donderdag 18 juni 2009


By: Suzan Russeler

To everything comes an end. After three month living amidst Knitted Worlds me and my colleagues started to tear off the exhibition last Sunday evening. Fragment of a building # 1 was the last work to be deconstructed and Désirée did it herself.

We received many positive reactions on the exhibition from visitors (nearly 15.000 visitors during the exhibition) and press, but also critical comment. Art critics liked the focus on politics, feminism and identity in relation to knitting, but didn´t appreciate that much the variety of works.

While researching I was especially triggered by the richness of issues expressed in works dealing with knitting. Of course, politics and female identity play a central role in quite some art works we presented and maybe these works are most overtly intriguing. However the more poetic, silent pieces, like the dresses of Nanna van Blaaderen to me contrasted in an interesting way with f.e. the subversive, more explicit works of Jimini Hignett, bringing up issues of feminism and politics.

Visitors could make up their mind - for everybody who didn´t had the chance to see the exhibition hopefully the catalogue will be a ´substitute´. All works are wrapped up now, ready to be returned while others like the Sunflowers of Maria Roosen will dream in the depository of our museum until they will be woken up because somebody is longing for them……….

I would like to thank all participating artists, lending parties, the designers Annemarie van den Berg en Cecilia Hendrikx for the design of the exhibition and catalogue, my colleagues, visitors of exhibition and website for being part of Knitted Worlds for some moment.

dinsdag 9 juni 2009

Library treasure VII

By: Jantiene van Elk

This image needs no further comments by me. May be the readers of this blog want to comment?

Nomotta kousen en handschoenen. - Salach, Wtbg : Schachenmayr, Mann & Cie, [s.a.]. (Nomotta serie ; 103.

vrijdag 5 juni 2009

Library treasure VI

By: Jantiene van Elk

'Een zeer gewichtig punt bij het vervaardigen van kunstbreiwerk, is het afwerken der kleedjes, en de rand kan in sommige gevallen een heel eenvoudig kleedje een veel sierlijker en fraaier aanzien geven.'

It´s important to make nice trimmings to your craft work, because it will give your work a finer and more elegant look!

Kunst-breien : 73 nieuwe patronen voor gebreide kanten en kleedjes benevens een technische bescrhijving/ door J. Weinbeck. -Alkmaar : Kluitman, [192?].

dinsdag 2 juni 2009

Interview with an exhibition guide

By: Suzan Russeler

Lately I talked with my colleague Esther van den Borne, who is working as a designer and also as a guide in our museum. Esther was very enthusiastic about Knitted Worlds and her experience with groups.

`I´m happy with this exhibition because it challenges people and triggers them to think. Mostly I give guided tours to high school and art students, or to groups with some special interest. That means that people are reasonably well informed about the subject matter. When you enter the exhibition hall straight ahead you see the artworks of ´knit´ pioneers like Rosemarie Trockel and Elaine Reichek. Some of those works aren´t that easy to read. But, luckily right across of these works there is this very illustrative film of Dave Cole, called The Knitting Machine.

Two excavators, holding enormous knitting needles, move back and forth while the artist himself puts some XL yarn in a loop around the needles, thus knitting the American flag. People like watching this film and immediately understand the interrelation between art and knitting. So that blow up of the act of knitting by Dave Cole is a very good point of reference for other more subtle art works.
This start up of my tour also offers the opportunity to switch from the art aspect to more technical aspects of knitting, material and texture depending on the interest of the group.

The works of Jimini Hignett and Jayne Parker some visitors, mainly elderly or youngsters, experience as quite confronting.

However if you tell them that the works are an artistic reaction on social and artistic issues people can deal with it, discuss it. The funny thing is that they seem to feel relieved they aren´t expected to appreciate the works in terms of beauty.

Photo´s: Joep Vogels (Audax Textielmuseum Tilburg)

vrijdag 29 mei 2009

Designing a Knitwear Collection : from inspiration to finished garments

By: Jantiene van Elk

From sportswear and sweaters to lingerie and couture, knitwear accounts for most of the apparel we wear. (...) Both students and professionals will find inspiration from the gallery of work by knitwear designers on display here - from icons such as Chanel, Sonia Rykiel, and Missoni to today´s hottest practitiones such as Stella McCarthy, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen. (from the back text)

And more: history of the industry, basics of yarn selection, stitch patterns, and CAD programs, etc.

A great book for the Textile museum´s library, interesting for the knitters in the Textile Lab, especially for the textile students. It´s historical and practical!

Designing a knitwear collection : from inspiration to finished garments / Lisa Donofrio-Ferrezza ; Marilyn Hefferen. - New York : Fairchild books, 2008.

dinsdag 26 mei 2009

Social knitting in the UK and Belgium

By: Jantiene van Elk

As librarian, I try to keep up with lots of information for my colleagues. I follow a lot of weblogs and read magazines and journals. I found some interesting posts on art and social knitting in Belgium and in the UK:

First a guerrilla knitting project in Scotland: Luib na Lùban, a new
textile art group in Skye and Lochalsh, invites Scots, ex-pats, Scotophiles and anyone else to take part in an ambitious project to cover the Skye Bridge in knitting!! The Skye Bridge links the Isle of Skye with the mainland in the West Highlands of Scotland.

Toos van Liere wrote me an e-mail to promote her art project artPlastiquefabrique, guerilla knitting with plastic bags. Read her weblog.

The last project I found was on the BCC news: Knitted village of Mersham, a Kent village with 100 features including teenagers smoking in a bus shelter. The model of Mersham, near Ashford, has been knitted by members of the village's 40-strong Afternoon Club over the past 23 years.

Photo: from website, by Axel Claes

woensdag 20 mei 2009

Knitting – For Women Only?

By: Jana Walliser

At first glance, knitting appears to be something only women do. When you think about knitting, you might have that picture of an elderly woman in her rocking chair in your mind, surrounded by her grandchildren wearing nothing but knitted clothes from head to toe.

Today, many young people do not know how to knit. Their hands are used to operating a computer mouse, to typing on a keyboard or to pressing keys. Holding two knitting needles as well as the wool in your hands feels like visiting an Asian restaurant for the first time. Starving and looking at a plate full of rice, you'll have to try and eat your food just using those two chopsticks. Too bad if you are really hungry! There are many people who do not know how to knit. Beginners, in particular, need a lot of time to create their first masterpiece. Stitch by stitch, row by row. You have got to have the right feeling, patience and concentration for this.

But where does all that knitwear which you cannot even tell it was knitted come from? A closer look reveals that there must by high-tech knitting machines capable of knitting even the most complicated patterns in no time. And that's where you find the men! They operate these giant knitters and they see to it that thousands of jumpers and gloves leave their machines ready to be sold. You see, knitting is not for women only and it is not necessarily about handcraft, either, though you might not have guessed that at first.

Kala, the cable lamp which is displayed at the exhibition KNITTED WORLDS, is surrounded by a 5 meter long, knitted tube composed of thousands of meshes. Impossible to knit all of these knitted tubes manually. It is hard to believe in what way those knitting machines are capable of knitting even the smallest meshes – that is simply fascinating!
Kala is available now in the TextielShop of the Textielmuseum.