Monday, 21 September 2009

Brunch with a side serving of Korean Art

On Sunday one of our good friends was visiting from Edinburgh so we met up with our mutual friends at the Saatchi Gallery for brunch. How very West London dahling.

While the food at Gallery Mess was very good the portions were tiny and overpriced for what it was. Mind you I think we were paying for the location in the old Duke of York barracks which is a lovely space and gives the Gallery cafe it's canny name.

After a good chinwag we strolled around the gallery space. I must admit not much took my fancy and we had more fun in the gallery shop, finding gifts for my friend to take back for her kids. However, my other half had been more adventurous and discovered art more to our taste on the top floor.

These paintings by Bart Exposito caught my eye, especially after seeing Debbie New's knitted masterpieces. I liked the smooth lines which were reminiscent of American bowling lanes and 1970's designs. The middle one is my fave as it looks like an owl, on it's side. I could see how these sort of shapes could be knitted, although I'm not sure what I'd do with them one I'd made them. We'll see.

There was a smaller exhibition dedicated to Korean artists which was a joy. Well, I say joy, some of the pieces were disturbing, such as this samurai sword which on closer inspection revealed the hilt was made from contorted naked bodies.

The folded t-shirts thought provoking once I realised which countries they represented (USA and North Korea) and this traditional painting made of toy bricks had an acrid quality from the colours of the bricks used.

It wasn't all dark art. The squashed and stretched figures were fun, especially watching other people's reaction to them, the big head which I'm calling sperm head, put a smile on my face

as did this cheery red screen.

My favourite piece was an animated traditional screen which was illustrated with images of nature which would be still then briefly flit around before settling somewhere else on the screen, just like real wildlife does. I spent a while watching it and would have bought it if it didn't cost £70'000. I'll just look out of my window instead.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Catch up

Crikey, the last few weekends have been so knitastic my mind and stash are overflowing with ideas and I've been too busy to blog.

This week I'll dedicate some time to this little fibre covered corner of the internet so please pop back in a day or two so you can follow my adventures in yarn.

Monday, 7 September 2009

It's in the bag

1. Take a couple of touristy tea towels.
2. Cut 'em up.
3. Sew 'em back together again.
4. Ta da! A sturdy, handy shopping bag.

This is my first sewing project since the doomed escapades of my youth, many of which resulted in a mess of spoilt fabric and cotton thread stuffed under my bed.

I've still got plenty of loose threads to sew in but I have to say I'm very pleased with this bag. It's even got an internal pocket for my keys and other bits'n'bobs.

I was very tempted to lug my mum's sewing machine down to London but I really don't have space for it at the moment. Although I have seen some small pillar box red machines in John Lewis for a bargain £50. Will the temptation be too great?

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Back to the Future

We're spendng a long weekend at my parents who live on the northern edge of the Yorkshire Dales in the lovely market town of Richmond. A couple of years ago I decided to buy my fiction books from second hand sources, thus supporting small businesses or charities and saving myself more cash for yarn. Richmond is full of excellent charity shops so whenever I visit I go on a trawl to pick up my reading for the next couple of months.

Today I managed to score a signed, unread Jasper Fford book for £2.99 in Oxfam. The fact that it is signed to Heather isn't a problem. I'll just change my name.

Browsing the craft section in Oxfam I also discovered these 1980s knitting books.

Some of the patterns are very wearable or have useful information or good colourwork, however there are some beauties tucked away in the glossy pages. I was a teenage in the 80s and had my suspicions that some fashion ideas were very very wrong back then. Some of them have made a comeback, what with the cyclical (or should that be fickle) nature of fashion and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these on the streets of Hoxton.

Items 1-3 are from the Kaffe Fasset book. I'm sure I saw some upcoming singer wearing No.1 at Reading festival and the 80s styling in No.3 takes me back. While I admire his colourwork I don't think I've ever seen someone wearing a huge blanket coat resembling a Scandanavian meeting of nations (No.2). No.4 is from the Sasha Kogan book and I probably would have worn something like this when I was twelve. I remember having some black, white and red socks with scotty dogs on and I've got a horrible feeling I had a matching jumper. No.s 5-7 are from Designer Knits. There isn't much in there that I'd actually knit, well I say that now, it may be the height of fashion for Autumn/Winter next year...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Pickles galore!

On our last day in Berlin we visited KaDeWe, the Berliner equivalent of Harrods, which has a fantastic food hall. While browsing the pickle section I found these,

and these.

A single, hand selected Spreewald gherkin in it's own can. If you've seen the film Goodbye Lenin you may remember the mother wanting SpreeWald pickles although I'm pretty sure the old DDR government would not have sanctioned individually packages gherkins. How very bourgeois!

While I'm generally opposed to fadish and unsustainable packaging I figured I can keep my DPNs in the tin once I've eaten the pickle, thus providing me with pickley nourishment and a knitting receptacle.

While I was taking photos of pickles another shopper gave me a look of disgust, which increased to horror when I picked up a "Get One" can with a huge grin on my face. I'm guessing she was in the anti-pickle camp.