The Fall 2007 issue of Vogue Knitting (25th Anniversary Issue)featured two articles of particular interest: "Knitting's Old Guard Speaks Out" [an interview with Kaffe Fassett, Alice Starmore, Mari Lynn Patrick and Meg Swanson]; and "Chatting with Knitting's New Guard" [Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Clara Parkes, Debbie Stroller, Shannon Okey and Vickie Howell]. By featuring the “new guard”, Vogue Knitting highlights the influence that knit bloggers and the “next generation” of knitters are having upon the craft. This influence is something which Sabrina Gschwandtner has been capturing for several years in her publication KnitKnit which looks at knitting “as a vehicle for artists” as well as crafters.
In her new book KnitKnit: Profiles & Projects from Knitting’s New Wave Gschwandtner looks at how a new generation of knitters is blurring the boundaries between conceptual art and craft. These unique individuals “whose work reflect[s] knitting’s current ideas, venues, and forms” are in many cases unknown to the average knitter and so Gschwandtner profiles each one, exploring their art, their motivation and how their work has progressed. KnitKnit includes twenty-seven profiles; from Dave Cole who knits with “heavy, toxic, industrial, or otherwise unusual materials”; to Althea Merback who knits knits miniature garments the size of a quarter; to Debbie New who knit a navigable boat.
In addition to their profile, each individual was asked to create something readers could make and the results are as unusual as their creators. The projects included the expected clothing, as well as 14 foot tall fiberglass teddy bears, miniature sweater earrings and room installations which knitters can “wear”. Even the sweaters are often approached in unusual manners; Liz Collins’ Stretchy Stocking top made from nylon stockings and Debbie New’s Scribble Lace Bolero made with labyrinth knitting.
KnitKnit is a perfect coffee table book for the knitter on your holiday shopping list. The artists profiled will help get knitting creativity flowing, the patterns feature unusual construction techniques and this book will spark conversation for knitters and non-knitters alike.
Read the review at Armchair Interviews.
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Author Website: www.knitknit.net
tags: books book reviews knitting Sabrina Gschwandtner knitknit