Thursday, 2 July 2009

Knitting... not as you know it!

It has been quite a while since I posted anything degree related on here. My last module was a written module about Embroidery in its Social Context so not much to show. My latest module which is Personal Specialism so far has proved really frustrating and I haven't felt like sharing it, but at last I'm feeling fired up and enthusiasic so thought I would do an update.

Personal Specialism is about exploring our own creative style, researching ideas in depth and beginning to build a body of work. It's about pushing boundaries and looking at things with fresh eyes. Assignments are set to guide us through and the first one was about taking a technique and exploring it with different materials. I chose knitting and for reasons not entire clear to me I started with metres and metres of french knitting...

Which I then knitted! You won't believe how much this took to knit this small piece. It was useful for producing drawings of the structure of knitting but didn't inspire any further investigation.

Thinking about how I could change the structure of the knitted piece I had the bright idea of knitting with modroc (plaster impregnated bandage). Bright idea??? Dust and mess everywhere... but the finished results were surprisingly soft and almost lace like.


Then I dipped the whole lot in water and left it to dry... hey presto... solid knitting!


One of the other things we have to do is take lots of photographs of the work in different environments and I was intrigued by the shadows produced by the various bits of work. The modroc knitting, being rigid, produced beautiful shadows.

This seemed to have potential to take further but I didn't know how so changed track again and started knitting with string. This I sprayed with blue dye, giving lovely stencilled images on the paper behind and then I stuck it in water and took more photographs. I was quite excited by these images and liked the idea of permanently trapping knitting in water or something that looked like water. Resin maybe???

Whilst waiting for an order of resin to arrive I played with the idea and knitted with strawberry laces (very slippery if you ever feel inclined to try it)


Which I then set into strawberry jelly! Not quite the same effect and as the jelly set the laces absorbed the liquid and became quite revolting and distorted. When Joe did his customary look in the fridge for something interesting (as boys frquently do) he was disgusted... "Why is there a bowl of innards in the fridge?"

At this point I was feeling quite despondant. Lots of ideas, lots of experiments, some of them fun, some of them interesting but nothing that I felt I wanted to develop into a personal specialism. After a long chat with my tutor this week she suggested I should forget the knitting for a while and it was as if that was the key...

I want back to the idea of trapping knitting into liquid and thought about trapping something that looks like liquid into knitting. Instead of abandoning knitting altogether I knitted another piece in pure wool, trapped glass nuggets by tying them into the surface which I then felted. The result is little shimmering pieces of glass showing through the felt which links right back to previous themes I've explored... protection, concealment and revealing.

Meanwhile the resin arrived... a very small amount for the money and I realised I would have to scale down. I tryed knitting a piece with sewing needles and cotton but it was painful! Instead I crocheted some very tiny flowers.

Which I have set into small resin beads. I love them!


I'm off now to trap these within some more felted knitting... Knitting (or crochet) trapped in liquid (resin) which is trapped in more knitting... how weird is that! Suddenly I have lots more ideas for felting and trapping and all sorts of things and at last I feel I have the beginnings of a personal specialism... could be gone a while!

41 comments:

  1. I enjoyed following your knitted experiments.

    The little flowers in resin are like flies in amber. Or sea anemones

    What fun!

    Celia

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  2. What a brilliant post, thanks for taking me along on your journey!

    I love the idea of the knitted laces in jelly, how cool would that be as a party pud!?

    Can't say I've ever knitted modroc, used it for other things, so it is now on my list of things to try when I have some time!

    xxx

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  3. Loved this Gina as I love the deeper reading behind such things and how they can lead to so many new areas. Will show this to Lauren when she is home again as it is just the sort of exploration she has been undertaking through her degree. She will love it x

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  4. What a great post Gina. So exciting to see you ablaze with ideas each flowing from the previous one. It did my heart good to see it because its such a wonderful feeling when you get on a track that leads somewhere completely different.
    keep it up and don't forget to show it..innards and all.

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  5. What a great post!! I love the end resin results. I've wanted to play with resin for an AGE but don't dare order any supplies as I have more than enough to be getting on with ... but just INCASE i get a dull moment (haha) .. where did you get it? Hmm... Now i'm wondering about encasing soap with knitting? Would the knitting shrink and felt around the decreasing in size soap bar as it's used??? Or would it just go horribly slimey?? xx

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  6. I know you warned me. But that wasn't preparation enough...

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  7. I love it when you creative types share your thought process with us. Very partial to that modroc knitting.

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  8. I loved reading your adventures, and misadventures in the knitting world. love the little crocheted flowers trapped in resin...

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  9. I am stunned that you went from the little purple knitted piece yesterday to already having trapped the glass, felted it, photographed it and blogged it. Blimey!

    The flowers in resin are even cuter than I imagined. Lovely.

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  10. ..... love to participate in your process however vicariously.....

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  11. Isn't that the beauty of a degree though? Sometimes you get "the" idea straight away and sometimes its found after a long journey, but oh, the things you learn along the way. I LOVED reading this. The modroc part fascinated me. I saw a lot done with it on my Foundation course, but never any knitting. Wonderful. x

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  12. I love where you are going with this, and the knitted modroc makes me drool

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  13. Thanks for the journey. I love the resin flowers.

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  14. Brilliant - love the flowers in resin.

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  15. I like the knitting with modroc, very delicate, there are no end of things you could do with that, weaving things through it maybe? And the flowers in resin I thought of buttons, but then maybe thats why I'm not doing a degree! I think I agree with Joe about the Jelly!

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  16. Gina, you never cease to amaze me with your creativity, how do you get all that inspiration? I love all your experiments. I wondered how long it took you to make the french knitting, before you knitted it? Amazing stuff!

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  17. Fantastic samples - I love the modrock knitting ones. How like a son to make that remark!! He sounds just like mine. Your little resin(ed) flowers are so sweet. I'm sure your tutor will be pleased with the way this module is going.

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  18. Just brilliant Gina! I love the solid knitting!

    Lucy x

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  19. Lovely to see all your ideas flowing.
    Have you seen the work of Helene Soubeyran?
    She uses resin in her work.
    I too love the knitted modroc it's fab!

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  20. what a fantastic journey, I'm not surprised you're full of ideas now. You have produced some exciting pieces already and I really like the modroc knitting and the shadows. The resin trapped flowers are beautiful and I am amazed by the idea of trapping glass beads in felt. A great body of work, Gina.

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  21. The knitting and trapping ideas are really exciting - it's all so interesting I didn't want it to end!

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  22. I found your ideas and the experimental process to achieve creative outcomes fascinating. I hope to see your final work.

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  23. Looks like extreme knitting to me. You are the Hillary of knitters...

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  24. WOW Gina. This is fabulous -- look where your mind takes you when you let it wander. I LOVE those adorable resin beads!

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  25. Wow, Gina, I feel as though I have had a tutorial! Exciting post - I am amazed by your energy - French knitting! I remember slogging away for ages before a grubby little bit appeared below the cotton reel (wooden, of course, in those days). So good of you to share all this with us.

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  26. I'm so intrigued with watching your process! Very exciting and lovely to see on your blog.

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  27. Wowee! Now you have me so excited Gina. Why did I give away my knitting machines? I could make French knitting tubes in no time at all on it and used it a lot in my Machine Knitting C&G. I have also wanted to use resin, but was never adventurous enough. You've done it again! I will just have to have a go at it.

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  28. Lovely post Gina a wonderful insight into your degree work. When I was little I knitted on cocktail sticks to make clothes for my Cindy doll.

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  29. Thanks for the comments on my blog. I hope my pages do achieve their potential.

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  30. Wow you've been really busy Gina and what an incredibly creative experiment! All of the pictures are wonderful and so diverse.

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  31. I enjoyed reading about all the various experiments. The modroc was amazing.

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  32. What fun! ...adventures in knitting...I love it!

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  33. Having studied ceramics in uni, I can understand the paths you followed ... how I'd love to get my hands on some clay now and do some experiments of my own..

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  34. this is all amazing. I absolutely love the knitted modroc.

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  35. Wow I adored this post Gina. I loved watching your creative processes evolving and the results are wonderful. I now covet those resin beads with the crochet flowers in them. If you put them on etsy I'd buy them in a trice! Fancy a little swap? (I know you're extremely busy -when things have calmed down) Emma x

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  36. I like the 'shadows' and 'blue dyed wool in water'. It's been very interesting to follow your train of thought. The beads are great and I marvel that you're able to crochet such tiny flowers, Gina! Lesley

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  37. fascinating stuff - love the resin bits and the modroc knitting and shadows - very beautiful. I can see you running with this one...

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  38. I love this post! Took me straight back to my degree years where you just followed that thread to the end. The modroc shadows were beautiful and I loved the submerged blue. I always like it when you don't see the immediate subject, as in, 'Wow' then 'Oh! It's knitting!

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