technical textiles + new seashell scripted knits

In April here in Berlin, I threw a little textile art show and event with talks and workshops called technical textiles. Thanks to everyone who shared art for the show, threw workshops, and came by and saw some examples of modern uses of older knitting machines and computer scripted hand embroidery. Pictured here below is the gallery show during Martin Schneider’s Turtlecraft Embroidery Workshop.


For the show I managed to finish two new pieces with scripted images from algorithmic based seashell generative designs. The first was an orange and blue stole, Cymbiola Vespertilio 00, and the second a black and white stole, Cymbiola Vespertilio 01. The name Cymbiola Vespertilio refers to the mollusk’s shell that is modeled with the software algorithm, the mollusk is also known as the bat volute. The two stoles are pictured here below hanging in the technical textiles show at etib here in Berlin alongside a knit portrait by Veronika Persché.

On June 19th, 2013 I gave a talk at the Humboldt Universität here in Berlin on Knitting machine hacking, in English. You can watch a video of the talk and a hands-on demo with my hacked KH930 knitting machine here on youtube. A video piece about me also about knitting machine hacking (and the orchidarium, now with released source code) appeared in German on Elektrischer Reporter on June 27th, 2013, on the ZDF Info tv channel; the online video is here.

summer knit top inspiration

pringle spring 2007 inspiration

[above: pringle spring 2007 ready to wear, photo: marcio madeira]

though i’m not a big fan of the yellow+gray trend for the spring/summer, i am a big fan of gray on its own. i am not sure if i will just try to make a very drapey tank top out of the bamboo i bought at la droguerie or if i will try to pair a drapey knit with a satiny or organza fabric lining. in any case gray is a great trend and it feels very summery to me especially paired with an airy, crisp pair of light colored pants or a skirt. i tend to wear black all year round, but sometimes i do like to bust out some light colors and play glinda the good witch.

bamboo in blue and khaki

[above: 100% bamboo from la droguerie, below: calvin klein spring 2007 ready to wear, photo: marcio madeira]

calvin klein spring 2007 inspiration

green, as in gross

Betsey Johnson fall 2007 ready to wear

Fall 2007 fashion shows have come and gone, but there are a few things I would have rather not seen from the designers. The onslaught of black, while tedious at times, was classy compared to some of the hues of green and yellow designers chose. The kelly mohair or angora number above by Betsey Johnson is really tame compared to Prada’s vomit-inducing green skirt/olive socks combo topped by the drab grey, shapeless cardigan pictured below. I love green, please don’t make me change my mind.

Prada fall 2007 ready to wear

While Dries Van Noten’s previous collections were probably an inspiration for the somber Fall 2007 palette seen from other designers, Mr. Van Noten barfed up the yellow number pictured below.

ew yellow

Black as Night, with Mutton Sleeves

6267 fall 2007 ready to wear

[Designer: 6267, Fall 2007 ready to wear, Photo: Marcio Madeira, Model: Yana Karpova]

Fall 2007 fashion shows hit the spectators with a big splash of color — well a big dose of black to be precise. Most of my closet is black, I do after all have a degree in classical music performance. Many nights of my week used to be on stage in all black and even after all those years, I still have a knack for sifting through a rack and pulling off only black. Despite my closet’s penchant for dressing me like a goth girl, I wasn’t prepared for the plethora of black for Fall 2007. The mutton-chop-sleeved monstrosity pictured above is a don’t, as is the cabled hugeness pictured below:

Burberry Prorsum fall 2007 ready to wear

[Designer: Burberry Prorsum, Fall 2007 ready to wear, Photo: Marcio Madeira, Model: Freja Beha Erichsen]

So much for my dream of finding some inspiration for a hand knit sweater for next fall from the fashion shows. Neither Pringle’s cabled yoke nor Cavalli’s crossed wrap with poofed out half sleeves do it for me either.

Pringle of Scotland fall 2007 ready to wear
Just Cavalli fall 2007 ready to wear

[L to R, Designer: Pringle of Scotland, Fall 2007 ready to wear, Photo: Marcio Madeira, Model: Sasha Pivovarova; Designer: Just Cavalli, Fall 2007 ready to wear, Photo: Marcio Madeira, Model:
Catherine McNeal]

There is one piece from the fashion shows that I keep coming back to again and again: Zac Posen’s black ruffled jacket. If only someone had done one up in knitwear, oh wait, Cavalli did show something similar but in a sort of frumpy, shapeless, lace weight mohair.

Zac Posen fall 2007
Just Cavalli fall 2007 ready to wear

[L to R, Designer: Zac Posen, Fall 2007 ready to wear, Photo: Marcio Madeira, Model: Inguna Butane; Designer: Just Cavalli, Fall 2007 ready to wear, Photo: Marcio Madeira, Model: Emina Cunmulaj]

I guess the bottom line is, I should go inspire myself because frankly there isn’t all that much to work with as far as Fall 2007 trends and knitwear trends in particular. I’m sure I can dream up something black, minus the mutton.