Sunday, 2 September 2012

One Normal Knitted Pencil Case and An Exhibition

My 7 year-old nephew has grown up being showered with knitting by many of his relatives... so when he was asked what kind of pencil case he wanted for the new term, he said, "Just a normal, knitted one."!! So it fell to me to produce the pencil case. As always, this was more difficult than it sounded, as it needed a zip (tricky, fiddly) and a lining (tricky, fiddly) but I am really pleased with the results:

It's made of very cheap, squeaky DK so the wool panel wasn't terribly enjoyable to knit. But it didn't take long to make - though fitting the zip and lining seemed to take a whole day! Perhaps I've misremembered that, but they certainly took a *very* long time - endless tacking, and retacking... I don't think I'm a natural seamstress. But now I don't really want to give it away .... Pattern to follow!
I went to see the Transformations exhibition at Smiths Row last week. Many of the exhibits make use of textiles, sewing and stitching; my eyes lit up as I saw some knitting across the room. This piece is by Freddie Robins:

I must say, I felt a bit more ambivalent when I saw the noose-style hanging of the piece and the stab-style knitting needles. You can see from this close-up that the bodysuit reads Craft Kills:

Why Craft Kills? A problematic slogan, in my opinion (though it's available on badges in the gift shop!). If Robins believes in the power of craft (as the blurb suggested), then it's a shame if she automatically conflates power with killing. However, I'm sure craft has its darker side, as anything one 'makes' or crafts could be dangerous or harmful - people don't just craft doilies and baby clothes - but I am nevertheless uncomfortable about this piece. Hm.
Still, I uncomplicatedly like this piece by Susan Collis:
This isn't a terribly good photo because it doesn't show the detail of the marks on the boiler suit - which are machine-embroidered onto the cloth. I really like this because it reminds the audience that 'mistakes', blotches, splashes, are part of making things. Also, in a way, perhaps that art leaves its mark on the artist? Perhaps I'd better take off my Art Critic Hat there! It's a thought-provoking and beautifully laid out exhibition in the lovely setting of Smiths Row - well worth a look.
Now, to write up the pencil case knitting pattern....

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