Background work for creating How long is a piece of string?
On Saturday I collaborated in designing a visual identity for a prototype food sharing platform – a way of reducing food waste and helping food charities / organisations borough-wide – as part of a Made in Lambeth event.
You can read the notes I made about the day over on BrixtonBuzz, or see below for more info about the design process…
I spent Saturday helping design a visual identity for a Brixton Pound (B£) project – a community lottery for Brixton – as part of a (mini) Made in Lambeth event.
You can read the notes I made about the day over on BrixtonBuzz.
For my part, I worked up the logo; we really liked the idea of using the B ‘squared’ in the logo as a way of expressing how the money could be ‘multiplied’ and the idea that a win (or a grant from the community fund) could be a building block, or a step up for whatever plans you have.
Describing the qualities of an object without naming it
This is an exercise we did to really ‘look’ at, or pay close attention to, the shape, texture, quality, material, sound and smell of objects. Ideally this exercise is done with at least two people. In this instance we were nine, so I show an example of a list, a drawing and two objects that I made as a result.
Using a combination of the round-the-clock format (each person contributes for a set period of time – in our case, minutes!) on a series of projects and using prompts from Eno/Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies, we ended up with an unusual collection of pieces. What was useful about this experiment was it forced you to start without thinking too much, and eliminated anyone’s feelings of ‘preciousness’ about it. What was strange was noting the feelings of ownership (or lack thereof) of the work, but also you still got strong sensations of when it was ‘done’. However we still pretty much all ‘added to’ the constructions; not much taking away was done.
I’d been experimenting with movement in one of my sculpture projects, so I was happy to see a ‘Kinetic Drawing Workshop’ come up as part of Jotta’s 3rd birthday celebrations. I’d seen Xiao Fei Dyson’s work at Kinetica earlier in the year too, so I signed up straight away. It took place in Newburgh St, London and was a tiny class so we got a lot of attention! Xiao Fei was a great teacher; full of enthusiasm and eager to pass on that he’d discovered from his working practise.
We’d been asked to bring some battery powered toys to take apart and use but in fact this was probably too ambitious to do in the time given. What was more fun (and effective) was just wiring up a little motor, a battery and a pen to make *really* simple drawing machines. These would change their line and movement quite radically with even the tiniest of adjustments to weight and balance, ie. using matchsticks and tape or gluing extra bits & pieces to the machines.
I was reminded (again!) that it’s generally more constructive to keep things super simple and use the restrictions to push against instead over complicating things and getting in a tangle of frustration.
jotta.com launched in February 2009 in partnership with the University of the Arts London to explore and facilitate collaboration in contemporary art and design.
Photoset on Flickr of collaborative project as part of the 2 To The Power 10 (#210OD) exhibition for the Bloomsbury Festival in association with CASS Art and The British Postal Museum Archive.
I must thrive under pressure cos the idea of this book, a collaborative novel written in 24 hours*, is dead exciting!
And they’re not just looking for potential authors; illustrators and photographers can get involved too, to contribute images to inspire the writers on the theme – based on a group of city centre allotments, ideas of shared and private space and the real and imaginary barriers between a range of different urban characters – or ultimately to go into the book itself.
On their website they mention to use the Ning community to get involved, but so far it needs an invitation – have written to them to get one… fingers crossed one comes my way!
(There *is* another 24 hours on Sunday in which the CompletelyNovel team get to edit everything; I’m hoping to get involved then as – very appropriately! – I’ll be picking apples in a Sussex orchard on Saturday)
Previously I couldn’t get this yarn to knit up without pooling in horrible puddles… Garter stitch however, has solved it and I now have a project to use the remaining ball after the 1 sock incident*…. :)
Have been tagged by Sareth to do the 7 facts about you meme… Never been tagged before, so here goes!
The rules are:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
- I’m an Actionette
- I love knitting but worry that it takes away drawing time
- I’m an only child – there you go Sareth! :)
- I have dreams that go back to, sometimes years later, and can travel from one to another whilst dreaming.
- I’m a terrible procrastinator for no particular reason.
- I *need* 9 hours sleep a night and prefer mornings to evenings. M can go on about 5 hours only and is a night owl… go figure
- I’ve recently tried out Morris Dancing (!!). It’s great fun :)
Well kind of.
I finished the sleeves of the Magnolia jumper, and haven’t yet cast anything else on :)
Next on the list are the blanket squares for Easter craft club – need to do as many of these as poss, but they’ll be more manageable than that other WIP – the Swing Jacket. erk.
In other news; the package for my swap-ee is almost ready to send – yay! Had fun making this knitting needle case (hope I’m not giving away *too* many clues!), and doing it gave me ideas for making a combined needle / project version. I did a bunch of step by step pics, as I always forget the backwards logic when placing the pieces; right side facing, inside out, etc :). At one point this project had 5 layers of fabric in a sewing-sandwich!
Looks like we’ve finally sorted out a space for us to get planting on the allotment, and optimistically I’ve sown a bunch of seeds in readyness on the kitchen windowsill.
Some are things that’ll stay (like the tomatoes – that kept M in red fruit for about 4 months last year!), some will come up the hill with me when the soil is ready…
As there are – ahem – quite a lot of things growing, I did a seed marking chart (you can download the PDF here), to try and keep tabs on them… However as some things – like the sunflowers and purple podded pea* – have already burst their cells and I’ve had to repot them into glamorous loo rolls, I’m not sure if it’ll work…I guess as the plants get bigger I can cut it up and use them as labels, or stick them in my notebook or whatever. Anyhow it looks pretty stuck on the fridge, so it makes me happy… :)
*v. excited by this – it was donated to us by the blanket recipient.. and look how amazing the flowers are.. They change colour by the hour apparently!
Some of the gang are helping out on an allotment – we visited properly for the first time on Sunday for 2 hours of mattocking!
When we went up before it was just for a chat and a mooch around… saw a robin and a fat ginger cat and heard about the cheeky foxes that’ll nick your gloves if you leave them lying about.
This time H had plans for us to re-dig over the patch from last week and get the soil ready for spring… I’ve got the feeling digging features for about a quarter of the gardening year. :)
It’s a good feeling a: helping someone sort out thir plot and b: planning for our own little patch in the future. There are a ton of brambles up there so there could be Blackberry jam in the autumn… speaking of which; Ginger, Oxford and regular marmalade was made in the afternoon… once we’d divided it up there was only one jar each of the Ginger one – will have to make more as it is delicious!
Thank you Fi – for the lovely things in my last – sniff – Secret Pal 8 parcel.. it has been fun waiting for the post, interesting getting stuff from Sweden, and now I have a new blog to read too!
‘Fab stuff from Fi’ included:
- 3 skeins of perfect pink alpaca
- 2 bars of delicious chocolate
- 2 lil sheep buttons
- 2 skeins of a blue-green mohair blend..
- some sweet mini knitting needles – pink!
Thanks for being a great Secret Pal – hope we can stay in touch…
The lovely B wrote to me via Flickr to see if I’d do a swap with her in Australia… She wanted one of these cupcakes, and as it’s always interesting to see stuff from other countries, we included some yarn, homemade things, fabric and patterns as part of the swap…
Am thrilled with the things she sent:
- Cherry Ripe (eaten – yum! have never had that before.. kind of a dark chocolate bounty with cherries in it..)
- Handmade pincushion, tape measure cover, tissue holder and cuff – so cute!
- A Jo Sharp book – Eclectic… also some tiny books about other Jo Sharp yarns that include patterns too.. such a cool idea :)
- Some freezer paper – have been keen to try out making stencils with this..
- some lovely fabric
and I think she is happy with the stuff I sent over to her too – a good swap! :)
A question posed to us by the SP8 hostesses:
Hmm… I was just going through it yesterday and somehow it has jumped from being under control to ‘arghhh.. I can’t shut the lid of the box I could never imagine filling…’ :)
So while it would be a pain, it would get rid of all the odds and ends that I don’t think I’ll ever get around to using, but can’t bear to just sling out; the ‘learning’ yarns – colours / thicknesses I would never pick out now… The single skeins of beautiful yarn bought thinking I could make something out of just 50m of it – not paying attention to shade / lot number before ripping off the labels…
I would miss the Colinette sale yarns (Prism / Mohair) as they were a good bargain! and also my Rowan Yorkshire / Felted Tweed.
Actually losing the books and patterns collected from various magazines would annoy me more. Seems like more hard work to start that over again… The book I refer to over and over (so I suppose would be the first replace) is the Harmony guide to knitting and also Vintage Knits (Sarah Dallas) and Vintage Style (Rowan).
Needles? I wouldn’t replace the short circs I have as I now can cope (just!) with dpns as long as I use bamboo, and I probably wouldn’t miss the larger size needles, as I tend to use 8mm and below more often…
And anyhow it would be a good excuse to go yarn shopping all over again! (yarn *is* covered by household insurance right?)
What will they think of next? Cod Cotton? Barnacle Bamboo? my SP assures me the name only refers to the town it is from in Sweden – no fishies went into the making of this wool! :)
I also received some chocolate (eaten), a rose candle and some sparkly wool (not coming out til Christmas!) thank you SP…
Just got an email from my secret pal, and how nice it feels! I’d kind of only thought about getting in touch with my secret pal-ee, wondering how I’d get to know them so as to send them things they’d appreciate – but aww.. it’s so nice someone doing that for you too… [waves] :)
Despite looking very dead over the winter my Clematis Montana survived to have hundreds of pretty white flowers… yay! for spring…. We went over the visit Mika, the newest of my friends’ babies to be born (that spring thing again..) and made her some ‘left & right’ bootees..
Ok, here are some of the answers to the questionnaire for Secret Pal 8 (so excited about doing this – always saw other people participating and now I am too!!)
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Favourite yarn? hmmmm…I think I like most yarns – I love tweedy ones (with fresh colours) and am always keen to try out some new ones (bamboo? how does that work?!…). I really don’t like plain acrylic – I don’t wear it and there’s that particular red that just makes me on edge!. However I’ve knitted happily with acrylic mixes (ones you don’t realise *are* acrylic!) or yarns that incorporate the 100% fake, ie a bit of ribbon, glitter etc… I tend to go for how a yarn feels… I’ve yet to find a pure cotton I like to knit with… it splits, it hurts your hands (but it looks so pretty when it’s done!)
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A tin! On my to-do list is to make a needle roll (especially for circs as they get tangled) but, is has been on that to-do list for *a while*
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learnt from my granma when I was little, but I pulled too tight, my hands were too hot, I gave up… then started again say about 4 years ago and have made a jumper, lace shawl, bootees etc so umm… a learning intermediate? :)
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
5. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Eglantine, Lilac, Vetiver, Rose, am addicted to the smell of Smitten (but haven’t found any other almondy type scented things that don’t smell too marzipan-y). Anything in this scent… Don’t like vanilla though.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Sour sweets, ones with cool packaging, dark chocolate, licorice, peppermints!
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I love making things! sewing is become more interesting / less scary to me!.. Keen to make a start on crewel after reading this book..haven’t spun but would give it a go maybe…Oh and maybe amigurumi too…
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
argh – this question is so hard…. it depends if I’m dancing just out and about, dancing with the actionettes, or just listening… ok random stuff I have just listened to recently: Erland Oye, Phillip Glass, Cat Power, The Modern Lovers, Talking Heads, Radio 4 (BBC radio station, not the band!), Portico Quartet, The Be Good Tanyas, Sam Cooke, Antony & The Johnsons, The Streets, Fela Kuti, The Blow Up cd, King Sunny Ade… er.. is that enough?
9. What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can’t stand?
No favourite colour but do tend to go for things in groups of colours: pinks / oranges or greens / yellows… and then they might have a weird accent colour added too… Not a huge fan of grey / beige / brown / pastels but they can look great when used with a bright pink / green / sky blue… I am a pattern nut – plain stocking stitch looks great but bores me… I will go for something like this or this (if I had the patience!)
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Living in a flat with M, we have no pets / babies / car but a balcony, bikes and views!
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wish London got colder during the winter as there are probably only a few weeks when you really need the whole hat, scarf, glove combo… I do like them though… verdict is still out on ponchos – would be keen to make a kind of spring / summer version for chilly evenings though…
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Anything I think! The bootees were a revelation – they knit up all in one go! only one teeny back seam to sew!. Also I discovered log-cabin knitting, that’s pretty cool… Socks I have to re-visit… I took the swatch, what swatch? route and ended up with a wellington boot size sock – I gave up…. :)
13. What are you knitting right now?
A cardi made from Colinette Prism, a diamond tank-top made from Rowan Felted Tweed…. Actually that’s pretty good – only two projects on the go! ah no – I just remembered… the Orangina top too…
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes! I think it is so lovely that someone has taken the time to make something especially for someone else…. yay!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
straight wood, addi turbo circs, bamboo dpns… have you seen these?! Aesthetically I love multicoloured plastic ones but they are a bit bleurgh to knit with…
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
17. How did you learn to knit?
See above: 3 but a: granma b: books/ internet c: craft club!
18. How old is your oldest UFO?
A year? This one took a year, but I learned a lot 1: swatch, swatch and swatch again 2: buy an extra ball than you need in case it *does* take you so long that in fact they stop making the colour you’re after!
19. What is your favorite holiday?
Spring and summer holidays… oh like Christmas or something? Well all of them I guess! Halloween I can go without… Easter, yay! Bonfire night, yip! Seaside holidays are best of all (this is British seaside btw – big waves, windswept walks along cliffs, ice cream, rock pools to explore for hours, water so cold it makes you gasp!)
20. Is there anything that you collect?
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I’d like to try out Lamb’s Pride so I can make the Fairly Easy Fair Isle, oh and I got one ball of Jo Sharp’s Silkroad DK Tweed from New York and I’d love to give that another go – for some reason nowhere in the UK stocks this..I subscribe to Rowan, but look at Knitty, Interweave Knits, Knitscene (new issue out in June, people!), Vogue Knitting, Rebecca, Knit 1 etc when I can get hold of them… Would like to take a look at some Phildar stuff too…
22. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
It’s always good to learn new stuff, but there’s nothing specific at the mo’…
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I had a disaster with the last (one!) I made but will give it a go again, if only I could get rid of the ladders that happen between each dpn… this happened even when I pulled the first stitch of the next needle nice and tight.. :(
Anyhow foot measurements – It’s the length of your foot and circumference just behind your toes tight? ok, L: 27cm / 10 and a half inches, c: 23cm / 9 inches
24. When is your birthday?