One of my very favorite things I did while in New York this last trip (other than catching up with friends and family and hanging out with the Meng sisters in the Javitz center) was going to the Museum of Art & Design. A co-worker had told me about an exhibit she thought I would love there, and she couldn't have been more right. I'm telling you this now on the off chance that you are currently in New York or will be before June 17th when the show ends. The show is called Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting and features 27 artists from all over the world whose work is of the handmade variety in the shows title.
Some of the highlights for me included getting to see the work of Dave Cole up close, I had read about the giant flag he knit with cranes in CRAFT magazine before but it was such a treat to see the video of it and some of his other work. I loved his money dress expertly knit out of about 800 dollar bills and now worth $20,000. I stared in awe at those tiny gloves up there which Althea Merback knit out of silk thread. If I remember correctly she made the knitting needles out of very fine medical needles. You can buy the pattern for these gloves and tons of other tiny tiny sweaters on her site. How I love those mini things.
Another nice part of the show is the Wartime Knitting Circle, where you can sit and add on to scarves, hats and socks that have already been started and worked on by others viewing the show. My sister and I sat there for a bit and I tried to teach her how to knit. I'm not sure if I was successful or not, but it was nice sitting there and adding a few rows onto a knitting project in process, and knowing it would be completed by a series of strangers after me. It's also really peaceful to sit in a museum and knit. And even though it was encouraged it still felt really subversive to be interacting with an exhibit while the guards people walked through and monitored things. You could tell it went against their instincts to not yell at us for touching the artwork, and that made me want to just sit there and keep knitting all day. How nice it was to see a museum filled with skilled crafters, made me beam, made me proud to be part of it all...
A close up of Dave Cole's Money Dress