stitch-hacking

ATH + Jayfor

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It’s been a while since my last post… so much going on, it has left little time for reflection and communication. Anyway, to make amends, here is the story of the making of a new stitch-hacking piece.

Update: see images of the finished piece here

ATH + Jayfor is on display at an exhibition titled WOW: wonder of wool and the art of knit and stitch, at Rheged in Penrith until 15 April. Also on display is my Knitted Engine, and work by a stellar lineup of contributors, including Deirdre Nelson, Freddie Robins, Rachael Matthews, Annie Shaw, Celia Pym and many others. The exhibition is curated by Trevor Pitt of Pod Projects.

Here’s the blurb about the piece that I wrote for the exhibition:

Title: ATH + Jayfor
Materials: Found wool/nylon jumper, nylon yarn
 
Stitch-hacking involves the laddering and re-forming of stitches in existing knitted fabric. This technique has been developed by Amy and allows her to create structural patterns within found knitted garments. For this piece, she has taken the text from the label of an old jumper and transposed it to the body of the garment, ‘embossing’ it into the structure of the plain knitting. Amy has also recorded herself within the work, through the inclusion of swiss-darned text. 
 

This work plays with questions of authorship and ownership. The original manufacturer made the stitches, and their information has been made dominant on the garment. However, Amy has physically made the piece her own through the attention and painstaking practical work of her intervention. Through pieces such as this, Amy wants to celebrate the craft of knitting in all its forms – industrial and domestic – and to encourage others to tinker with mass-produced objects, which we often see as ‘closed’.

 

COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL BLOG POSTING:

 

learningwithproblems 

Muy interesante su obra!

 

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14GB

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let’s have another story in pictures – this time showing the stitch-hacking of my most recent piece, ’14GB’.

Update: see images of the finished piece here

14GB is on display in the Made in the Middle exhibition, along with three other stitch-hacked pieces and my pattern-blagged Shetland lace shawl (more info about those pieces here). Here’s some information about the exhibition:

Made in the Middle is an open exhibition originated by Craftspace and selected by an expert panel. Previously showing contemporary craft from the West Midlands, this year the exhibition has been expanded to include the East Midlands and celebrate creative practice across the whole region. This exhibition brings together 35 makers whose diverse practice reflects the wealth of high quality work produced across the region and the talent nurtured in the Midlands. 

The exhibition is at mac in Birmingham until 15 April, then it will tour the region for another fifteen months (further information on each venue can be found via the exhibition website):

The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford, Lincolnshire 28th April – 1st July 2012

Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford 15th September 2012 – 27th October 2012

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum 15th January – 9th March 2013

Bilston Craft Gallery 23rd March 2013 – 11th May 2013

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery 25th May 2013 – 6th July 2013

At the preview of the exhibition at mac, I was delighted to be awarded the prize for ‘Best Overall Exhibit’. All those hours spent hacking and blagging were worth it…

COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL BLOG POSTING:

Lois Parker 

so clever

 

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Workshops: crocheting, stitch-hacking, granny squares

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I thought I would share the fun from a few recent workshops. First up was a crochet lesson in a tent, which formed part of the hen party celebrations for Lisa, organised by her sister Claire. None of the group had crocheted before, but in the two hour lesson they managed to produce enough pieces to create a stunning – and certainly unique – cushion cover panel!

I had a fun afternoon puzzling the rectangular and not-so-rectangular pieces together. Each person tagged their piece with their name, so Lisa could remember everyone who contributed.

Next up was my Stitch-Hacking workshop at Prick Your Finger, held to coincide with the start of my exhibition in the shop (more on the exhibition, and what stitch-hacking is, here). It was a lovely cosy afternoon and everyone got the hang of the technique pretty quickly. In the pictures you'll find one of Rachael Matthews stitch-hacking a plain pink jumper she picked up when we were in Shetland last year. There's also a birds-eye view of some more of the action (including Tomofholland wearing his amazing red knit-frock which he’d just completed – read about it here). Good work everybody! I would love to see pictures of any ‘hacks’ you do in future!

And finally, I wanted to share an email I received after running a Hand Knitting and Crochet Workshop here in the Keep & Share studio a couple of weeks ago. I had a little group who worked really hard all day, going from absolute beginners to competent crocheters! The email is from Amanda, who particularly wanted to learn so she could make a granny square blanket:

“I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say a really big thank you for a most excellent Crochet workshop on Saturday. I have attached my first granny square attempt that I completed on Sunday evening. Although not perfect I am so pleased that it actually looks like what I set out to accomplish and two others actually can tell what it is. I am now planning on putting the quilt to one side and trying to do a single square blanket – hopefully in time for Christmas Eve (will let you know how I get on!)”

The final image above shows Amanda’s granny square – good luck with the blanket! 

You find out more about my workshops here. My next Hand Knitting and Crochet Workshop runs alongside a Stitch Hacking Workshop on 17 March 2012.

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Stitch-hacking and pattern-blagging at Prick Your Finger

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tomorrow I’m off to set up a exhibition of my work at London knitting mecca Prick Your Finger. I’m focusing on stitch-hacking and pattern-blagging, two techniques that I’ve developed over the last couple of years:

Stitch-Hacking the laddering and reconfiguration of stitches in an existing knitted garment

Pattern-Blagging the modification of an existing knitting or crochet pattern to create a personalised item

The techniques are used to adapt existing garments and patterns to include personalised content. On a conceptual level, these pieces explore authorship and ownership; on a personal level, they allow me to put something of myself into my wardrobe.

Update: the original post included images and descriptions of the pieces in the exhibition. That information can now be found on each item's project page:

Who Made This? stitch-hacked cardigan

20.11.09 - 1976 pattern-blagged crochet smock

Amy 2010 stitch-hacked cardigan

St Michael - 12 - 40 stitch-hacked cardigan

1.12.2010 - 1.10.2011 pattern-blagged Shetland lace shawl

Want to have a go? I’m running a stitch-hacking workshop at Prick Your Finger on Saturday – enquiries/bookings to the shop on 020 8981 2560.

The exhibition will be on for 6 weeks or so – private view tomorrow from 6pm, all welcome so hope to see you there! (260 Globe Road, E2 0JD, nearest tube: Bethnal Green)

COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL BLOG POSTING:

tomofholland 

  1. Amy, thank you so much for the workshop, I really enjoyed learning new skills. I hope to be able to post a hacked garment soon!

    Amy 

  2. Lovely post from the Prick Your Finger blog about the exhibition, private view and workshop: click here

    Tom – thanks for coming, it was great to meet you and I can’t wait to see what you hack!!

  3. And another post about the stitch-hacking work, from the Folksy blog: click here

    fitterknitter.com 

  4. This is so cool. Can’t wait to try it.

 

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Vincent and his little blanket

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Special occasions call for special knitwear, so to celebrate the birth of my new nephew Vincent, I made him a little personalised blanket in organic cotton with a crocheted trim.

It utilises my special ‘stitch-hacking’ technique, where I manually reverse stitches to create a design. Usually I do it on existing garments (more on this soon, as I’m going to be exhibiting some of these pieces at Prick Your Finger next month) but for Vincent’s piece I reworked the stitches while creating the fabric on the machine.

Here he is, clutching it and waving. What a good boy…

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