Archives for category: Collaboration

Today’s sweater is a rare and special bird. Last Fall I was given the opportunity to produce an art-sweater for ESOPUS magazine — a very special publication that is produced by the ESOPUS foundation here in New York (read more about the ESOPUS Foundation here). I spun my wheels on this project for quite a while trying to think of a way of incorporating knitting into the publication in a fresh and interesting way. After enduring a long creative void, I found myself thinking about the Exquisite Corpse process-drawings that were done by Surrealists in the 1920′s.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

The Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative process in which multiple artists create a single image (typically the human figure) in sequence with one another. Each artist is permitted only a glimpse at the contribution of the previous artist without knowing its connection to the whole. The imaginative drawings that are created in this way are spontaneous, random, and very interesting.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

With this process in mind came the spark of an idea for a design experiment that resulted in the sweater you see photographed here.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

I got in contact with a few of my favorite indie-designers to see if they were up for a design challenge: to create a collaborative garment in random sequence working directly off of the piece or pieces that were presented to them from the previous designer. Starting with a general set of garment dimensions provided by me (so that the garment would fit the body at the conclusion of the process) each designer was given complete creative freedom for their portion of the sweater.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

I chose a bulky, rustic sheepswool in hopes that the materials would inspire textural experimentation and highlight the multi-directional quality of the fabrics. As you can see from the images, the garment is a veritable explosion of texture!

The Exquisite Corpse Project

The designers who collaborated on this project, each from a different location around the country, were: Connie Chang Chinchio, Tanis Gray, Carrie Hoge, Melissa LaBarre & Elli Stubenrauch.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

Below is a schematic of the finished garment, a Dolman cardigan, and how each designer’s contribution comes together to create the finished whole.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

It was a wonderful experiment and created a garment that I find interesting for so many reasons. The magazine is accompanied by a gallery show in which all pieces from the current issue are on view at the ESOPUS space in New York. For those readers who are local, click here for the show information if you’d like to see the physical garment on view at the gallery.

The Exquisite Corpse Project

I want to give a special thank you to all the designers who joined me to put this together as well as my lovely model (does she look familiar? Yes, that’s famed Cookie A. looking fierce).

The Exquisite Corpse Project

The garment is a true one-of-a-kind and the result of each designers immediate response to the garment pieces as they were presented to them. I hope you enjoy it!

Another hat with slouch, you say? Yeah, I was having a lot of fun playing around with that shape this season – it offered a fun variation on solving design problems for hats, so there it is!

Relm

Relm will be available next week in the upcoming Fall/Winter 08 issue of Knit.1 Magazine. [Ravel it!] The folks at Knit.1 are featuring a spread on designer-bloggers and each of us contributed a pattern of our own choosing, which I think makes for a great little line-up. Be sure to check out the other great bloggers’ designs in the issue too! The magazine’s whole look has been revamped and I think it looks like a great issue in general.

Relm

The yarn I chose for this is a new one and fantastic – “Aran” by Stacy Charles is a wonderful tweeded-out (tricked-out?) 100% cashmere that has awesome drape. The hat is as light as a feather and super warm, which was just the combo I was looking for on this one.

Relm

A quick word about the weight of the yarn: Aran is considered a worsted weight yarn because of it’s suggested gauge of 4.5 sts to the inch, but remember that cashmere yarns really sing when they’re knit up less densely than other fibers… hence, the yarn looks thinner than a worsted (it is) even though the gauge is the same. Does that make sense, or have I confused the issue further? Anyway, it’s really lovely stuff… and did I mention the drape??

Relm

The issue hits news stands in December – but they seem to always start popping up early. The specs of the whole issue will go live on Knit.1′s site on Monday, so be sure to check out what the other bloggers have served up.

Relm

I feel like I can’t shut up about the cold weather, but I really love it. Multiple layers of handknitting get to be worn daily – it’s what I spend most of the year waiting for! I hope you’re enjoying it too.

cover.jpg
And enjoy the issue!

A couple of months ago, my roommate got this crazy look in his eye as he was fondling an old project of mine. Inspired, he expressed interest in designing and commissioning a small project for me to create for him. The exchange went something like:

M: “hey jared… i’ve been thinking a lot about a project we could collaborate on, and i’ve decided that it should be a European Carry-All.”
J: “………..(long pause, confused expression) um, a what??”
M: “A European Carry-All. You know, a small bag to carry stuff around, just a couple of things. Cause you know i hate having things in my pockets all day.”
J: “Oooooh… you mean a Man Purse? A Murse.”
M: “No, not a Man Purse….. a European Carry-All.”
J: “uhhh…. right. Yeah sure we could do something like that…….”

Weeks later, after many hours of resolving “creative differences” … the Murse is complete.


Murse 1


Pattern
: The Murse (My Own)(+ a liberal dose of creative input from M)
Materials: Manos Del Uruguay (Brown), and an Unknown Wool/Alpaca blend (Tan) (Yarn band was promptly thrown away upon purchase by said Roommate) 1 ball of each.
Needles: US 6, 8, 9 (Bamboo Straights)
Completed: late June 2006
Measurements: didn’t take exact measurements. Its sized to fit a large pair of ‘studio’ headphones and mp3 player and wallet snugly.
The Strap: A 4-piece braid. I used 4 long strands of Manos held double. Its much less stretchy than a knitted strap, and I like the look.

 

Murse Back
the backside panel
Lessons Learned: Be wary of collaborating on a design project with a non-knitter. In this case, knowing the limitations of the craft is VERY important (even on such a seemingly simple project… you’d be surprised).

Other notes? Basketweave stitch sucks ass and takes forever. Although I can’t deny that it looks freakin’ awesome when completed. This project did drag on much longer than I anticipated because of this stitch (cable crossing every pair of stitches on every row, RS and WS).

Was it worth it? Of course. You should see how much he adores this thing. Its really entertaining.

Murse 3 Murse 2

Short notes on other things
: Sweater progress has been stunted because of the heat. Sweater projects have grown too large to drape over the lap. I’m in search of something small to keep me busy, but not a lot of knitting is happening in general. This should change over the weekend.

some random updating.

here’s a detail shot of the progress on Ene’s Scarf. chart 1 and 2 are shown completed, and i think i was about 6 or 8 rows into chart 3 in this picture. its not much to see but its on its way and finally starting to go a little faster. i’m planning on getting a bunch of work done on it this weekend. hopefully it will start taking shape as a more cohesive piece.


2 fellow knitters and i are starting a “chain scarf” project in an effort to bust us some stash. three 6 foot scarves to be made in total (between the three of us). each knitter knits up one foot before passing their current to the next person. you start your own, therefore establishing the width that all guages thereafter must adhere to, also setting the tone for color choices, textures, etc. (CLARIFICATION: whatever scarf you originally start, you receive in th end) i started mine with some old green wool that i picked up at a street market when i was living in rome. i have no idea what it is, i wasn’t into saving labels at that time…. anyway, i’d wanted to give herringbone a shot and it is a lot of fun! it also makes for a super dense fabric that, despite being all knit on one side and all purl on the other, doesn’t curl! thats enough for me to get excited. here’s my first swatch. i’ll try and keep you all posted on the progress of our little swap.

 

Herringbone Chain Scarf
have a relaxing, fiber-filled weekend all! i’m crossing my fingers that i get a lot of knitting time in.