Wednesday, August 3, 2011

how to make a knitter happy

 This weekend I had a great trip to Copenhagen. I especially wanted to visit this exhibition:
So glad I did, it is really something to travel for.. If you are not in Copenhagen this summer, I guess these gorgeous blankets will be shown in other parts of the world. They certainly are worth it. Thanks to Johanna av Steinum these knitted pieces of art could inspire knitters anywhere.
The works are some kind of mix between knitting and quilting. The way the material is used, reminds me of the way you plan to work a rag rug - actually using "rags".
The photo is an antique runner from Sweden. I borrowed it from this shop.
To make a rug like this, you have to have all your rags ready, make a plan, spread the colors. Just like the old quilts.
A place like this it is good for you to sit down for a while for reflections. I rested on one of these felted rock cushions by the South African designer Ronel Jordaan.
This blanket was my favorite.
 From the website:

Faroese knit: art and design exhibits the first knitted artworks from the Faroe Islands, created by Katrina Maria Hansen (Mia) from 1960-1975, and the most recent knitted fashion design by Jóhanna av Steinum.

 As an outsider on the Faroese art scene, K.M. Hansen´s work was discovered by coincidence by knitwear designer Jóhanna av Steinum. Although K.M.Hansen´s artwork was unkown, her skills as a knitter, especially jumpers for the Faroese costume was well acclaimed. In 2007, Jóhanna av Steinum was writing a university thesis about the Faroese costume, and it was in connection to this that Jóhanna av Steinum visited and interviewed the experienced knitter. Steinum accidently found the artwork hidden away in Mia´s home. She immediately knew that she had come across something unique and understood right away that it deserved to be exhibited and preserved.

To use knitting for purposes other than clothing production was highly unusual in the Faroe Islands until in recent years. Knitting was used for functional purposes and for practical use, never in an artful way with purely an aesthetic purpose. To create patterns and combine colors, the way Mia did, was completely unheard of at the time.

Jóhanna av Steinum is a young Faroese fashion designer, where she designs fashion often inspired by Faroese traditional patterns. In recent years, she has been one of the head designers for the Faroese label SIRRI. In addition, Jóhanna av Steinum has exhibited her own works and given lectures and workshops about design and knitting in many countries.

Jóhanna av Steinum was so inspired by Katrina Maria Hansen that she designed a fashion collection based on her knitted artwork.  This exhibition is therefore an interaction between the original works of Katrina Maria Hansen (1913-2010) and the contemporary design of Jóhanna av Steinum. The first knitted Faroese artworks, side by side with the most recent knitted fashion design.

Katrina Maria Hansen died in 2010 at the age of 96, just before the exhibition was realized, so she did not experience the acclaim and attention for her works in connection to this exhibition.  

Before I left the exhibition I worked two rows of the knitting on the ladder. Yarn: three threads fingering wool,held together. Needles: broomsticks.


  1. I have often wondered about the possibility of knitting a patched quilt ... now I know you can!

  2. Mette how gorgeous these works of art are - is that blanket you like worked in garter stitch? So beautiful, you do seem to get to lots of wonderful displays.

  3. wow! What a great exhibition! And how cool is it that you got to contribute 2 rows!

  4. Det var en spændende udstilling, meget inspirerende! Den strikkede quilt kunne jeg godt blive smittet af, meget smukt!
    Tak for en god og uddybende "netudstilling".
    Jeg tror der kommer til at ske meget spændende mht strik på Færøerne og Island i de kommende år.
    Jeg håber det er ok med danske kommentarer?
    Jeg er bedst til at læse engelsk.

  5. Once again a real delight to read about your wonderful expeditions in fiber world!I love the Swedish rug and I wish I had a loom to make one of those! I have already made a braided rug from old bed sheets, it is so easy and looks wonderfully vintage.
    Greetings from Germany

  6. Hej Mona
    Alle kommentarer er yderst velkomne. På alle sprog. Efterhånden kan Google oversætte for os så vi kan udtrykke os på netop det sprog vi bedst kan bruge.

  7. Hi Mary Lou. Yes, everything is worked in garter and sewn together just like patchwork.

  8. That is an inspiring exhibition. And to think that the only Faroese knitting I've been exposed to until now has been one kind of shawl.

  9. Hello Mette, thank you for leaving a comment on my blog - which made me smile ;-) - and fortunately I have visited your blog and discovered the fascinating exhibition you visited. I love reading about inspiring stuff like that.

    See you soon.

  10. Is the Hansen piece made of strips sewn together, or is it all one piece? I knitted tartan once (a baby jacket from a Rowan pattern) and I hated it, but I just don't like doing intarsia. It looks well worth the trouble, though.

  11. Hi Mette. I'm a set decorator on a TV show in New York City. We are shooting an episode that's supposed to take place in the Faroe Islands (but we're shooting it in NY)! We would love to have a beautiful piece of knit art for the wall in a hotel set. Do you have an e-mail address that I can write to? Thanks! Susan

    1. Hi Susan.
      Johanna Av Steinum is the knitdesigner who exhibited the art knit. Her web is www. steinum. net E-mail Johanna@steinum. net, The museum where the exhibition took place is Nordatlantens Brygge. Their e-mail address is bryggen@bryggen.DK
      I hope you succeed.Good luck


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