Thursday, 13 January 2011

Talented tiny knitters

This morning I went to John Donne Primary School in Peckham to speak to their resident knitting club about knitting and knitwear design. These children (aged roughly 8 - 11) are absolutely incredible! They knit beautifully (and I do mean beautifully - not a dropped or wobbly stitch in sight) and have such a keen eye for colour. I was even more impressed that, out of the sizeable group that turns up most days, at least 5 of them were boys.

When I was small I was taught to knit by my mother & grandmother and while we may have spent one or two afternoons knitting in the classroom, there was nothing like this. Their teacher is brilliant, really committed and the kids have so much enthusiasm for it, making adjustments to knitting patterns and adding their own details like pockets to tiny dolls garments. I couldn't have done that at their age!

As a bonus, I may even have found myself a model for the next collection...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Wired at the Tate

Happy new year! Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately, but I do have a good excuse for this: AW 11 is well under way. It has, however, slightly taken over my life. And then along came Christmas....

Anyway! There was (thankfully) time for a bit of relaxation this weekend. As it was so beautifully sunny today we decided it would be daft not to go for a bike ride and ended up at the Tate Modern. After being slightly awestruck by Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds in the Turbine Hall (if you haven't seen them yet, check it out. It was better than I expected), we took a stroll around. As I'm always on the look out for all things knitted, I was struck by the work of Italian artist Marisa Merz.

Three of the four pieces on display in the Tate were constructed using wire and a set of trusty knitting needles. According to the accompanying blurb, Merz often includes aspects of crafts and practices traditionally associated with women in her work. How nice it is to see knitting recognised by the art community, especially somewhere like the Tate.

The images below (Untitled, 1969 followed by Untitled (Little Shoe), 1968) were just two of the pieces we saw this morning:
[Images taken from the Tate website]