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Twist Collective Blog

Twist About: Artist Andy Holden at the Tate Britain

From January to April 2010, artist Andy Holden will be displaying a giant knitted rock as part of Tate Britain’s Art Now program of contemporary displays. Never before shown in the UK, Pyramid Piece 2009 is a vastly enlarged replica of a small Egyptian stone fragment, created from knitted yarn and foam over a steel support. It will be on display alongside a companion film work, Return of the Pyramid Piece 2008, and a collection of tourist souvenirs, In Place of an Ending (Pyramid Souvenirs, Second Visit) 2008.



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Holden’s practice is driven by an investigation into the relationship between stories and objects. While on a trip to Egypt as a young boy, he took home a small lump of rock from the pyramid of Cheops in Giza. Over a period of 13 years the object came to embody the artist’s sense of guilt, until he decided to travel back to Egypt and return it to the exact spot from which it was taken. A shaky amateur video, filmed by a man Holden met in a café and enlisted to help him, documented this mission and became the film Return of the Pyramid Piece 2008. The transformation of this rock from building material to historical relic to stolen souvenir is contrasted with a collection of more conventional pyramid merchandise, entitled In Place of an Ending (Pyramid Souvenirs, Second Visit) 2008, which use similarly small, solid objects to suggest a variety of multi-layered stories and histories.



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After returning from his pilgrimage to Egypt, Holden set about creating a giant knitted replica of his stolen fragment. Working from paintings, diagrams, models and notes made before the trip, Holden’s colossal reproduction embodies the emotional importance of this tiny rock. The scale of the resulting work, Pyramid Piece 2009, seeks to convey the wide-eyed, awestruck feeling that Holden experienced during his first encounter with the pyramids. The laborious, repetitive process of knitting could also be seen as an absurd work of penance for the artist’s theft, or even as a scaled-down recreation of the mass labor it took to build the pyramids in the first place, with each woollen stitch or block of stone charting the time it took to construct the whole. This complex, millennia-spanning narrative becomes a kind of parable. At once charmingly quixotic and boldly monumental, it explores how we understand our place in the world through the objects that surround us.



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Andy Holden was born in Bedford in 1982. He graduated from Goldsmith’s College in 2005 and now lives and works in Bedfordshire. Holden has exhibited widely, including recent solo shows at Hidde Van Seggelen, London; Works/Projects, Bristol and Kunstfort Vijfhuizen, Netherlands, and will be curating a music festival at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge in September 2010.

The Art Now program at Tate Britain reflects the latest happenings in contemporary British art. Supported by Tate Patrons, it consists of a regular series of exhibitions, designed to demonstrate the quality and variety of new art in the UK.

Art Now: Andy Holden
Pyramid Piece and Return of the Pyramid Piece


9 January – 10 April 2009
Tate Britain, Level 2
Supported by Tate Patrons
Open every day 10.00-17.50, first Friday of every month open until 22.00
Admission free

Twist Collector: Irmgard

This edition of Twist Collectors features the work of Irmgard, (ravelry name, interknitty) who is a skilled knitter from Germany.

She didn't have a lot to add to her project notes, but I do think her knitting speaks for itself.

Of Robin Melanson's Stormsvale she wrote: "When I saw the new edition of twist collective I knew at once that I had to knit Stormsvale. I already had the contrasting colours [as hat leftovers] in stash."


Irmgard_stormsvale


Irmgards_stormsvale


She recently finished this delicious version of Gudrun Johnson's Vaila in Malabrigio, Frank Ochre. Irmgard wrote "As always with twist collective, the Vaila pattern is very well written and was fun to knit."


irmgard_vaila


She knit Marnie MacLean's Lily, and although she found the bobble method in the pattern left her with a small hole, she found a method that worked for her knitting style, and ended up with a lovely sweater.


irmgard_lily


Irmgard also personalized Ysolda Teague's Vine Yoke (and who hasn't?) to get a smaller yarn to match up with a pattern she had to knit.  She lengthened the body and arms, but after it all she concluded "Perhaps I should have followed the pattern without modifications. I like it all the same!"


irmgard_vineyoke


No Twist collection would be complete without a version of Wisteria by Kate Gilbert. Irmgard wrote "The ideal sweater: A beautiful pattern, fun to knit and warm for our frosty january!"



irmgard_wisteria


For Connie Chang Chinchio's Broderie, she played with the length of the sweater, and stabilized the front edge with a row of single crochet.


irmgard_broderie


And for Kelmscott, she wrote: 

"A beautiful pattern — I love the lace pattern and the collar! . . . This is not an easy pattern — the lace is patterned on both right and wrong side, it requires a lot of finishing and I had difficulties getting the crocheted button covers right." Oh, Irmgard, if only you had Carol's button tutorial to help(scroll down two posts from here).


irmgard_kelmscott


Thank you Irmgard, for letting me share your beautiful knitting with Twist readers. 

Style Notebook, featuring Sarabande

I remain intrigued by the wardrobe potential for Kristen TenDyke's Sarabande. We shot it for the magazine with a grand ball skirt in a luxurious lair, but I would probably get a lot more use out of it with a pair of jeans. Here's I would wear it, over a striped top with snow boots and a fun satchel. I apologize if the price of the bag throws you off, but this is fantasy after all.


Sarabande Sunday




Kelmscott: Crochet Buttons Tutorial


carol_sunday

by Carol Sunday, originally posted to her blog, Sunday Knits.


For button covers, start with a slip knot again; this counts as the first chain. Keep it loose — it'll need to be. Chain 3 more.
Connect the circle by slip stitching into that first chain.


chain4  close_ch4



Expand the circle by slip-stitching 3 more times into the same chain. Slip stitch 2 into each of the next 3 chains, slip stitch 2 into the next stitch. Continue increasing according to pattern instructions until there are 16 sts.
The crocheted disc should be nice and flat.


flat_button_disc


After slip stitching a full round and doing a few decreases ((skip 1 slip stitch 1) five times), insert button into cap. I used a flat button with holes big enough for my tapestry needle.



flat_button


Once the button is inside, it's easier to hook the stitch from its top than its bottom.



closebutton


Keep decreasing until there are 5 stitches left in the round. Cut yarn, pull through, and sew the button on, sewing it far enough from the edge to avoid gaping. Allow for a 3/4" to 1" overlap.



endbutton

As you've come this far, the only thing left is to wear and enjoy!


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Kelmscott: Crochet Trim Tutorial

carol_sunday

by Carol Sunday, originally posted to her blog, Sunday Knits.

tutorial photographs by Robert Sunday


I've always liked the look of crocheted trim and buttons on a sweater — traditional in a very charming sort of way, so it seemed like a pretty way to finish off my Kelmscott sweater.


kelmscot1


Crocheted edges also add some firmness to an edge and help keep it from stretching out.

I'm no expert when it comes to crochet, but that doesn't keep me from adding a little, because it's not all that difficult. For the rest of you non-crocheters, here's a little tutorial.


slst_trim1

For a slip stitch (sl st) edge, start with a slip knot and place on hook. Insert hook into a knitted stitch at the bottom of the right front edge.


slst_trim2  slst_trim3

I'm not sure if it's standard to insert into a whole stitch or into just the outside leg of a stitch, but I get the nicest looking edge by going into just one leg. One row will have a long easy leg; the next will have a short bundled — and not so easy — leg.


slst_yo  draw_through

As with knitting, a crochet stitch can be made by throwing or picking. Picking may be more efficient, but I'm a thrower. Wrap the yarn in front of the hook, pull the loop down through the knitted stitch then through the stitch on the hook.

For this sweater, I used a hook that's small for this weight of yarn, which makes it slow going, but does tighten up the edge nicely.


btnhole1  btnhole2

At the buttonhole marker, end the stretch of slip stitches with a short leg — it's firmer; make a chain as follows: yo, hook the yarn, drawing it through the loop; repeat 7 times.



buttonloop1  buttonloop2


Reinsert into the next short leg, and resume slip stitch.


Stay tuned for how to make the lovely crochet buttons.

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