KNITSONIK 08 – The Turbo Thank You Episode

Welcome back to the KNITSONIK podcast after a very long hiatus! :) This one is nearly TWO HOURS LONG, so I have split it into two sections and you will need TEA. You can use the players below or download the files directly from internet archive here.

FETCH TEA.
FETCH TEA.

This episode of the podcast is dedicated to the amazing Kickstarter backers who enabled me to produce the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED MY KICKSTARTER IN 2014
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED MY KICKSTARTER IN 2014

Part One

We begin by listening to the wonderful sounds of the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook being printed, after which we travel swiftly to Palmer Park to hear the delightful strains of a steam organ which was playing there in April 2014.

Steam Organ at Carter's Steam Fair, April 2014
Steam Organ at Carter’s Steam Fair, April 2014

My amazing partner Mark Stanley plays a key role in this podcast in which he makes his jingle-writing debut, and insists that I include the exuberant word INCREDIBLE from General Levy’s classic 1994 Jungle/Drum ‘n Bass Hit of the same name:

Every individual backer who supported the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook is named in the podcast, accompanied by the sound of the book being printed at Williams Press in Berkshire – a sound which you enabled through your support!

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook covers being printed
The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook covers being printed

If I mispronounce your name, I am sincerely sorry; please correct me in the comments here or in a voicemail left via Skype. You can reach me there as felixford.

Me with my brother Fergus Ford after spending four days taking photos for the book
Me with my brother Fergus Ford, exhausted, after spending four days taking photos

We listen in on how some of the photos for the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook were created by my talented brother Fergus Ford and we hear Fergus singing “The Road is Long” in his inimitable way.

We also hear an excerpt of a beautiful recording of a music box made by one of my backers – Ian Rawes – from his wonderful album of field recordings “These are the Good Times“.

In August Ian took voluntary redundancy and is now concentrating on running the London Sound Survey as a full time vocation. This is amazing, I wish Ian all the luck in the world with this mission. I also feel some kinship with it as now – thanks to YOU – KNITSONIK is my full-time mission.

Here’s to artists following their dreams and if you want to buy a copy of Ian’s amazing album you can do so here, and you can find his brilliant website here.

There are updates on the forthcoming album, the KNITSONIK Audible Textures Resource, and a foray into the sonic secrets of my beloved Huntley & Palmers Biscuit tin. Sound sources I am currently exploring in relation to this tin include the bells of St. Giles Church which ring out over the land where the Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin were made; the sound of the old water mill on the Thames at Mapledurham which once supplied Huntley & Palmers with flour for their biscuits; the sounds of bowing and resonating the old biscuit tins with a well-rosined violin bow; and the sound of an old advertising record from the 1920s.

Huntley & Palmers advertising record
Huntley & Palmers advertising record
"for every meal there's a biscuit" - Huntley & Palmers
“for every meal time there’s a biscuit” – Huntley & Palmers

I am currently looking for a record player which does not have an auto-return function in order to be able to play my tiny record, please get in touch if you can help! However until such time as I can play my own H&P record, there is a wondrous video on YouTube which conveys its contents beautifully: Thank you EMG Colonel!

Part One of the podcast ends with a joyous combination of kazoo, accordion and the old Huntley & Palmers advertising record.

Part Two

In this half of the podcast we explore Tom’s “Office Sound Machine” which is an amazing lo-fi way of enjoying the sounds produced by flexing the spacers found in towers of CDRs. If that sounds bewildering, don’t worry – the audio will clear up what I am on about! Thanks Tom of Holland for sending me the Office Sound Machine – what an amazing sound from the everyday source of CDRs.

I mention the Pomegranate swatch-a-long which is taking place this January and February in the KNITSONIK Ravelry group. The idea here is to see how many different imaginations take on a single creative challenge, to participate you need only to create some stranded colourwork based on pomegranates and to share your progress with fellow swatchers in the KNITSONIK group! All the details are here.

Pomegranate photo by Michael and found on Flickr here.
Pomegranate photo by Michael and found on Flickr here.

I share recordings of my silk worms and news of the commission I worked on over the summer for TATE Modern. The sounds I produced for the commission are all available to hear and download here.

The sounds I share here were all recorded at The Natural Fibre Company and the Whitchurch Silk Mill, or in my living room whilst raising of a colony of silkworms. I also remixed some textile promotional films from the 1950s, found in the amazing Prelinger archives.

Richard Tuttle’s silk and viscose sculpture is on display in the TATE Modern Turbine Hall until April, so there is still plenty of time to get your sounds and go to explore the work with my accompanying soundtrack.

Louise Harries took this wondrous photo of the KNITSONIK sounds being played on their player in TATE Modern earlier this year - thank you Louise, you are one of the people who opened my eyes to the richness of textiles!
Louise Harries took this wondrous photo of the KNITSONIK sounds being played on their player in TATE Modern earlier this year – thank you Louise, you are one of the people who opened my eyes to the richness of textiles!

After veering into silk and viscose we return to the Ur textile – WOOL – and the origins of the amazing Shetland Wool used throughout the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook. Lambs from Voe and from the Burland Croft Trail in Trondra contribute their lovely baas to the show. We also hear a story from Oliver Henry of how an exceptional fleece saved a lamb from the slaughter. Thank you to Jamieson & Smith for providing all the yarn for the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook.

Oliver Henry of Jamieson & Smith explaining how to sort fleeces during Shetland Wool Week 2013
Oliver Henry of Jamieson & Smith explaining how to sort fleeces during Shetland Wool Week 2013

Then I talk a bit about my WOOL tabard produced by Tall Yarns’n Tales, and share some special recordings from Aunty Hilary’s 90th Birthday party.

Aunty Hilary - one of the wondrous female relatives to whom the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook is dedicated
Aunty Hilary – one of the wondrous female relatives to whom the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook is dedicated

After these fantastically SPECIFIC sounds we diverge off into some frog and goat sounds before completing the TURBO THANK-YOUS.

Finally there is a book giveaway associated with this episode of the KNITSONIK podcast; to be in with a chance of winning your own signed copy of the book, simply leave a comment here telling me about a daily inspiration source which you have noticed and which you feel is worthy of creative celebration. I will use a random number-generator to pick a winner in the coming fortnight.

you can win a copy of this book by telling me about an everyday inspiration source which you have noticed and which you feel is worthy of creative celebration!
you can win a copy of this book by leaving a comment about an everyday inspiration source which you have noticed and which you feel is worthy of creative celebration!

It’s so great to be podcasting again, sorry for my slightly ill-sounding voice and for overusing the word “amazing” in this episode, but that word really does summarise the whole incredible journey from Kickstarter campaign to book that 2014 involved.

Thank you so much,
YOURS IN KNITTING + WOOL + SOUNDS,
and TURBOLOVE FOR 2015 XXXF

in my tall yarns'n tales smock looking bossy in the wheatfield
in my tall yarns’n tales smock looking bossy in the wheatfield
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Swatches from around the world…

It has been extremely humbling and rewarding in recent weeks to see what talented knitters are doing with the ideas in my book. In their deft hands the KNITSONIK system really comes to life, and seeing what folks are making has completely blown my mind!

CHECK OUT THESE TURBOSWATCHES!
CHECK OUT SOME OF THESE TURBOSWATCHES!

I love seeing the unique ways in which we draw inspiration from the world around us and one of the most wonderful things about seeing other people’s colourwork swatches is that each one is truly a marvelous surprise. I could never have pictured what people would knit when I published the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook: I just hoped it would give folks the impetus to take up sticks and string and start celebrating the world in stranded colourwork.

These expressive and beauteous pieces of knitting speak of the creativity and imagination of their makers, and it makes me foolishly happy to feel that I have played even a tiny part in their making. Please regard these stupendous translations of things, places and plants into stranded colourwork and huge thanks to Laylaknits, Paisley and BirtheP for allowing me to share your original creations here. Each photo and design shared here is © their creator and shared with kind permission.

Red Bamboo Bowl immortalised in stranded colourwork by LaylaKnits on Ravelry (click image to see project).
Red Bamboo Bowl immortalised in stranded colourwork by LaylaKnits on Ravelry.

This swatch by LaylaKnits celebrates her red bamboo bowl. I love the sophisticated palette of shades that she uncovered in the grain of the bamboo and how lively and rich the red looks against those subtle pastels. I also love that in all the photos of her knitting process the bowl is present – companion and inspiration to (and container for?) the knitting in progress.

Bamboo bowl, palette of yarn shades and knitting in progress, in bowl by LaylaKnits
Bamboo bowl, palette of yarn shades and knitting in progress, in bowl
The beautiful swatch with the very object which inspired its creation
The beautiful swatch with the very object which inspired its creation

The documentation of creative process in these swatch projects is fascinating – palettes, drawings, notes, sketches, photos all tell a rich story of how individual knitters assemble creative ideas… Ravelry user Paisley created a kind of Lookbook for her swatch: an amazing celebration of red, green and grey as they are juxtaposed in different environments.

Some of the images cited by Paisley as inspiration sources - check out the reds, greens and greys and the strong angled lines and geometry in the photos
Some of the images cited by Paisley as inspiration sources – check out the reds, greens and greys and the strong angled lines of perspective in the photos

A sequence of lovely photos shows the process by which Paisley found yarn shades and patterns in her inspiration source. To my eyes these WIP pictures reflect the same geometric sense of shapes and lines present in the photos that she took for her inspiration source.

Paisley's charts and designs on squared notepaper, notes on yarn shades - both in terms of value (contrast) and hue; lovely composition of knitting + notebook.
Paisley’s charts and designs on squared notepaper, notes on yarn shades – both in terms of value (contrast) and hue; lovely composition of knitting + notebook.

The strong sense of shapes and lines continues into Paisley’s wondrous swatch with its gingko leaves, stacks of architectural patterning and delicious palette.

Paisley's gorgeous swatch in reds, greys and greens celebrating a range of shapes and details found in different environments
Paisley’s gorgeous swatch in reds, greys and greens celebrating a range of shapes and details found in different environments

BirtheP took a Rowan tree as her initial inspiration source exploring details like the texture of the bark, the shapes of the leaves and the colours created by the tree against the sky and the changing light around it.

Rowan tree - Røn in Danish - with distinctive bark, leaves, berries - inspiration for BirtheP's stranded colourwork swatch
Rowan tree – Røn in Danish – with distinctive bark, leaves, berries – inspiration for BirtheP’s stranded colourwork swatch

Birthe has drawn an exciting palette through observing the tree in its environment, finding rich purples, lilacs, blues, browns, reds, oranges and whites in the light and shade of her inspiration source.

All the lovely colours found by BirtheP in the Rowan tree!
All the lovely colours found by BirtheP in the Rowan tree!

The eventual swatch is full of shapes and patterns found in the details of the tree. I love the botanical accuracy of the leaf-shapes and the unmistakeable berry-like roundness of the dangling fruits. The organic shapes in the patterning of the bark are soft, round and beautiful; they seem almost as tactile as the tree itself and I am reminded of drawings in old books in which the specific details of plants are carefully emphasised by the illustrator.

Rowan tree richly rendered in stranded colourwork by BirtheP
Rowan tree richly rendered in stranded colourwork by BirtheP

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these beautiful and imaginative pieces of knitting as much as I have.

If you are knitting stranded colourwork based on everyday inspirations there is a swatch-a-long thread on the KNITSONIK Ravelry group that you are warmly invited to join. The intention is for this to be a shared online space in which folks wishing to translate the world into stranded colourwork might share knitterly knowledge and discoveries; it was in this thread that I first espied these fantastic swatches. And of course, if you want the book with the KNITSONIK System in it, you can find it here.

Happy Knitting and turbo inspiration to you all,
Fx

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KNITSONIK at the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show with Tall Yarns’n Tales

I am super excited because this week I shall be in Harrogate at the UK Knitting & Stitching Show selling my book on the Tall Yarns’n Tales stand. I will be working with two of my favourite comrades: Linda and Andrea. I love these wonderful women who create beautiful designs for wearing and for making and who seem to do everything in a generous creative spirit.

Linda_and_Andrea

We have had some very happy days together this summer talking about clothes and colours and workwear.

I especially love the aesthetic and politics of their beautiful pinnies, aprons and tabards as these are practical and comfortable garments; they are made in the UK out of natural fibres; and they dignify and celebrate the labour involved in working with textiles. To my mind they are the perfect garment in which to knit stranded colourwork or in which to celebrate the triumphant completion of a swatch.

smock

I first discovered Tall Yarns’n Tales at WOOLFEST in 2012. Loads of women there seemed to be wearing amazing pinnies and smocks over their wellies, and I wondered where they were all getting their swishy-yet-practical garb. I thought the construction and aesthetic was just marvelous. Big deep pockets, sturdy linen fabric, yet with lines that flatter and swathe! I generally try to buy second hand clothes or make my own but must confess that when I got my first paycheck from Oxford Brookes during my year-long contract there, I could not resist treatingmyself to one of the fantastically enabling, UK-made, Tall Yarns’n Tales signature garments: a 100% linen spinning pinny. Here I am in it, demonstrating the sounds of Shetland sheep playing through a speaker covered in Shetland wool.

pier_corona_FFord_OFS_Oxford

I love my red pinny but, as I am a serious WOOLFAN, I kept thinking of a beauteous bolt of pure wool fabric left to me by my wonderful Godmother, Aunty Hilary. Hilary always wore bright purples and pinks, and if you have read the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook you will know she was also a superlative fruitcake baker.

Here she is in a tweed outfit of her own creation cutting up a rich fruity Christmas cake. The boys in the photo are two of my cousins – both older and taller than me now!

Aunty_Hilary

It seemed to me that Hilary’s tweed would be a superlative tabard or smock and so this summer, I asked Linda and Andrea whether it might be possible to have a bespoke garment made from this fabric in time for winter. To my delight they agreed. With their customary verve they breathed life into Hilary’s tweed turning it into a striking tabard which I wear all the time. Andrea had the brilliant idea to use the selvedge as a decorative edging, and I love that this detail nods to the woven construction of the wool and its life on the loom.

As well as creating the lovely tabard, Andrea and Linda have been hugely supportive of my book, encouraging the whole premise from the outset and helping me to style the fingerless mitts in ways that feel really me. I love the combination of the Tall Yarns’n Tales brown linen smock with the fingerless mitts which I designed for the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook; it seems like the perfect practical garment to wear for a spot of DIY soldering or weeding, paired with task-appropriate knitwear!

brown_smock

brown_smock-2

I’m so looking forward to spending time on the Tall Yarns’n Tales stall in Harrogate this weekend with Linda and Andrea and comrades Helen and Bev who I am yet to meet! I really hope you will come up and say hi. You will find us on stand TG570. Tall Yarns’n Tales will have their whole range of goodies on sale whilst I shall be signing and selling copies of the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook.

There are no prizes for guessing what I will be wearing!

wool_smock

Huge thanks to Fergus Ford who has made Tall Yarns’n Tales and KNITSONIK look great with his amazing photography skills!

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The Return of the KNITSONIK Blog Tour!

Back in April when I was running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise money to print the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook I asked my amazing comrades for help. They sent me questions about the concept for the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook and I sent them answers. Working on those pieces really helped me to clarify my ideas and to share them with the world! Now that the book is published we are reprising the Q&A format for a series of follow-up pieces with my talented wool comrades. I’m really excited about this blog tour as it means continuing the conversations we started in April and starting some new ones. Also: my amazingly talented brother Fergus Ford took more photos than we could use in the book and this second blog tour means that I can share some of those with you, such as…

A4074

…knitting from an A-road…

bricks_in_context

…finding patterns in brickwork…

mitts

…creating mitts based on a 1930s book about the workings of electricity (starting with magnetism)…

wok_n_chips

…looking with fresh eyes on everyday spaces and objects…

To see and read more you can follow the tour as it passes through the following destinations:

28th and 30th Oct – Ysolda Teague
31st Oct – Brenda Dayne
2nd Nov – Jamieson & Smith with Ella Gordon
4th Nov – Donna Druchunas
6th Nov – An Snag Breac
8th Nov – Fine Lightness
10th Nov – Perfect Weather for Spinning and Knitting with Deborah Gray
14th Nov – Deb Robson
28th Nov – Tom of Holland
30th Nov – Fyberspates
31st Nov – Editions of You with Lisa Busby
4th Dec – Lara Clements
6th Dec – Spilly Jane
8th Dec – Ella Austin
12th Dec – Susan Crawford

I hope to see you along the way!
Fx

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KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook now on sale

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook is now available to buy directly from me through my online shop.

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook
First published in 2014 by KNITSONIK
ISBN: 978-0-9930415-0-1
© Felicity Ford
Author & Artist: Felicity Ford
Art & Production Manager: Nic Blackmore
Photographer: Fergus Ford
Editor: Kate Davies
Technical Editor: Tom van Deijnen
Yarn Support: Jamieson & Smith

KNITSONIK_SCB-cover_large

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook shows you how to translate everyday things into stranded colourwork. This knitting book celebrates such everyday things as bricks, biscuit tins and fruitcake, and show you how to turn them into things you can wear and admire. It is about seeing the everyday world through a specific, knitterly lens.

bricks-1

mitts_claire_weaver-1

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook shows the creative process of turning the messy, beautiful, gorgeous chaos of the world where we live into stitches which we can wear. Stitches which will remind us who we are; where we live; and why we love it.

wonders_of_electricity

The Kickstarter Campaign

447 amazing backers pledged to make the book happen through the popular Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.

01_funded

Without the support of my backers, the book could never have happened: these folks are the KNITSONIK comrades!

knitsonik_comrades

Kickstarter_THANKYOU

The Production Team

Author & Artist: Felicity Ford
Art & Production Manager: Nic Blackmore
Photographer: Fergus Ford
Editor: Kate Davies
Technical Editor: Tom van Deijnen
Sample Knitter & Design Consultant: Liz Ashdowne
Sample Knitter: Claire Weaver
Yarn Support: Jamieson & Smith
Workwear: Tall Yarns’n Tales
Writing Support: Donna Druchunas

Author & Artist – Felicity Ford
(that’s me!)
Chief Muse – Mark Stanley
Mark is my amazing partner. He provided the spiritual foundation for the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook through his support and encouragement. He also assisted with important research into knitting beer and fruitcake.
Art & Production Manager – Nic Blackmore
Nic is an amazing book doula. As well as creating a beautiful graphic layout, she helped with all the practical stages involved in bringing the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook to life.
Photographer – Fergus Ford
Fergus is my brother and an amazing photographer. His energy and talent have given dynamism and beauty to all the photographs in the book.
Editor – Kate Davies
Kate has shared and encouraged my vision for this book from the outset. A superbly enabling presence and an encouraging editor, she helped me to find my voice.
Technical Editor – Tom van Deijnen
Tom is the technician for the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook and is responsible for the elegant and concise pattern language and the wondrous Mentionables at the end of the book.
Sample Knitter & Design Consultant – Liz Ashdowne
Liz is an amazing knitter and a dear friend. As well as knitting a beautiful sample pair of Mitts she has given amazingly helpful feedback on all aspects of the book.
Sample Knitter – Claire Weaver
Claire did a beauteous job of turning the My Street Mitts from a design idea into a reality with her amazing knitterly skills.
Yarn Support – Jamieson & Smith
All the knitting in the book has been worked in the beautiful range of 2-ply Jumper Weight yarn produced by Jamieson & Smith from Shetland wool grown in the Shetland Isles. The yarn is wondrous, but so too are the people. I love working with Sandra Manson, Ella Gordon, Oliver Henry and June Moulder.
Workwear – Tall Yarns’n Tales
Thanks to Linda de Ruiter and Andrea Franklin of Tall Yarns’n Tales I now have my very own 100% wool tabard. Tall Yarns’n Tales smocks and tabards also appear throughout this book, and are wonderful garments in which to knit and write.
Writing Support – Donna Druchunas
Donna Druchunas warmly invited me to join her Stitches in Stories online writing class in support of this book; this was a wonderful learning experience and really helped me to conceive and structure the book.

The Blog Tour

During the Kickstarter campaign I asked the most creative people I know of in the knitting world for help, and they sent me wonderful questions and put my answers and images on their websites. They helped me to tell the story of The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, and to think about the work in all kinds of different ways.

Extraordinary Internet Comrades

Fyberspates with Jeni Hewlett
Perfect Weather for Spinning & Knitting with Deborah Gray
Cast On with Brenda Dayne
In between days with Lara Clements
Spilly Jane Knits with Jane Dupuis
Hazel Tindall
Tom of Holland with Tom van Deijnen Parts 1 and 2
The Independent Stitch with Deb Robson
Shop at The Old Fire Station
Mary Jane Mucklestone
An Snag Breac with Caroline Walshe
Fine Lightness
Kata…koob with Kait Lubja
Sheep to Shawl with Donna Druchunas
Jamieson & Smith with Ella Gordon
Editions of You with Lisa Busby
BomBella Designs with Ella Austin
Just Call me Ruby with Susan Crawford

KNITSONIK is on Ravelry

KNITSONIK now has a Ravelry group; join us there for adventures in stranded colourwork!

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