Carol Milne who knits in glass. Who would have ever thought? When asked by Fiber Arts Magazine (where I saw this) she said the following: So why do I feel compelled to knit in glass? Knitted goods exude comfort: soft, cozy, intimate, and heartwarming. Once they are in glass, the result loses most of the qualities we associate with knit- ting and becomes something else entire- ly. Where we once noticed the surface and feel of the material, our emphasis now shifts to the structure of the material itself. We notice the twisting interconnection be- tween the stitches, the deepening of color where the stitches overlap, and the spaces between the stitches. Where it was once a flexible fabric able to mold to our bodies, it is now rigid and fragile. It is nice to look at but totally impractical to wear.
These are beautiful objects, but they are also metaphors. They speak to the fra- gility of life and to the tendency to judge based on appearance versus practicality.
Perhaps most importantly, I see my knitted work as a metaphor for social structure. Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own but deceptively strong when bound together. You can crack or break single threads without the whole structure falling apart. And even when the structure is broken, pieces remain bound together. The connections are what keep it intact, bringing strength and integrity to the whole. 

At the New York Gift Fair I saw a booth that had handbags and home accessories knit and crocheted of rubber.  Loved this idea and would like to try my own creation but have no idea how to find the rubber. 

At crafts on columbus I met a woman who knits with metal. This is much more common. ( I am sorry I do not have her contact info because her work was stunning) She may be at the next Crafts on Columbus the weekend of October 15 and 16. I have a friend "R" who teaches classes on making beautiful knitted beaded bracelets.

Other interesting knitted jewelry I found  online 

Then of course there is felting.(knitting with wool and then putting it through a heat process which binds it together. This is now popular in clothing, bags and even household items.

So next time when you are thinking of knitting - know that yarn and wool are not the only materials you can knit with and explore some other options.

1 comment:

  1. i was just at this fair (70s & Columbus, yes?) how did i miss that jewelry? dig the jingly bracelet