High Jinks and Hidden Gems

Performance knitting was added to my CV at the end of last month! I answered a call to join the International Knitting Circle associated with the experimental rock band 'faUSt'. I've enjoyed their music for about 40 years and they were playing just round the corner from my house so of course it seemed like the obvious thing to do.

When I arrived at the gig it turned out that Edinburgh had mustered a circle of one knitter - me! Just as well since the stage was very full of gear.  I sat at the front of the stage for the full set, knitting a hat and being a focus of calm for the audience if the rest of the show was overwhelming!  Here's a photo from the gig, taken by Mike Calder.

As you can see, faUSt don't just use conventional musical instruments!  It was huge fun and I'd be up for doing it again if the opportunity arises.

 Hidden Gems is the jewellery exhibition at Coburg House this month.  I'm taking part with a new collection of felt pieces as one of 17 …

How to get your hands on Knot Unknot stuff this Christmas season!

Christmas shopping season is upon us again but I'm taking the Christmas selling easy. This year has been particularly busy with family events, Botanica Mathematica exhibits and a conference talk so I haven't lined up any art or craft fair stalls. If you want my work you'll have to come to Coburg House, 15 Coburg Street, Leith, Edinburgh on a weekend in December.
Open Studiosis 2 and 3 December 11am-5pm with and opening night on 1 December 6pm-9pm. I'll have the full range of my work on show in the studio and if there's space I'll demonstrate the hacked knitting machine. Almost all of the artists at Coburg House will open theirs doors to the public. There'll be an exhibition and the shop on the ground floor as well as a couple of pop-up cafes.  Set aside a good few hours to see all four floors of studios.Hidden Gems is jewellery exhibition in the Coburg House Gallery for the remaining weekends in December i.e. Saturdays and Sundays 9-24 December 11am-4pm, w…

Knot Unknot has a shop at last!

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!

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!

[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!

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!

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!