Posts

New Social Media Policy!

I'm cutting back my social media presence. Instead I'm aiming to reinvigorate website at www.madeleineshepherd.co.uk and to use the built-in shop facility there.
Best places to find me are Twitter @madeleines and Instagram @knotunknot. Occasional posts will still appear here. I'm only going to check Facebook once a day and may not interact much. Pictures sent in via Instagram might appear on my Knot Unknot page more often but I won't be logged in. Folksy shop will be updated from time to time. Updates will be announced on Twitter, Instagram and FB page. Etsy account will only be used for purchasing.  I've closed LinkedIn, Ello and Pinterest accounts.  I seem to be stuck with Google stuff (e.g. Google+ and GoogleHangouts) if I want to use their email, blogging and cloud storage. I don't plan to visit them though. Finally,  if want to get direct mail newsletters about Knot Unknot and other plans and projects, sign up to my mailing list here.

Knot Unknot has a shop at last!

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Not a bricks and mortar shop but an online presence for people who can't get to events and exhibitions. I've stocked it with two kinds of needle-felted brooches to get started - Bauhaus-inspired geometric collection and a range using upcycled Fair Isle knitting. Click through any of the images below to visit the shop.

I'll be adding more stock over the summer - action painting silk scarves, knitted pictorial wall hangings, shawls, wraps and more textile jewellery, basically anything I make that  you don't need to try on to see if it fits!  Hope you like what you see.

Botanica Mathematica goes back to its roots!

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Exciting news! The Botanica Mathematica project is heading to Dundee for the whole of June as part of the centenary celebrations of D'Arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form. The newly classified collection of Binary Bonsai be on display in the most appropriate setting imaginable.

Thompson wrote On Growth and Form in 1917, inspiring the field of mathematical biology and a host of artists later in the 20th century.  His collection of zoological specimens in housed in the University of Dundee along side a permanent collection of related artwork.

Julia Collins and I started working on Botanica Mathematica in 2013 with Thompson's ideas in mind.  We wanted to explore simple, mathematical rules that would generate botanical forms using textile craft processes. We came up with a few ideas, some based on the way early computer graphics simulated plant growth. Binary Bonsai, L-system Fibonacci Flowers, Hyperbolic Kelp and Chanterelles were the result. All of these can be knitted or cro…

The giving season!

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[update: One scarf sold this season so I decided to pay it forward and made a donation of £95 instead of £9.50.  The scarves will go on sale again later in the year and if I sell more than ten I'll donate again.]

Yes it's that time again! The time when we arts and crafts folk hope you'll give creative handmade things to your nearest and dearest. I'll be giving back too -  fifteen percent of the sales of my Waterfall Scarves at Open Studios or the Arts Market will be donated to Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) who do life-saving voluntary work providing healthcare in conflict zones, at natural disasters and fighting epidemics around the world.

Hand-dyed yarns make these scarves are unique.  There are lots more colours in the collection than you see in this photo. They come in two sizes - long and narrow or shorter and wider. The fibre content is varied too - some are  traditional wool/nylon sock yarn, some are pure Merino wool and some are a mixture of…

New Year To-Do List - Old Stuff, New Ideas!

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Happy new year from Knot Unknot. I'm not one for seasonal resolutions but I've heard that setting targets is helpful. I think it's more giving hostages to fortune but I shouldn't knock it until I've tried it. To that end, I'm listing a bunch of studio-related stuff I want to get done soon. There's a lot more on the personal to-do list but, well, it's personal!
Exhibitions for Botanica Mathematica
Last autumn Jo and I sorted out all 75 trees in the Botanica Mathematica specimen collection and created taxonomy with species names.  This means the project is finally ready to exhibit so I'm making enquiries with likely hosts this month.  The main things I need for this are time and old-fashioned display cases.Learn to use new equipment
Towards the end of last year I bought some second-hand kit (a ribber for the hacked knitting machine and a linker) and a new overlocker sewing machine.  They all need a bit of setting up and some practice but once they'r…

Live nerdy knitting!

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A quick blog post to let you know that I have a spot at Event Horizon 12. It's Edinburgh's monthly science fiction night and there's music and readings too. The theme of the evening is Star Trek is 50 and I guess I've been a fan for almost as long so expect some trek knits in the slide show at least.  Mostly I'll be talking about  my current projects, Botanica Mathematica and hacked knitting machines.You find  Event  Horizon in the Blind Poet pub on West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh,  starting at 19.30 approximately, on Monday 3 October. Come in and geek out -or you'll forever be a Herbert!

What now?

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Lots of stuff happening  at Knot Unknot these days so here's list.New work being created for summer events includes tuck stitch scarves in silk blend yarns, hand dyed silk scarves, needle felted Harris Tweed brooches  (picture below) and felted crater vessels.Main summer events at Coburg House are our art and craft market 10-12 June and Open Studios 5-7 August.To get ready for Open Studios, I also need to have a big clear out so there will be surplus yarn for sale as well as my work.Last call for contributions to Botanica Mathematica went out recently. At the end of summer we will be classifying the  trees and creating a taxonomy so get those knitting needles clicking.