Monthly Archives: November 2008

I give up editting the end of the last post to stop it looking like i threw up pictures on the page…no matter what i do it just throws them up again

tangled_messnot unlike what ideas in my head look like when i cant put them properly in words or anything conceivable

My project seems to be a process of clarifying or finding. After a very helpful dislexo tutorial which has had a significant roll in this…in my tutorial I was able to vocalise what was more essentially feelings…which really more like feelings than ideas…this is what we came up with through my tutor questioning me…

My project and therefore my context report is about What is knitting. My approach in considering this is not the techniqual but the emotional definitions, which is a boundaryless definition due to the personnel experience. What is knitting to the individual knitter instead of the broad generic clumsey answers. My intention in exploring what is knitting is to allow me to communicate these uses of knitting to show the potential of knitting to a wider audience who has very preconceived ideas of what knitting is. I do not want to create neo uses of knitting but to broaden the understanding of what it already is.
I see the position of my project on the boundaries of design and craft and also art. In my context report I intend to; speak in more detail about what my project is about, talk about the formation of the concept, document and discuss the responses to what knitting is and also my responses to this, and the value of the artifact produced my knitting.

Some of the emotional definitions already realised…
feeling useful
fills loneliness
making sense/unravelling
capturing of moments
expression of a concept
recordings of moment in the process
expression of care and love…

I have been trying to design in response to these emotional defintion



These drawings play with the obvious areas of forced ‘calming down’ and draw the calming qualities of knitting into them.

What knitting is for many people is a way of relaxing and I wanted to embody this in the process and add a visual element to of the comfort. Excusing the poor drawing as this is knit it creates a relaxing cocoon which transends (not sure thats the right word) the feeling of relaxing in the process


“its proof that I can actually accomplish something” Sarah Kelly

img_2143I am making a knitted trophey which i will do a pattern for, so that the outcome is a recognised presentation of achievement. This makes the object related to the feeling of what knitting is.

“My knitting is showing people how much I love and care about them.” Again this is a common definition of what knitting is which is where I have started looking at the value of the artefact. I wanted to show the value of knitting as numeric as it is quite an abstract undefinded thing where much of the value is not realised by the reciever. This is my intervention to educate the reciever it is not meant to be a contridiction to the giving by which i mean its not meant to a way of the giver boasting how much they put in but me showing the investment that is not realised through the abstractness of the value. In the way a pedometer records the number of steps taken i want to make a stitchometer which will count the stitches. I want to do this to show the reciever what they are getting and what has been invested…stitches, time, rows…


This is what the stitchometer would love like incorporated into the needle.



The potential for the stitchometer is to use bluetooth technology to make the information accesiable on the internet as it is sent to the computer which can be checked by the reciever.



possible ways to represent it


both the drawings are like maps that relate to time passing and knitting activity and the shape of the knitting.

An area I want to look at is a ‘economy of benefit’…a system of interaction and exchange that promotes well being and shows acts of kindness which is looking at knitting and its altruistic (a borrowed term not that i think the person will mind) nature.

Sorry this is such a long one!

As peoples s continue to arrive in my various inboxes, I am trying to design for or play with the reasons that people knit and what people see knitting as. Today I began making a trophy from wood that will be covered in knitting…a pattern will follow that can be stuffed like a toy that people can make. I know that I dont have to make it from wood but it helps to build the pattern and I am learning to turn wood which I haven’t really done before. The reason behind my knitting trophy madness was it was a play on a response, from an woman who is a member of the Anticraft forum, to why knitting, “its proof that I can actually accomplish something.” People knit for so many reasons and this element of achievement and the satisfaction from completing something is what I want to capture in this pattern, its a record of achievement and completion of the project.

I have added to my list of interesting knitters to contact. I have also heard back from Freddie Robbins who has very kindly agreed to speak to me about her views and opinions on knitting, which I am very excited about as she is such an intersting and prominant figure in knitting but also craft. I would recommend that people check out her work!

I also put my research questions on a the forum for the anti craft and have had some great responses from the other side of the atlantic. A little closer to home I messaged all the members of I KNIT, my facebook group set up for this project, with the questions and have had more responses.

What I am drawing out at the moment from the answers is the diversity of answers and also the similar feelings. Something that has interested me is that one person had learnt to knit as a way of “communicating with her [grandmother’s] memory” when she died, this caught my attention as earlier in my blog i posted about a woman who had unraveled things to reknit them as part of her greiving process. It did this because it was a meaning that I hadn’t realised. Other themes that have come up that are less suprising are its comfort, relaxing, therapuctic qulaity, creative, making, enjoyment of the process…but now its defintaly time to go to sleep while i can still choose to do it!

After my mentor thing I am asking people…especailly those doing interesting knitting, wierd and the completely down right bazar…a number of questions….

What is knitting to you?Is there a piece of your own work that captures what knitting is to you?
Why knitting?
How do you feel about the craft of knitting?
Who do you see your knitting being for?
And finally, What do you think gives crafted objects value? or Where does the value come from?

So far i have contacted

izzysheepIzzy Lane

germaine-koh-knitworkGermaine Koh

Freddie Robbins


Norah Gaughan and the list will continue…

I have also been recording the knitting stories i have colected in one place which helps to give me ideas… some of the stories are amazing

This is a resized version so does not look right…especailly the terrain pattern, its more intricate on the original! If you can’t see it here go to my facebook group and the picture is also placed there.

This is my territory map. I gave my project physcial form and used contor lines to show this physical territory. The height of the area reflects its importance in the project, the heigher the more important. The area’s also have terrain which is shown in knitting stitches, the more complex the stitch the more challenging i perceive the area to be, which I do not see as negative.

Going into my first mentor meeting I was happy with where I was but didn’t know how to start researching moments. Martin thought it was key for my project to understand why, what and who for. Also I am going to start researching value which is what brings the idea of precious moments and craft together. I am also guna do alot of talking to people to find out those why, what and who for answers from knitters, even though my project is starting to take a slightly broader outlook than just knitting and more craft. The idea of value will be really key area from my territory in this research. Martin has also recommmeded trying to talk to Freddie Robbins about why she knits and what she see’s it as which would be very interesting.

At this point in time my project feels like it is going fine with lots of ways to go but the very idea of my contextual report is slightly terrifying…actually swap slightly for completely! But in the research i hope it will become less daunting!

In trying to make clearer definintions of my terroritory and answering a question someone gave me I did this. The question was ‘why do you knit things?’. I am currently knitting a cable cushion for someone that I am knitting to capture a moment to sit in the place of the moment. In the a sense the moment as an object can sit in place it was orginally experienced once it has past. This is no the first time I have responded to a moment in a physical creation, its a thread that can be traced back. I have a series of prievous projects that have created objects that embodied a moment.  They have been my ceramics workshop  creation the hug mug which was wanting to have that moment in this picture.

hugmugpicture2 (wordpress keeps turning this image even though the file is setup with the picture the right way up..i don’t know why!

Other objects have been the hand holding sleeve and the hug jumpers in my year 1 fears project. These were to capture those precious innocent couple moments that are so important and to recreate them for someone suffering from agoraphobia where this places practical restrictions on being together as a couple.

So I am interested in those precious moments…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Andelou

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

“Life gives us brief moments with another…but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a life time…”

“The moments of happniness we enjoy take us by suprise. It is not that we seize them, but they seize us.” Ashley Montaqu

What are those precious moments? And can they be created in design or objects?

I think in creating these objects the process is key and also the construction process is also. A handed crafted object carries a real value like the that of a precious moment and therefore captures part of the moment as a construction process.