Amazing Knitting Projects: Tigers, Ferraris, and Glass Stitches

KNITTING

7 Amazing Knitting Projects: Tigers, Ferraris, and Glass Stitches

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What do you think about when someone talks about knitting? Do you envision your grandmother sitting on the couch knitting a big, chunky sweater for you? Or do you picture a new mom knitting little socks for her baby? These are the images that immediately come to my mind, but I'm sure we'd get very different answers from the seven extraordinary knitters whose work we explore below. They might answer the same question with: "giant carrots, a red Ferrari, antique chairs, and handblown glass." There is so much more to knitting! 

These seven amazing women use knitting to push the boundaries of art. Each has a portfolio of unique and creative knitting projects that make a strong statement about the world. These artists show us that knitting can be inspirational, political, and emotional.

So if you thought knitting was just sweaters, socks, and scarves let these artists show you how knitting can be the perfect medium for pushing past boundaries and exploring your inner creativity.

1. Tatyana Yanishevsky

Yanishevsky is an artist who tries to tackle the bridge between arts and sciences through knitting. She knits anatomically correct plants to illustrate what she has learned in numerous botany classes. Her works are stunningly realistic and reveal much about the inherent beauty of nature.

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Artwork Tatyana Yanishevsky, photo credits Karen Philippi

Yanishevsky's knitted plants are striking and remarkably accurate. The anatomical correctness of her work makes me consider the complex and fragile structure of all plant life. And it reminds us all that healthy ecosystems are needed to ensure that these beautiful products of evolution continue to thrive.

2. Ruth Marshall

Marshall is internationally known for her hand knit pelts of exotic animals endangered by the illegal skin trade. Each of her one-of-a-kind textiles represents an individual animal she spends months researching and recreating, in order to shed light on the plight of these spectacular animals.

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Knitting by Ruth Marshall, photo credits Maja Kihlstedt

Marshall's exotic hand knit animal pelts of endangered species are incredibly realistic. In fact, they're so lifelike that it makes me wonder why anyone would skin a real live animal. Knitting is so harmless and you end up with a pelt that looks just like the real thing.

Follow Marshall on Twitter to keep up with her newest works.

3. Lauren Porter

Porter uses knitting as an art form to illustrate how opposites can work together. For some, the Ferrari is a pinnacle achievement of the age of fossil fuels. By using the traditional craft of knitting to create a full size version of this iconic and much coveted sports car, Porter sparks thoughts and conversations in many different directions.

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Artwork and photo credits Lauren Porter

Porters knit re-creation of a bright red Ferrari juxtaposes a fast machine made object and a slow handmade tradition. For me, it really drives home the beauty and importance of a the knitting tradition in which each stitch is crafted by hand.

4. Rania Hassan

Hassan combines knitting with acrylic paintings. Combining these two mediums allows Hassan to tell stories about our connections as humans to time, place, and each other. Hassan's artwork explores the beginning and endings and how they define us.

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Photos and Artwork by Rania Hassan.

Hassan's paintings incorporate gorgeous hand knit pieces in a way that is both surprising and sculptural. To me the connection between knitting and her paintings illustrates the close connections between all members of the human community. Her artwork shows us that we are all knit together in different ways.

Follow Hassan on Twitter to keep up with her unique artwork.

5. Carol Milne

Carol Milne knits with glass. Milne takes a medium that is generally soft and flexible, and turns it into something hard and rigid. By knitting with glass, Milne shifts the focus of a knitted piece. Where we once saw softness and utility, we now can closely analyze the intricate structure of each stitch as if it was suddenly frozen in time.

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Photos and knitting by Carol Milne.

By knitting with glass Milne shows us how even something as flexible and soft as knitting can be made rigid with the right materials. For me, the rigidity of the knit glass reminds me that our social structures are often harder to change than we might expect.

Visit Carol's her Facebook page to see more of her excellent knitted sculptures.

6. Magda Sayeg

Sayeg is considered to be the mother of yarn bombing. She has a ten year body of work that includes very popular and well known pieces, including the striking works shown here. Her yarn bombing is notable because of how easily she seems to work at large scale and the ways she plays with color.

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Photos and knitting by Magda Sayeg.

Sayeg's large yarn bombing projects bring beautiful yarn into urban environments. I think her work asks us to question what is beautiful in our society and to consider the ways that differences make our world a more beautiful place.

7. Jacqueline Fink of Little Dandelion

Fink crafts woolen installations that represent a challenge both in their sheer scale and the physical ability it takes to create such large pieces. Fink left behind the life of a lawyer to embrace a creative life filled with knitting and we're all better off for it! Her pieces are both cozy and thought provoking.

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Knitting Jacqueline Fink, styling Lara Hutton, photo credit Sharyn Cairns

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Knitting Jacqueline Fink, photo credit Paul Westlake.

Fink's ambitious works encourages us to take a second look at a craft that is normally so personal and restrained. Her larger than life creative knitting projects ask us to reconsider what we are capable of as knitters. They shine a light on the fact that even small hands can do monumental things when paired with a patient heart and willing materials. I love Fink's approach and how it makes me consider what I may be capable of with my small hands.

Don't Hold Back

These seven artists prove that the sky's the limit in the world of knitting. With their wild imaginations and fine technical skills, these women show us that knitting can be a wonderful way to express personal beliefs and make effective social commentary. These artists have created jaw dropping pieces and I absolutely love their energy and courage. Toss  your patterns aside every once in a while, think critically (or playfully) about the world we live in, and then see where you end up!

What are your favorite details from these artists' work? Does their work inspire you to take on a new creative knitting project? If you need help getting started, check out Knit The SkyLea's new book of unconventional knitting projects. It's full of interesting prompts and fresh approaches that will help you push the boundaries of your craft in ways similar to these seven remarkable artists.
 


 

Go beyond the merely beautiful and learn how to knit with meaning and intention. Knit The Sky reveals the creative methods Lea Redmond uses to create finished pieces that reflect who you are and what's important to you. Instructions, tips, techniques, and 32 original knitting projects are all included!

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Lo was born and raised in Oakland CA, and is now living in Berkeley. She studied creative writing at UC Davis, and loves poetry. She is obsessed with all things knitting, and is currently looking for a new house for her excessive yarn stash.

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