Saturday, December 21, 2013

As I Was Still Saying

I was going to blog again yesterday, yeah; but I had to do stuff. Christmas-type stuff, with the ribbons and the glitter glue and the peace on Earth and the what–another party, and the hey–what did you put in that egg nog and the excuse me–where are my pants.

But I woke up eventually, and so here's something else from my stack of backlogged blog topics.

Thing Four.

Look at this. What does it look like to you? Besides an indifferent cell phone shot? Stripes, right? White and purple stripes?

griffin-01

But...let's look at it from a slightly different angle.

griffin-02

Huh. What's that? Is there something weird going on? Let's try another angle.

griffin-03

WHAT? A GRIFFIN?! IS THAT A GRIFFIN?!! HOLY CRAP! WHAT DID YOU PUT IN THAT EGG NOG?

Calm down, please. I didn't put anything funny in the egg nog. However I did put a griffin in the stripes. He was there the whole time–you just couldn't see him at first.

His name is Merv. Merv, say hi to the people.

griffin-04

Merv is very street.

This technique is called either Shadow Knitting or Illusion Knitting, depending upon who is doing the calling. I started fooling around with it this year, just as a goof. Merv was one of my early experiments. Now I'm unabashedly in love with it. It's a technique lots of folks look upon as a mere parlor trick. But I believe it has potential that hasn't yet been fully explored, in spite of Vivian Høxbro's excellent book from 2004 and the further elaborations of the UK outfit Woolly Thoughts.

Also, it's the only knitting technique I have yet encountered that makes non-knitters literally gasp. They gasp!

griffin-05

Exactly so.

I felt so strongly about Shadow Knitting's potential that I've spent a great deal of 2013 exhuming every bit of information I can find about it; and playing around with different ways of designing it, charting it, thinking about it, and putting it to use. In 2014, it will be a new addition to my menu of classes.

The début at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat is sold out, but I will be teaching it at the Plucky Knitter Shindig, the Squam Art Workshops, and a bunch of other gigs that'll be added to the calendar as they're confirmed in full. We'll learn the technique, of course; but we'll also learn to make new motifs, and ponder larger philosophical questions like the merits of mystery, opacity, surprise, and subterfuge in design.

griffin-06

Precisely.

That may seem dreadfully ambitious for one knitting class, but if you've taken classes with me before you know I'm not kidding.

griffin-05

Yes. Thank you, Merv.

griffin-07

Yes. That's quite enough, thank you. Goodnight, folks. More soon.

23 comments:

RubyC said...

Sounds like a great class. Cannot wait for you to come back to Texas. Good luck @ Madrona.

Connie said...

Have a look at what you can do with ShadowKnitting in Art:

http://www.boukal.at/gallery/did/gallery_did.html

Tanja Boukal uses this technique to create strong impressions

jenann said...

Egg nog? Forget it! Somebody slipped me a double vodka with a couple of whiskey chasers (euk! hate the stuff!!). They must have because I'm seeing stripes turn into a griffin and that can't be happening.... can it.... are you fooling us? Two different pieces of knitting, right?
OK off to look up shadow knitting.
Enjoy the tinsel and glitter of the season.
Jenni

pat said...

Thanks for the Woolly Thoughts mention. You are right in saying there are lots areas still to be explored. Have you seen our very latest http://www.illusionknitting.woollythoughts.com/threegraces.html.

Photographs of large illusions are so difficult to get right to see the detail. They really need to be seen in the flesh.

We have lots of tutorials for people to create their own illusions. http://www.illusionknitting.woollythoughts.com/art.html. This is where many of those using the 'arty' techniques learned the methods.

kmkat said...

Is Dolores demanding that you do a large-scale wall hanging of her, cigarette and martini in hand? I'd pay to see that -- either the finished work or the sittings.

Roxie said...

Madness! I wants it. Will you be teaching that class anywhere in the Pacific northwest? That totally rocks.

GUNTer said...

your blog is just awesome.
word.

Seanna Lea said...

I have done Illusion knitting, and I find it finicky. The results are gorgeous though.

Notme said...

Post like this make me wonder how long it will be before we see Victorian amigurumi finger puppets arguing the merits of crochet vs knitting for making bathing costumes.

Deborah said...

I'm sure you've seen the Tsock Tsarina's elusive/allusive/illusive? socks:

http://www.tsocktsarina.com/blog/?p=476

They were somehow called to mind...

Caroline said...

I believe this is also the way they did the "F YOU" scarf? It made me guffaw and I printed out the pattern but haven't had the guts to knit it yet. It's on Rav...

sue said...

I surely missed adding a 2013 ornament to my collection of annual ornaments!

Anonymous said...

You are adorable in the swimming trunks. Those other people are idiots. For real.

Sweet Camden Lass said...

I made a wonderful illusion scarf for that nice Mr S.W. (he of the Dolores picture). He, or his nephew, wear it to football...and are blown away by it.

Anonymous said...

Never let the thoughts of those who have No Clue - are beyond ridiculous themselves - control how you feel about yourself. You are highly intelligent, creative & more fun to read than almost anyone! Superficial thinkers will never appreciate how much their stupid thoughtless comments hurt. Some clearly do not care. That, my friend, is the "hole in their soul" and it has nothing to do with you. Keep on doing what you do so dang well. Believe in your own gifts & continue to share them with those of us who really do appreciate you!
Marietta

"grammiepammie" said...

Love Merv - very appropriate name for a Griffin! Love his 'to the point' conversation - very cool, Merv!

Kimberly said...

Merv is pretty awesome. Does Dolores get along with him?

Idiosyncratic Eye said...

That is AWESOME! Wow. :)

Stephanie said...

This is why I love you. (Not like that. First, I'm a girl, and second, my wife would be upset.) Cannot. Stop. Laughing. Merv is the best!

Jesse H K said...

Every time I check this blog at work I remember the day I was reading this post and had a couple coworkers walk by while I had a certain photograph of a bare-chested dude in knitted bathing drawers up. A charming photo, yes, but not so work-appropriate.

Not like I wasn't warned.

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