Sunday, September 26, 2010

Radical knitting in Peru

Two decades of conflict in Peru left some 15,000 people missing. Today great efforts are being made to help the families left behind. The remains of some victims have been recovered, but many more are yet to be found. This week’s reporter meets the people trying to make a difference.

View the video here.

Copyright © 2010 euronews

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why I knit

1. It can be meditative (when I knit a mindless project).
2. It can also be challenging (when I knit something using a new technique).
3. Because of 1 and 2 I think it’s good for my brain.
4. I love the process in which an object takes form between my fingers.
5. Creating your own clothing and accessories is subversive.
6. Creating your own clothing can be good for the environment if you use recycled or eco-friendly materials.
7. Knitting can be a form of art (once you knit enough sweaters you need to diversify).
8. You can create and wear unique garments.
9. Knitting teaches you to accept flaws and imperfections.
10. It’s a great way to show someone you care about them.
11. It’s addictive!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hooked on felting

Over the winter break, when I was supposed to work on my dissertation, I instead decided to do something with the yarn I had bought in Ecuador. After making one knit bag and felting it, I discovered among my patterns this beautiful and simple pattern for a crochet bag. The name, Good Vibrations, very attractive and auspicious for the new year, and the idea that I could use little bits of yarn left over from other projects was very attractive as well. I ended up using much more yarn than expected and stayed up many nights crocheting the repetitive pattern because I was so anxious to see the final project. Seeing the stripes develop was very exciting... I love the earthiness of the colors.

Felting went great. I was worried because people posted conflicting things on the web about felting with a front loading machine; mostly that it's impossible. I have to say that all my felted projects were a success. The thing is, felting with a front loading machine is slow. It will take several cycles to see some change in your project. But the good news is, you cannot overfelt. Because things felt so slowly, it's OK that you cannot open the door and check the progress. Just relax, throw a couple of dryer balls in the machine with your project to add some agitation and expect several trips to the laundry room. Be patient and you will be rewarded. I liked felting, this magical transformation of the knitted fabric to something solid and yet so soft, so much, that I made some felted baskets as well.

Somehow I felt like performing alchemy. Insert object in machine and let it be transformed...
If only I could do that with my dissertation.... Alas, writing is a much slower and painful process than felting in a front loading machine...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Summer Knits

I want to share 2 knits that I made for last summer. I love them both.

One is a sweater that I made from a pattern in The Yarn Girls' Guide to Knits for All Seasons

I used my favorite color in two slightly different shades. The yarn is Bella by Numei. It's a blend of rayon and cotton. It has great drape and is really cool, which makes it suitable for summer projects. The only problem is that it pills easily (as with all cotton yarn) but the price is right. I pretty much followed the pattern except I made a row of single crochet around all edges to prevent it from curling. Blocking with a steamer also helped with that.
I loved making this, and love wearing it. It's what I wear when I really want to be comfortable, like when I travel.

The next project was this fabulous skirt from Greetings from Knit Cafe.

It's a popular pattern and it was the first time I knit lace. It turned out OK, apart from one mistake that I wasn't able to correct. Oh well... I equally loved making this and wearing it. I used the same yarn as above and the drape is fabulous.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another radical knitter

I am always excited when I find out that someone super cool is a knitter. Imagine my surprise when I found out while watching La Vie en Rose, that Edith Piaf was an avid knitter. I was frogging something with the help of my husband while watching the movie and we both chuckled...

It's funny when you think about it. At a time that knitting was mostly associated with domesticity someone like Edith Piaf, who was everything but domestic, loved to knit. I guess knitting was subversive much earlier than we think. It makes sense that someone like her would knit though. She went through so much in her life, I am sure knitting was a refuge where she could just be.

I loved the scene where she knits on the beach while being interviewed by a journalist. When the journalist asks her who she knits for, she answers: "Anyone who will wear my sweater". And this bit of the interview was beautiful:

Journalist: If you were to give advice to a woman, what would it be?
EP: Love.
Journalist: To a young girl?
EP: Love.
Journalist: To a child?
EP: Love.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Last knit

This is where I see myself a few years from now...

If this isn't radical, I don't know what is...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last FO for 2008

I spent most of New Year's Eve felting the bag that I had been knitting lately. The pattern is called Pony Express and it's a very roomy saddle bag from Pursenality Plus. I wanted a messenger bag but this design is much more interesting and easy enough. I knit it over a few nights while watching movies.

I used my hand dyed Ecuadorian yarn double throughout. Felting went well, I had to run it through the washing machine a few times and I am happy with the result. However, this yarn is very hairy and there is hair all over my apartment now! The bag is very roomy and has a nice round shape. I don’t think I will use any of the decorations (feathers etc) for now. I like it just the way it is. The hand dyed yarn already makes is busy enough for my taste…