Book Review: KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting’s New Wave

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Editor Stewart, Tabori & Chang says: Five years ago, Sabrina Gschwandtner founded a ’zine to tackle the blurry edge between craft and fine art. Now, her book KnitKnit brings together profiles of 27 of the most talented artist-crafters knitting today. But KnitKnit does more than just document their ingenious creations. Each of the profiled knitters has contributed a project—a sweatshirt kimono, a mohair and metal belt, a pair of high-heeled boots, a geodesic-patterned cap, even a teddy bear knit from fiberglass insulation—meant to inspire you to find and follow your own creative path.
4 fast and easy reasons to love this book:
Knitta´s instructions to knit a car antenna cozy for my dad,
Dave Cole´s DIY giant Fiberglass Teddy Bear,
– Tina Marrin’s Ankle Boots,
– everything i´m going to list below.
The author of the book, Sabrina Gschwandtner works with film, video, photography, performance, sewing, crochet and knitting. In 2002, she founded KnitKnit, a limited edition arts journal dedicated to the intersection of fine art and handcraft. Knitknit started as a photocopied booklet that she mostly gave away and rose to a publication you can now find in art galleries, bookstores, yarn shops, etc.
Over the past few year, she got to know the knitting artists, crafters and designers that her book presents and one day, accompanied by photographer Kiriko Shirobayashi, she decided to take the road and meet these people. She discussed with them, had their portrait taken in their workshop, got to know how they worked and how their passion for knitting turned into (in many cases) a career. There seem to be a real connection and mutual respect between Sabrina and the interviewees. She is one of them after all (have a look at two of her installations for example: Crochet Film and Wartime Knitting Circle.) Had the book been written by a journalist, i am sure it wouldn´t have given away so much fun and intimacy.
0aawtr4.jpgIsabel Berglund’s City of Stitches
There are 27 practitioners whose work is highlighted in the book. And it is amazing to see how many directions the knitting wave is taking: some such as Lisa Anne Auerbach use the “medium” as a way to broadcast their values, others are designers working for posh brands (Risto Bimbiloski for Louis Vuitton), artists who create awesome installations (Isabel Berglund) and spectacular sculptures using cancinogenic materials (Dave Cole), re-create with wool and talent a two-stage stainless-steel regulator (Briget Marrin) or the houses associated high profile crimes committed by women (Freddie Robins), activists who educate knitters about sweatshop abuse and providing them with the tools to counter the trend (Cat Mazza of the wonderful microRevolt), there are also crafters who show you how to make your own Breast Cancer Awareness 3D titts (Beryl Tsang), etc.
0aangrybann.jpg0abrrreas.jpgWorks by Freddie Robins and Beryl Tsang