I've been knitting and crocheting for about ten years now, and have worked as a professional knitwear designer, but I've still never picked up a knitting pattern. Part of it is that I'm too lazy to properly learn and all of the various abbreviations and how to read them. I have found that I prefer reverse engineering garments I see, or improvising as I go along, even if it often requires plenty of experimentation, and means tearing out my stitches and redoing them multiple times. The main reason though is that I have yet to find a pattern that is actually worth following. Most knitting books and kits are devoted to dopey/frumpy grandmother-style knits, or simple basics. If I wanted a no-fuss cardigan, I would save myself the time and buy it at Uniqlo. If I'm making something myself, I'm going to make it personal, and by personal, I mean crazy-looking.
That's why I'm totally in love with the work of Collectif France Tricot, a French knitting group comprised of Emmanuelle Barrère, Solène Couturier, and Céline Lacome-Hulin. Together they create all sorts of knit accessories, dolls, objects, and works of art that are infused with a sense of humor, and represent the endless creative possibilities of the medium. Their projects range from knit prize medals and masks, to clothing for public statues. They've just released a book, and even though it doesn't appear to contain any patterns, it contains plenty of inspiration to keep me improvising. Now I must get back to my latest Rodarte inspired knit project, an intarsia knit cardigan that I'm in the midst of figuring out how to make. I'll keep you posted.
Knit wolf hood and prize medallion
Clothing made for public statues
A knit skateboard and various pieces of knit street art
Knit encased laptop
Wednesday, November 25, 2009