Saturday, 22 October 2011

Knitting on a Machine!

Apparently I have machine knitting in my family tree as my Nan used to have one and would knit fabrics to sell to a lady who made them into dresses- this however, doesn't make these machines any easier to use although I think I have sort of cracked the easier stuff.
Bearing in mind that I have only had an hour and a half of using these machines and in that time I have had to remember all the processes of putting the yarns in the right place and moving lots of buttons and knobs to make different patterns...eurgh, so much to remember!
As with the weaving experiments, these intitial ones have been done in relatively neutral colours so that they can go in my sketchbook (I think my colour paletter will include quite a lot of neutral tones anyway which is good).

Now these photos are just close ups of a remarkably long piece of knitting I have done, but they both feature many different kinds of techniques. In the left image you have eyelets at the top which are made by moving stitches over to the right on the machine (very difficult to explain if you haven't done machine knitting before so I apologise if it doesn't make sense!), and ladders which were made by moving the needle pushers back and out of the way so that when you are pushing the carriage with the yarn in over the top, it skips the removed needle pusher and makes a bigger gap. To stop a ladder, simply push the needle pusher back into line with the others. I did of course make some impromptu ladders which weren't wanted and will probably go all the way along my knitting without stopping but never mind.
In the right hand image, I have played around with striping, which literally means using more than one colour and creating a striped pattern. I have also used the two colours together at the same time which creates a kind of mottled effect. Tension is a big thing in knitting, and you can only put up to a certain thickness of yarn into the machine before it jams, so I have also played with the tension- the lower the number on the dial the wider the knit, depending of course on the thickness of the yarn.

Anywa, enough of confusing jargon, here are some very clever knitters!!

Ruth Lee

A very clever knitter who comes up with the most wonderful creations. I really like this interview with her on the V & A website, and I absolutely adore her book, Contemporary Knitting for Textile Artists. She has also written two other books which are both on Amazon if you are interested in knitting.

Jane Ward

 I am new to Jane's work, but she has quite a nice website and her pieces are quite cute or texturally interesting which I definitely like. The above piece reminds me of my samples in its experimental nature and neutral. It looks quite beachy, or a landscape in the winter time.

The next and final artist just made me gasp for joy when I saw her work. It is utterly fabulous!! Great colours, lovely little ideas, please take a look!! Her name is Arline Fisch and she knits really very funky structured 'jewellery' which often appears to be inspired by sea creatures. They are generally made from wire which makes you wonder whether they are actually meant to be worn or are more of a boundary pushing statement. They are quite delicate and wispy and really magical.

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