Saturday, 8 May 2021

8x8

take-away: flatpack pasta designed to morph and fold into containers when cooked  

bogland: photographing the marshes and alluvial plains of Belarus 

baby’s breath: biodegradable face masks blossom into wildflowers  

private issue new age: a soothing 1984 ambient recording that’s a psychoacoustic catalyst designed for release of spiritual and emotional energies 

children’s television workshop: the creators behind Sesame Street’s Teeny Little Super Guy  

forced perspective: giant Bidens and tiny Carters were keeping us awake—an explanation of the confluence of factors via Miss Cellania’s Links 

tableau muet: visualising history and charting epochs with Antoni Jaลผwiล„ski’s “Polish System” 

baibaojia: make your own thread book for safekeeping of sewing items, notions and other small treasures

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

reeperbahn


We quite enjoyed this peek into the industries of rope-making and yarn-spinning that gave Cable Street of the East End and Whitechapel through the lens of the late eighteenth century company of the Frost Brothers when it was documented in illustrations and photographs in 1905. Like the above-titled way in Hamburg, the area began as a straight grounds where hemp fibres were twisted into ropes for the ships that would anchor on the Thames between London Bridge and the kilns at Limehouse.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

tragically hip

Though without the spectacle and international audiences and whether it can even be safely executed even with the most stringent health and hygiene precautions, some fashionistas are citing the planned apparel that the Canadian nation team will don for the Closing Ceremony in Tokyo as an overpowering reason to cancel the Olympics. I endorse these bespoke, graffiti clad jean jackets and think it’s going to be a statement that we’ll later pretend to have always been behind—like a twist on the so called Canadian Tuxedo—if not not at least remember. One can peruse the rest of the uniform and kit-up from Hudson’s Bay here.

monster maroon

In light of a recent revue of Starfleet and other in-universe uniforms and fashions (previouslysee also), we have the opportunity to eulogise a prolific producer of stage and screen and costume and set designer in the recently departed Robert Fletcher (*1922 - †2021) who created ensembles for major ballet troupes and opera companies in addition to television and film—including four of the original cast Star Trek movies that gave command and senior staff those signature dress uniforms, referred to by the title (c. 2280). Having won several Tony and Saturn awards, Fletcher’s design archives were donated to Harvard University and are conserved there.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

i like the cut of your jib, sailor

Via the always outstanding Miss Cellania, we are directed to a revue of four centuries—allowance for temporal anomalies—of Starfleet uniforms and Star Trek fashions that have been integral to the franchise and all its iterations since inception, eliciting strong opinions and favourites among the seasons’ wardrobe and livery. The pictured crew member wearing a skant is pretty forward looking for the 2350 of 1987.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

100% birgitta

Pictured here among the influential and aspirational on the beach in Ibiza in crocheted attire, we quite enjoyed learning about the crafter and dyer become wardrobe artist and celebrity in her own right Stockholm native Birgitta Bjerke who turned the patchwork of old-timey bedspreads into fashion that the rock royalty of the mid- to late 60s with icons like Jimi Hendrix, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger sporting her outfits. Much more at Collectors’ Weekly at the link above.

Friday, 11 December 2020

statistrikk

Via Seitvertreib, we are introduced to these wonderful vignettes from associate biostatistics professor at the University of Oslo Kathrine Frey Frรธslie who illustrates scientific concepts, in this case the R-number associated with viral contagion and herd immunity, through knitting and crochet (see also) projects. More to explore on science communication and data visualisations (including for the crafty the patterns to make your own COVID-related cosies) at the links above.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

tituli

Friend of the Blog par excellence, Nag on the Lake, refers us to nice little application that allows one to remix the characters and style of the Bayeux Tapestry (see also) for retelling a modern saga with this clever historic construction kit. See more on the original embroidery and the tale it conveys at the source link above and share with us your stitched together yarns.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

textilkunst

Born 5 March 1897, Swiss textile artist Gunta Slölzl (†1983) had a formative and fundamental role in leading the Bauhaus school’s weaving workshop.  Find more posts about the movement and its principals here, here, here and here.
Having joined the movement just after its inception, she became a full master (the first female to achieve this level though the atmosphere was rather lacking in collegiality with most of the directors dismissing fabrics as craft and women’s work) in 1928 and revitalised the weaving and dyeing studios, mentoring many students and experimented with synthetic materials. A gallery of Stölzl’s works can be found here along with other Bauhaus disciplines cab be found at the link here.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

muster and moquette

CityLab made a quite wonderful and inspired appeal with their international, publically-jured round-up of mass-transit upholstery (previously here and here) sourced from trains, busses and metro-lines in service all over the world.

A few that I’m acquainted with can be reviewed here and I can completely relate to the feeling of pride and affection that passengers develop for these dreadfully excellent and challenging creations in textile that need not only to be practicable and identifiable (like this specimen of priority-seating for ScotRail) but have to also remain fresh, colourfast and rebuff graffiti for quite some time. Do share the distinctive seat-covers from your local public transport—and support them with your ridership and patronage. Much more to explore at the link above.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

7x7

suburbia: Eliza Gosse paints Australian Mid-Century modern homes

emancipation of the dissonance: economist and performer Merle Hazard delivers an atonal tune

threadstories: crocheted masks and headdresses examine our online avatars and personรฆ

autoglyphs: Michael Light takes an aerial survey of the arid American west

forget about it: a versatile Italian word to know

needs more salt: a seasonings purveyor and a tech company collaborate to optimise spicing up your recipes

byggeskikk: a photographer becomes quite taken with a picturesque cabin 

Friday, 1 February 2019

lozenge moquette

Thanks to City Lab, we are invited to revisit the plush and pile of mass-transit upholstery through the industrial textile designs of Enid Marx and other samples archived by the London Transportation Museum. By turns both extravagant and practical, both overlooked and omnipresent, the exhibit offers a retrospective look at the power of the intentionality in design, underscored perfectly by something that often retreats into the background yet (if not itself the subject of passing derision) so much part of a shared ridership experience.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

bahn-verspรคtungsschal

Via the always excellent Nag on the Lake with a bit of an update from Colossal, we learn about a loyal but frustrated rail commuter who, much like Andean quipu or the zealous knitter who got carried away with the Doctor’s scarf, documented delays experienced in coloured wool bands during her daily trip (two a day—round-trip, hin- und zรผruck) between Moosburg an der Isar and Mรผnchen, which should take approximately thirty minutes on regional trains—once infrastructure repairs and diverting to buses meant that long interruptions became the norm.
Her one hundred-twenty centimetre long handiwork (reminiscent of a DNA test result in the rawest form) garnered a lot of attention after her daughter, a prominent journalist and news editor, posted it on social media. The knitter decided the auction off the “train-delay-scarf” for the charity Bahnhofs Mission, an outreach and assistance programme for the homeless, transient and precarious based in train stations, raising several thousand euro. Claudia Weber, the creator, is working on a new shawl for 2019.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

thread and transistor

As a heuristic exhibition to explore the shifting definition and value of craft in modern society and commerce, Dezeen highlights some of the best instalations during the Istanbul Design Biennial that employed stitching and weaving recontextualised in electronics and as a store of value, as in an heirloom quilt to hand down from one generation to the next.
Looms themselves prefiguring mechanical computational relays, we really enjoyed discovering the functional universal computer whose circuitry was embroidered out of gold and the yarn spindle whose spooling action can actually save a spoken yarn as an audio recording. I wonder if future electronic devices will be decentralised and once again a cottage industry. Moreover, given the value assigned to block-chain cryptography—secure and sturdy though mathematically also relatively simple, it struck us as particularly delectable that there is one gaming circle that calls for players to produce their own knitcoin to advance. Check out the link above to learn more about the individual works from Ebru Kurbak and others.

Monday, 26 November 2018

selbuvotter

Often interpreted as a snowflake instead of a flower and universally as shorthand for all things wholesomely wintry and Scandinavian, the knit pattern selburose is an ancient symbol and predates its 1857 appearance on a pair of mittens (vott) that had the whole congregation of the town of Selbu quite smitten with the design.

The popularity of the pattern (selbumรธnster, which also sparked a whole cottage industry and helped women become more economically independent) coincided with the Norwegian independence movement from Sweden and became somewhat of a bold fashion statement as something distinctly Norsk despite the mixed pedigree. Read more on the origins and spread of this icon at The Atlantic and find similar stories about the familiar and everyday syndicated at Object Lessons.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

purl 2.0

We were delighted to discover that among the wide array of peripheral devices and accessories (previously) for Nintendo’s range of video game consoles included a full-sized, functioning sewing machine, manufactured by the company Jaguar and licensed by Singer, that plugged into the Game Boy Colour handheld and could be programmed to produce elaborate stitches and embroidery—as well as learning a practical skill.
It would have been pretty keen to monogram all one’s clothes. There’s a really in depth and well-researched video documentary of the sewing machine’s history, available in Japanese, European and America markets back in 2001. A fitting sort of homage to the fact that the first punch card readers were used in industrial looms to produce increasingly sophisticated textiles and patterns, there was also a video game (apparently only for domestic markets) called Mishin Sashi Senyou (ใฟใ—ใ‚“ ใ•ใ— ใ›ใซใ‚‡ใ†, Let’s have a Seat!) Soft: Mario Family that was a sewing sampler challenge of Mario Brothers goodies and baddies.

Friday, 1 June 2018

topic thread

Hat-tip once again to Kottke’s Quick Links for directing our attention to Crazy Walls, a blog obsessed with the appearance of forensics walls in film and television that attempt to connect and solve mysteries by linking maps and newspaper clippings through red yarn.
Following the principle of conservation of detail, the method called concept mapping can be used to filter out red herrings when the investigator does not know what easily overlooked detail might lead to a break-through and looking for relevance in every detail can drive one to distraction or worse. Though sometimes in earnest or sometimes meta-critical like this cameo of X-Files’ David Duchovny (previously) on Full-Frontal with Samantha Bee—bringing us back around to the matter of Puerto Rico whose underreported casualties might have been shoved out of the news cycle in part by amplifying and hijacking the host’s own monologue, most often the trope is used to lampoon conspiracy theorists.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

7x7

microcosm: an annual photography competition invites us to explore the world around us just below the threshold of the naked eye

the luwians and the trojan war: the intriguing tale behind the lost frieze that may document the collapse of the Bronze Age

point and shoot: using algorithmic processes to inform the shutter when a photo-worth opportunity presents itself, one internet and technology giant is offering an automatic camera for home use—relatedly

gastaloops: one hundred day push to create gorgeous, encircling animations—via the Everlasting Blรถrt

high rate of staff turn-over: activities offered at the White House adult day care facility

extinction cos-play: crocheted costumes for the common pigeon to highlight the importance of biodiversity and fighting to protect endangered species—via Nag on the Lake

trek ‘splaining: a visual physics lesson on the problem-fraught workings of as seen on TV teleportation

Monday, 28 August 2017

cool and calculated

Thanks to the brilliant essay by Margaret Wertheim we’re reminded that not only is non-Euclidean geometry not just some contrarian theory, it’s moreover observable in Nature and we can learn to crotchet with hyperbolic patterns.
By pondering how simple creatures and primitive—even primordial—structures can prefigure the most complex and abstract mathematical concepts that mankind is credited for discovering rather than being informed by a disembodied function, the author explores how we might not have taken the most optimal and encouraging approach to academics and suggests we engage in maths jam-sessions and that virtuosity differs only in instrument. Study and practise aren’t being supplanted by license but rather the notion that our imagination is rather inhibited by convention and we’d be better able to see the next revelatory breakthroughs if calculus was the plaything of all aspirants and not just the few. When first taking a geometry course and being introduced to the different fates of parallel lines, I recall day-dreaming about the architecture and the topologically understanding of birds but didn’t know that these abstract concepts were embodiments of the physical world. There are a lot of thought-provoking avenues to explore in the piece whether or not one believes that honey-bees or nautiluses know what’s best suited to going about their business and the most resonant support for her argument was how mathematicians have time and again have found themselves feeling doubt and disdain for their most transformative theories and nearly didn’t dare share them for fear of rejection—whereas bit of contextualisation and craft might have proved liberating.

Friday, 4 November 2016

sweater weather

The fabulous Messy Nessy Chic invites us to peruse the pages of a gem of car-boot sale find in the big book of British knitting patterns called “Wit Knits,” published in 1986. These ugly sweater connoisseurs, including Joanne Lumley (aka, Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous), haven’t even a touch of irony in their enthusiastic modelling.  Be sure to check out the entire rogues gallery (which might even inspire a crafty project) at the link up top.