Monday, March 28, 2011

Let's Celebrate!

So far, responses to Astounding Knits!: 101 Spectacular Knitted Creations and Daring Feats have been so enthusiastic that I decided to create this new site, to celebrate. As we count down to the book's official pub date of April 11 (although please note: it's actually available on Amazon right this very minute! Just click on the link, above), I'll be hosting a virtual exhibit of work by the artists and craftspeople featured throughout the pages, with updates about once a week. I'm also giving away two free copies of the book, so contact me to win! Be sure to write ASTOUNDING! in the re: line.

And now, without further ado, I'll get this celebration started.

One of the first ASTOUNDING things I ran across when I started researching this book was a project by Dutch artists Evelien Verkerk and Jan ter Heide called "The Knitted Landscape." In their travels around the world, the duo knitted small, beautiful objects like mushrooms and tulips and stones, and photographed them set amid various landscapes with little tags attached to congratulate whomever would happen to find them. It was the exhibition of the photographs that eventually comprised the "art" of the project, but it was the unexpected cheerfulness of the handmade objects themselves that captured my heart; even today I hope against hope that I will be an (increasingly unlikely) discoverer.

A mushroom in the fields of Cicmany, Slovakia. Photo by Rasto Meliska
At Diamond Hill, Connemara National Park. Photo by Jan ter Heide and Evelien Verkerk.

A knitted cairn atop a rock outcropping at Kylemore Lough, Connemara. Photo by Jan ter Heide and Evelien Verkerk.

Other knitters with naturalist leanings are Nancy Mellon and Corrine Bayraktaroglu, who in 2007-08 began yarnbombing a pear tree in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The project, titled "Knit Knot Tree," soon took on a life of its own, with knitters from far and wide sending in swatches to stitch further up the trunk, or stopping by to leave messages and poems inside its knitted pockets. Since being interviewed for the book, Nancy and Corrine have bombed two more local trees, and started a blog talk radio show called "Bits & Bobs with the JafaGirls." 

The original: "Knit Knot Tree," in situ.

"Snowflake Tree."

"The Queen of Hearts." All photos by Corrine Bayraktaroglu and Nancy Mellon.
Finally today, an update on the work of Tatyana Yanishevsky, a few of whose biologically correct flowers from ASTOUNDING KNITS I recently featured  in my newsletter. Well, she's knit some more, and is also featured in the Spring issue of Fiber Arts Magazine. If you happen to be in San Jose this coming summer, check out some of her work in the exhibit "Primary Structures" at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

"Peach Fish."

"Simple (Fins)."

"The Sad Truth." All photos by Karen Philippi.