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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

March 4, 2010
"Not Knots" is the name of a new workshop on "knots, knitting, and string figures" taking place at the Cabinet magazine art space in Brooklyn this Saturday from 2-4pm. The art space will ring a bell for those who read the LAS piece on their Darcy Lange exhibit last fall, and this weekend's one-day gathering will appeal to those fans of the yarn who remember our 2007 interview with crafty hat maker Heather Baris.

For those still riding out the backlash against knitting's popular emergence a few years ago, put your scowls aside. Indications are that knitting is more like backyard chickens and less like razor scooters, which is to say it has some actual utility which lends itself to staying power. Heck, if you ask London's Daily Mail the concept of so-called "Stitch 'n' Bitch" circles is just now catching on.

Still, you're probably thinking "that sounds like a blast, although," as at least one LAS writer in the New York area voiced recently, "I kind of want to learn how to tie knots from some crusty old sailor, not a Brooklyn hipster douchebag." Fear not! For even if you've grown sour on your own sourpussiness or just want to hop on this antique bandwagon while it is still hip enough to be picked up on by tabloids, this event might be for you. The experts on hand are to be actual experts, not just some Bryn Mawr dropouts that the manager of Yarn Tree met outside of an Animal Collective show.

Video still of Inoli Murphy working string magic.


Saturday's workshop is described as "a hands-on exploration of knots, knitting, and string figures" that sounds somewhat mesmerizing even for the jaded skeptic. Featuring work and discussion by Sabrina Gschwandtner, Philip Ording, and Inoli Murphy, the "mini-fair" will also include "math films that explore the geometry surrounding knots" as well as "informal discussion of knot theory" and a hands-on seminar on "the ancient art of string figures." For the less ambitious who just can't seem to get'er done, there will also be "a lab for stalled handcraft projects" that can include "any knitted, crocheted, sewn, embroidered, or woven undertaking that is in limbo."

All things considered, Cabinet has assembled some reputable experts to lead the discussion and experimentation. James "Inoli" Murphy, no relation to the LCD Soundsystem composer of the same name, is the author of the book Murphy's String Figures: Teaching Math with String Figures and the subject of this video on string manipulation. Philip Ording, an educator from Medgar Evers College's Department of Mathematics, recently collaborated with artist Peter Coffin on "The Curve" at Barbican Centre in London. Writer and artist Sabrina Gschwandtner, along with her book KnitKnit and articles for American Craft Magazine, has been a curator for craft outlets like Etsy and a guest artist at venues like the Museum of Arts and Design.

For anyone needing to gnosh or get sloshed while finding inspiration in string, rest assured that "pretzel knots and wine will be served."

SEE ALSO: www.cabinetmagazine.org

--
The LAS Staff
A number of the Lost At Sea staff have worked and continue to work for various publications, both independent and commercial. Often very stifling in their narrow focus, conventional media outlets left our writers hungry for something bigger, more diverse, more communal. More active, because this is the twenty-first century and it makes sense. During it's short life LAS has accomplished many of its goals (but not all) and has in turn set new ones. Everything that we accomplish is through teamwork and cooperation, both with our regular staff writers and with our contributing writers. LAS is nothing short of a collective. Another contrasting point to some of the magazines out there is that we've checked our egos and scene ethics at the door. We welcome anyone and everyone to contribute and cover a wide range of topics. LAS does not follow your guide lines.

See other articles by The LAS Staff.

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