You can wait for ages for a knitted art show, then two come along at once, and how different they are from each other, while geographically close so they can be seen at the same time.
Rosemarie Trockel’s early Knitted works are on show at Skarstedt Gallery in swanky St James (if you can’t find it, the doorman at the Ritz is very helpful). A contemporary conceptual artist Trockel can be relied upon to have an interesting take on what is usually considered women’s domestic work, by having her designs knitted on a machine by a technician. “I wanted to know what causes a given kind of work to be regarded by women as embarrassing, both in the past and in the present: whether this has to do with the way the material is handled of whether it really lies in the material itself.” (Kunstforum International, Feb ’88).
Have we moved on from this now, or are we more open to considering those ideas nearly twenty years down the line? The works feel sterile and flat, mimicking as they do the abstract canvases of masculine painters prevalent at the time that Trockel was poking fun at with ‘Who will be in in ’99’. The baby clinging to the giant ball of wool is another matter, made later and larger than the other works, it takes up a whole room to itself. Oddly realistic, the newborn is peacefully asleep but in danger of slipping off and being crushed by a rolling ball of brown fluff and made me very anxious — another comment on women’s work, perhaps.
(next time, Channing Hansen)
“Don’t let your awkwardness worry you; or the sliding about of needles, you are their boss and they know it.” (Elizabeth Zimmerman, Knitter’s Almanac)
I’ve been getting ready for a new series of workshops at New Brewery Arts in February. The classes will be based on the throw that I designed for The Art of Knitting, using increases and decreases to make squares, except this time we’ll be using different colours and yarn, making it in Rowan Tweed’s muted palette. We’ll look at diagonals, entrelac and short-rows, all those things that can put you off before you even start. This course will make you more confident and in charge of your needles. I’m really looking forward to meeting a new group of knitters.
There’s been a change of dates, workshops now start on Wed Feb 22 and are every week until Wed Mar 22, 2017. That gives people more time to sign up, yay!
Tutor: Katy Bevan (that’s me)
Date & Time: Wednesday afternoons, 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Venue: Albright Studio, New Brewery Arts
Kate Jenkins, Ham and Mustard
Max Alexander, Merveille du Jour
Meet the Artists is a new series for The Knitter about knitters who venture beyond the sweater. So far I’ve written about Zandra Rhodes, Freddie Robins, Kate Jenkins in Issue 102. Max Alexander and Celia Pym are coming up, with more artists in knit to follow.
Liberty in Fashion. Photo: Daniel Lewis
Zandra reviewing some of the Free Spirit fabrics she designs for Rowan
It’s time for another day out with Rowan. Last time we went to the Clothworkers’ Centre in Kensington. This time we’re going to the Fashion and Textiles Museum in Bermondsey to see the new Liberty in Fashion exhibition. The exhibition celebrates the 140th anniversary of the iconic design store. This is the first major retrospective of the 21st century on the pioneering retailer and design studio Liberty. At the cutting edge of design and the decorative arts since 1875, Liberty is celebrated throughout the world both as a department store and for its distinctive textile prints.
Hat and scarf combos never look this good when I wear them. Photo: Daniel Lewis
Intarsia design by Dee Hardwicke
We’ll also be meeting and hearing from the indominatable Zandra Rhodes, designer extraordinaire and founder of the museum. Her studio is next door so she won’t have far to come.
Coming all the way from Herefordshire is artist Dee Hardwicke who will be giving us a workshop on designing an intarsia pattern with Rowan Tweed (all materials included of course). After all that inspiration there has to be an outlet (and some knitting). I can’t wait, which is okay as it’s on November 24, so really soon.
Read my article in Rowan Magazine 58
Book a place on trip here Rowan website
The Future Starts Here: Rudi Gernreich and André Courèges 1960
The Novelty Factor: 1970s pop art influences
I haven’t seen the wellbeing of craft expressed quite so succinctly as by Leslie Astor in this lovely bag. People gave me a wide berth all day.
Before they come and drag me away here are just a few images from the new exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, Knitwear in Fashion: Chanel to Westwood.
Although it couldn’t possibly serve as a chronology of knitwear it is a great edited version through the lens of the collection of Mark and Cleo Butterfield at C20 Vintage Fashion with the eye of curator Dennis Nothdruft and designer Bethan Ojari from the Fashion and Textile Museum. I recommend a visit. There is series of events that go alongside the exhbition including a talk at the Knitting & Stitching Show.
Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood is on at The Fashion and Textile Museum 19 Sept 2014 – 18 Jan 2015. Tuesday to Saturday 11–6pm; Thursday until 8pm; Sunday until 5pm.
Leslie Astor for Talented Bags from the FTM shop
This sophisticated top is more like crazy paving when you look closely. The holes are filled with embroidery.