Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lost my Blogs

In an attempt to safely secure my large collection of bookmarks, I have (of course!) deleted them all.

If anyone would care to share their favorite knitting blogs in the comments, I would be most grateful. Extra karma for blogs that feature cats or bloggers that are in or around New York.

Should I take this time to let everyone know that I had my first computer when I was like, nine years old? Over twenty years ago?? (My father worked for what was AT&T at the time, and was there to experience the creation of what we called "IBM clones." If all of this is ancient history, pick up Soul of the Machine by Tracy Kidder. This Pulitzer-prize winning book tells the tale of the birth of the home computer industry, and is also a great read from a management perspective. Really good book.)

Let's all take a moment to thank AT&T, and Bell Laboratories, for their part in the computer revolution.

AT&T Computer, circa 1987. It runs Unix! It has a color monitor - green! Woot!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Museum: New at FIT

Hats 101
Thursday, March 29
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Marvin Feldman Center (C-Building), 9th floor Boardroom

Berets, beanies, and baseball caps . . . all familiar terms, but have you ever wondered what a cloche is or what a milliner does? Join Ellen Goldstein, chairperson of Accessory Design at FIT, for an illustrated lecture on the artistry and allure of hats and hat making. "Hats 101" is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Lilly Daché: Glamour at the Drop of a Hat.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Exhibition: Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting

Today I had a chance to experience the exhibit Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts and Design. Here is a summary for those who are unable to attend or incentive for those who are considering attending this inspiring and thought-provoking installation.

The Facts

Who: The Museum of Arts and Design. Information: (212) 956-3535 or at The exhibition showcases the works of over 27 artists from seven different countries. Some names were familiar to me, including David Cole who created the giant American flag knit with 20 foot long knitting needles on cranes, and Cat Mazza who designed the knitpro web application to create knitting charts of corporate logos and organizes microRevolt to help to increase awareness of the inhumanity of sweatshop labor. You may know some or all of the other artists even though I did not.

What: Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting. What it really is and what it is not: This is not a comprehensive overview of the changing role of textile arts in today's chaotic world. In fact, it's not really a comprehensive anything. There is not much traditional knit, crochet or tatting or historical reference that would serve as basis for understanding. Even though I was aware of some of the titular radical and subversive events, and had the help of the museum's placards, I needed to do some web research when I got home to get a deeper, cohesive understanding of the installation as a whole. The exhibit does include several examples of items knit of novel textiles, like newspapers. There are pieces that display a contemporary twist to the craft, like a crochet doily with skulls. And then there are the more conceptual creations "knit" of rubber, metal, and porcelain. There are modern adaptations of textile arts utilizing computers and video. Many of the works have a message or meaning that speaks directly to modern mess in which we live. According to the brochure, the exhibit had six general themes: corporeal constructions referencing the human body; matters of scale examining size; light constructions exlploring the integral role of light; interconnections that focus on human interaction; creative deconstructions focusing on subtractive processes; and the beauty of complexity focusing on intricacy and manipulation of the materials. I had a chance to thumb through the exhibition's guide book, and it is full of additional pictures and information. I wish I had the (approximately) $40 for it.

Where: MAD is located at 40 West 53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues (Avenue of the Americas) in New York City. It is conveniently situated across the street from the Museum of Modern Art and the American Folk Art Museum. (Note: Even if you don't or can't visit MoMA, take a moment to visit their store which is famous for beautiful and useful items.) As a side note, the MAD gallery is an open, light-filled filled space that supports this installation beautifully. It is spread over three levels connected by a semi-circular staircase.

When: through June 17, 2007. Museum hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (until 8 p.m. on Thursdays); closed on holidays. Please take a moment to look at their schedule of upcoming informational programs (available as a PDF on the exhibition's webpage - scroll down.) The museum is offering a dozen educational and social (and socially conscious!) events until June. Most are free; some workshops have a fee ($25-$100). My favorite is May 17th's four hour "Knit Night". I cannot believe I missed the January 29th edible lace workshop. Sigh.

How: Directions are available on MAD's website. Admission is $9 - $7 for students and seniors; and pay-what-you-wish on Thursdays after 6 p.m.

Finally, why: I wanted to touch every exhibit! It was torture not to touch. About halfway through, I had tears in my eyes and I wanted to run home immediately to work on my very non-subversive scarf. It was truly inspiring. On one hand, it reminded me of what I consider to be the basic drive for my knitting (loosely stolen from Brenda Dane of the fabulous Cast-on podcast): I think I'm hot shit because I can make fabric out of string and two pointy sticks. (I can also make tubular fabric out of string and four pointy sticks, but I ain't braggin'.) On the other hand, it reminded me of the simple beauty of the art form: the complex interaction of space and textile, whether it be yarn, paper, wire, rubber, glass... You get the idea. It expanding my horizons. My non-knitting boyfriend enjoyed the exhibit as well. Favorite pieces: Absolute fave... Maybe the beautiful, size 8 evening dress knit from 890 dollar bills. My boyfriend loved a piece, untitled by Hilal Sami Hilal - a Brazilian artist, that was a giant matrix of cotton fiber and letters. I'm sorry I cannot find you a picture (one is in the exhibit's brochure) as it is indescribable. Also inspiring (as in, I'm gonna try something like this) was a bobbin lace lamp of fiber optic wire, and a collection of realistic, knit snake skins.

One of my favorite parts: Definitely take a moment to pause right after you pass the security guard when entering the museum proper to look down to the lowest level to watch the knitters in the provided social knitting space. I so wish my boyfriend could have snapped a photo. On the lowest level, the museum has provided a table with yarn and needles for people to knit together, or you can bring your own project. My wonderful boyfriend offered to stay so I could knit a bit, but I'm shy... Maybe next time.

But don't take my word for it: Some potentially useful links, with as many unique pictures as I could find for you: The New York Times reviewed the exhibition here. has a blog entry here . Also, the Greenjeans blog has excellent information and pictures here.

If anyone attends, and would like to comment, it would be most appreciated. Also, please feel free to leave a comment of other socially conscious textile art groups or events that I haven't mentioned. (In addition to those listed in the Who section and at the exhibit, see also the knit-fitti of knit parking meter cosies.)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

NYT: Identifying Diamonds

From the 5 July 2006 New York Times:

At This Lab, No Stone is left Unturned or Unmarked

One of the features making Gem Certification and Assurance certificates effective is the use of a device called Gemprint, which, by shining a laser through a diamond, captures its unique sparkle pattern, just like a human fingerprint. A copy of this Gemprint image goes on each G.C.A.L. certificate, making it impossible to switch stones or claim a stone is better than it really is. The guarantee can only be thwarted by completely recutting a diamond, at a considerable loss in size and value.

Once G.C.A.L. has certified a diamond, company experts use a cold laser to engrave a logo and serial number onto its rim, though Mr. Palmieri admits that such markings, only a few microns deep, could be easily removed.

NYT: Earliest Jewelry


From the 23 June 2006 New York Times:

Old Shells Suggest Early Human Adornment

Archaeologists say they have found evidence that in one respect people were behaving like thoroughly modern humans as early as 100,000 years ago: they were apparently decorating themselves with a kind of status-defining jewelry -- the earliest known shell necklaces.

If this interpretation is correct, it means that human self-adornment, considered a manifestation of symbolic thinking, was practiced at least 25,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Jewelry was probably one of the earliest ways people conveyed aspects of their social and cultural identities.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 Fall 2006 Trend Reports

No real news here, but check out the pretty pictures at's Trend Report for Fall 2006. Their picks include:
  • the bubble (dress, skirts AND coats);
  • fur, in colors like champagne, fuscia, and blue
  • metalics
  • oversized
  • layering
  • Napoleonic
Below, layering done cute by Celine, and a beautiful blue fur from Versace. In fact, check out the whole Versace collection in shases of midnight blue, plum, and black.

Books: Sale at the Selvedge bookstore

Score! 10% off all books in the Selvedge magazine bookstore until the end of August. This is a UK-based textile magazine with fantastic taste. Check out the books on fashion history from a global perspective. Personally, I'm eyeing Bound to Please and Dress and Morality.

FYA: Fun USB drives

Good-enough-to-eat sushi USB drives. Matches my Martini-shaker PDA case...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Website: FabricLink

The Premier Educational Resource for Fabrics, Apparel, Home Fashions, and Care Topics.

Check out the FabricLink website, especially the Fabric University.

Website: Fibersource

Check out FiberSource: The Manufactured Fiber Industry website maintained by the American Fiber Manufacturers Association. Included is an entire Fiberworld Classroom full of information on manufactured fibers. Most useful is the modestly named A Quick Guide to Manufactured Fibers.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Book: Fashion Advertising and Promotion

I purchased this used on

Fashion Advertising and Promotion by Jay Diamond. (If you don't recall, Monsieur Diamond was the author of our Introduction to the Fashion Industry textbook: World of Fashion.)

New Blog: Aesthetics and Economics

Check out this blog: Aesthetics and Economics: Fashion / Design / Trends / Theory / Thought.

From the author's bio: I am a 20 year-old college student in Washington, DC studying international economics. Aesthetics + Economics is my attempt to find an outlet for an intense interest in fashion and design in general, and to find interlocutors so that I might refine my knowledge of the inner workings of fashion and the design-oriented business world.

Especially interesting: A recent commentary on a Wall Street Journal article on the changing face of the luxury department store.