Thursday, 22 September 2016
I was actually quite shocked recently when I discovered the parallels with my life and that of JM Synge. I was lucky, I got my Hodgkins Lymphoma almost 100 years later than him, the swelling in my neck went down with Chemotherapy, I didn't die of it. I found it quite strange to read his biography online and realise how lucky I was.
Sunday, 8 May 2016
WTF Knits by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet, is one of the low-hanging fruit of the knitting book world, sometimes it is easy to mock patterns and to find them ridiculous. To me some of these fall into 3 categories, Art, actually clever if you think about it and lastly they're strange adventures in using yarn.
It seems to be coming from a place where yarn is only good if it's used for a utiliarian project and not in sculptural projects and as some of the profits from this are going to charity it would have been hard for many of the copyright owners to refuse use of their photos for use here.
Much of it is stuff I'd never knit but I found some of it more clever than WTF. It did annoy me to see the TitBits in here. These are pieces knit for women with Breast Cancer as soft, caring, replacement prosthesis while they're healing and need something soft and the idea that someone would do that for me appeals, also the knitted falopian tubes are being used in activism.
Much of the garments are insane and I couldn't see myself wearing or making them but Haute Couture is insane, the yearly fashion design student catwalk is full of garments that will never be worn outside of the runway, but the authors of this choose to mock rather than to ask why fashion is so out of touch with reality, why it's almost compulsary for designers to make garments with no function (though it could also be asked why companies are making fortunes from making shoes that are crippling people more comfortable!).
Overall this book just made me slighly annoyed, yes there are knits in it that I have no idea why they were even conceived but there also knits that I can see could be used for education or entertainment. Kids get fake food toys all the time we don't seem to question it as much when we get it from a shop, or see it in a gallery, but we seem to question it a lot when someone who isn't part of the artistic establishment chooses to make it themselves.
I still don't understand some of them, but I also sometimes don't understand modern art, I wouldn't choose some of it for my house or to knit it myself (unless hugely bribed, and it would have to be huge) but each to their own.
I got this one from the library a while ago. Dublin City public libraries employ me and provided this book, I get no added inducements for doing this above my salary, access and generous lending facilities
Thursday, 7 April 2016
Sunday, 28 February 2016
Thursday, 11 February 2016
I read a book recently that made me a bit cranky. Craftsman by Richard Sennet, apart from the view of craftsmanship as being mostly male he also didn't get the concept of mindless crafting. Sometimes mindless crafting is an accompaniment to complex working, but sometimes it's it's own thing. When you're in a crafting slump or something complex is occupying your brain, and not necessarily a crafting project, retreating into the simple is actually comforting. When a lace project is in the slog, why is there no progress stage, a simple dishcloth can be useful, a sense of accomplishment can be made out of that little thing. Without slogging by assistants there isn't time made for a master. But also there is the issue that until you understand your material, you can't really explore it's possibilities. Without scales and warmups your hands will suffer on the piano. Also without understanding both your and the materials issues you can't work with them and through them. I will never play some pieces on the piano that require octave stretches, my hands can't do that, but I can work with it, choose the notes that sound the best, the most right.
But what really ticked me off, as the daughter of a master cabinetmaker and carpenter; sister of a master carpenter; cousin of a master glassworker (not sure of his proper title but he made a glass sword as his masterpiece!) on page 58 when he talked about a chef d'oeuvre éleve I was somewhat annoyed, it didn't convince me that he knew enough about what he was talking about because that's known as a masterpiece or master piece. And maybe if we regarded those pieces made by more crafters as being as important and we saw the beauty in them and the skill it took to make them like we look at paintings maybe we would start to have a better understanding of how there is more artfulnes in the world than we notice. That the present by someone that took more effort than a few minutes in a shop actually has worth, and doesn't deserve derision.
Cross posted to my reading blog
Sunday, 31 January 2016
Forza Scarf is a free teaser from the book, included on the Ravelry page, but I don't recall it in the book.
Thursday, 15 October 2015
The edition to hand was the UK edition in the Amazon.co.uk link and the Dublin City Public Libraries edition.
Dublin City Public Libraries