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Freddie Robbins: Conrad

Freddie Robins: Conrad

I’ve just watched a presentation by Freddie Robins, subversive master knitter from the UK. She teaches at the Royal College of Art in London, and does wonderfully “wrong” things with knitting. One of her pieces uses an aleatory system for deciding what to knit. She has promised that she will send a description of her system so that I can blog it.

Knitting is very obviously a generative art. Keep in mind that Jaquard’s card-controlled Loom was an inspiration to Babbage’s work on computing machines. Even though ruled by patterns, repetition and large machines, the world of knitting is traditionally female-dominated. While potentially high-tech (through the use of computer-controlled knitting machines), knitting is often a comfortingly lo-fi activity, with great potential for human expression and humor (as Freddie’s work shows…)

And if you think the comparison to programming is phony, have a look at Freddie’s pattern for the Conrad glove: Knit a Work of Art from a Free Pattern. It looks a lot harder than programming cellular automata…

Another project dealing with knitting as a source of subversion and mischief is Cat Mazza’s MicroRevolt, which has the great KnitPro application for translating digital images into knit, needlepoint, x-stitch and crochet patterns.

28 Responses to “Freddie Robins: Knitwear gone bad (in the best possible way)”
1. paul, October 5th, 2005 at 17:10

hehe, ‘Knit a Work of Art from a Free Pattern – It looks a lot harder than programming cellular automata…’ :)

Marius you may be interested in “Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane’ a slightly more mathematical stance with crochet needles….

‘hyperbolic space is a geometric form found in the crenellation of lettuce leaves, the anatomy of sea slugs, and the shape of the physical cosmos.

2. lucia, October 5th, 2005 at 17:10

Interestingly, I linked to an article about the Jaquard loom at my knitting blog today!

3. watz, October 6th, 2005 at 11:10

Hi Lucia, I just blogged your list of pattern generators.

As for hyperbolic knitting, I for one am not about to attempt such a thing, fun that it might seem…

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