Archive for May, 2009

Monsters and horror night at the aknitmation festival!

Japanese filmmaker Mai Tominaga combined live action, animation and knitted puppetry in his  award-winning animé fantasy, “WOOL 100%.”

And to take it into the wee hours, a few more suggestions:  Attack of the Killer Crochet Hook, Killer Crochet, and Yarn Monster Walk.


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Perhaps its time for a bit of “high culture”, and crochet.  The next feature in this aknitmation festival mixes needlework techniques and literature: “Poetree”, by Castlegardner, in which the crocheted and knitted puppet was made by Ceri Watling, and Don Carlson declaimed “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe.

My fingers are twitching.

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And what about aknitmated music and drama?  Here is a music video by Max Alexander for the tune ‘I am Ahab’ by Not-Too-Distant-Future.  As described by the maker:

After a fight with his girlfriend Ahab becomes overcome with madness and takes drastic action to change himself. But things only get worse when he encounters a blood hungry rat monster. Ahab’s quest takes him across turbulent seas and through strange watery worlds on his hunt for a better life. Will he find what he’s looking for or will the monsters get the better of him?

And another:  “the wool” (2003), by German animator Ali Soozandeh:

Partners beware!

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If the nostalgic “Ball of Wool” was sweet, and the activist “Don’t Let it All Unravel” savory, then perhaps it’s time for something spicier. Here’s an example of the art of intimate communication by redknittingannie.

Perhaps we might call it “in-knit-imacy”?

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Serebryakov’s “Ball of Wool” was a thrilling example of an early effort to animate needlework.   The magical knitted environment so affectionately created was unravelled by uncontrolled exploitation of its special resource: it’s paschal “ball of wool”.

The second feature in this miniature animation festival also concerns environment and its loss, but with a distinctly modern twist. “Don’t Let it All Unravel” by Sarah Cox, was recently presented at the Encounters Film Festival (Bristol, England):

This one really makes clear how powerfully fiber can speak to us.

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Recently, research for a special knitting project (still under wraps) has uncovered all sorts of spectacular finds, including some fiber-related short films and animations, some of which must be shared.  I’ve already posted about animated shorts most of us are familiar with by now: “The Last Knit” (Spring Fever: knitting addiction), and Tricot Machine’s knitted music video (Knitting Machine). Thanks to the generosity of those who have shared their work online, it will be possible – as my needles click away during the next few weeks, to bring many others I’ve found together in a miniature  fiber film & animation “festival”!

First on the program: “Ball of Wool” (1968), an animated short film made in 1968 by Russian artist and filmmaker Nikolai Serebryakov (1928-2005) (more information about this remarkable animator is available from this obituary).  “Ball of Wool” is a knitted fable, rather like “The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg”.

So I’m thinking, if animation is “the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision” (source), then mightn’t the use of fiber and related fiber arts (knitting, crochet, weaving, etc) to create the illusion be called a(k)ni(t)mation.

More aknitmation tomorrow!

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“And so sometimes I think that if you just put the mothers in charge for a while, that things would get resolved” – Barack Obama

Recently I contributed six pink and green knitted squares to the thousands collected for the White House fence cozy that Code Pink used in its 2009 Mothers’ Day vigil for peace.  This was Code Pink’s second 24-hour vigil in front of the White House in honor of all mothers and women living under occupation and war zones,  for whom the price of war is the safety and lives of  loved ones, their homes, and their future. With roses lifted and giant cozy unfurled, hundreds called for the return of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, so that no more mothers will grieve the loss of children in these wars.

Additional still images of Code Pink’s White Cozy project, the process of assembling the giant cozy in D.C., and the vigil, are available here).  But theRealNews televised report, “Roses and Guns for Mother’s Day”, helped me to feel a part of the action in spite of the distance –

Code Pink’s work includes support for peace in Gaza as well.  They are also sponsoring a fund-raising compaign for the children of Gaza –

  • $10 will enable us to buy a backpack full of schools supplies for a child.
  • $50 will enable 5 children to have the tools they need for the school year.
  • $100 will help build an International Friendship Playground at one of the schools destroyed during the invasion.

Perhaps you could put down your knitting needles or crochet hook long enough to make a contribution

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