KNITSONIK Minicast 02 – Silkworms

As promised the KNITSONIK Minicast 02 – Silkworms – telling the story of how I raised a colony of silkworms for a commission I was working on for TATE Modern last year.

You can listen below or download direct from Internet Archive, or through your iTunes subscription to the KNITSONIK podcast feed.

Before getting to that I open with a recording made whilst rehearsing the CaBAAret song for the wondrous Edinburgh Yarn Festival. You can hear the bumpy chairs and tables being moved around in the background! If I saw or met you there, YAY! IT WAS AMAZEBALLS! Turbo Thanks to Jo & Mica for making it such a memorable event and for inviting me and my accordion! Clara Parkes has written a brilliant summary of the weekend here.

Image nabbed from EYF in pictures - go check it out! and taken by Katie Blair Matthews subject to copyright from Edinburgh Yarn Festival
Image nabbed from EYF in pictures – go check it out! and taken by Katie Blair Matthews subject to copyright from Edinburgh Yarn Festival

My little nephew – Barnaby – shares some lovely gurgles with you while I reflect on all the yarn I purchased for making baby knits. Then I thank the amazing comrades who came to my class at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. We used my shortlist (ahem, it’s not that short) of 75 shades from the whole range. Here is amazing Mel holding all the yarn just before the class!

melwithyarn-1

Here are some of the amazing inspirations that people brought to that class, plus the palettes and swatches they developed from them.

Singer Sewing Machine box translated into stranded colourwork
Singer Sewing Machine box translated into stranded colourwork
Wooden Swedish Horse translated into stranded colourwork
Wooden Swedish Horse translated into stranded colourwork
Beautiful palette derived from wood and gingham page in interior design magazine
Beautiful palette derived from wood and gingham page in interior design magazine

Thanks for coming, it was so wonderful to meet you and work with you in the class.

I have more forthcoming workshops!

The mountain of yarn being wound by Rachael in my house last week, with help from me, Allison, and of course little Joey, the feline technician of KNITSONIK projects
The mountain of yarn being wound by Rachael in my house last week, with help from me, Allison, and of course little Joey, the feline technician of KNITSONIK projects

a Quotidian Colourwork workshop TOMORROW – Thursday 26th March – with Yarn in The City at Homemade London. All details here

a steeking workshop at Purlescence on 9th May (details coming soon on Purlescence and here)

a weekend retreat with Brenda Dayne from 15th – 18th May – all details here on the Gwlana website

Gwlana - come to Wales, bring your knitting
Gwlana – come to Wales, bring your knitting

Links:

Yarn in the City Ravelry group, Facebook page and website
Purlescence Ravelry group and website
Gwlana Ravelry group, Facebook page and website

I reflect a bit on the need to look after myself in the face of returning arthritis and weird aches and pains, but finish on an optimistic note, with a recording of busy birds in the spring time recorded outside my friend Cecilia’s house last week. You can practically hear the sunshine and surely that is good for ALL our health?

Then I share the story of the silkworms I raised last summer, narrating an essay written for the Wovember blog, mixing in sounds recorded during the weeks in which I looked after my silkworm buddies.

Silkworms
Silkworms

I was raising silkworms essentially to record how this luxury textile is made. The recordings of silkworms went into a special Sonic Trail commissioned by TATE Modern to accompany the Richard Tuttle exhibit.

Links:

Sonic Weave . Exploring Silk and Viscose through Sound
TATE Modern Sonic Trails
Richard Tuttle – I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language

Finally I remind you all that there is a new swatch-a-long in play, along the same lines as the pomegranates swatch-a-long, but this time using one of the amazing photos taken by my brother Fergus Ford of Frangipani Caterpillars in Barbados. (Quite fitting given the silkworm theme of this Minicast.) Come join us in the KNITSONIK Ravelry group!

Frangipani Caterpillars photographed by Fergus Ford
Frangipani Caterpillars photographed by Fergus Ford

I’ll be back next week with my interview with Tall Yarns’n Tales and my recordings from Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and hopefully a new ergonomically excellent workspace. Thanks for listening,

As ever I am YOURS IN WOOL SILK + KNITTING + SOUNDS,
Fx

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One Response to KNITSONIK Minicast 02 – Silkworms

  1. Naomi says:

    After listening to this story you might be interested in reading Karen Russell’s short story “Reeling for the Empire” – it’s a wonderful, eerie fiction about girls who get semi-transformed into silkworms. It is in her book “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” or you can listen to it being read on the March 23rd Selected Shorts. http://www.selectedshorts.org/onair/

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