Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Knitting inspired by Tempestry project, local studies, craftivism and datavisualisation

I found out about the Tempestry project a few month ago when it was shared through Instagram.  I can't remember who shared it, and so can not give credit.  The purpose is knitting weather charts showing maximum temperatures, to visualise climate change.  You can read about it here.  If you are interested, the simplest way to participate is to go to the Etsy store and the nice people at Tempestry will send you the wool in the right colours and quantities.

The following information is if you are seeking another solution and want to use Australian wool. I will say it again, if you are interested, the simplest way to participate is to go to the Etsy store and the nice people at Tempestry will send you the wool in the right colours and quantities.

I wrote to them before I started because I wanted to see if it was okay to use their idea with Australian wool, and I appreciate their kindness and helpfulness. I emailed them because for the past few years I have only been buying Australian made knitting fibre*.  I buy Australian wool because I want to support Australian wool (cotton, alpaca...) and do not want to this industry to go under.  The people at Tempestry were very understanding and sent high resolution jpegs so I could colour match.  They even sent me the chart of Fahrenheit to Celsius so I could match all the temperatures exactly. I will say it again, if you are interested, the simplest way to participate is to go to the Etsy store and the nice people at Tempestry will send you the wool in the right colours and quantities.

I used two different wool brands, Nundle and Bendigo. The chart below shows the colours next to the colour ranges.

Tempestry inspired knitting

I found some aspects easier to hand write.  I attached stickers with the relevant numbers to each ball of wool.
Tempestry inspired knitting

This makes it easy for matching the right colour with the temperature chart. I discovered the joys of climate data online (and it really is fun). The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a lovely data site.
The chart below shows the number of the wool colour next to the temperature.  I chose Inverell, NSW in 2013 and used moss stitch.

Tempestry inspired knitting

This next photograph shows the start of the knitting.

Tempestry inspired knitting

As you can see, I was not tidying the ends as I went.  This was an experiment.   While I have done multicoloured knitting in the past it has been jumpers or beanies where the ends are inside, not a scarf like this.
Tempestry inspired knitting

I did start tidying the ends (which you can see if you look closely to the top most section of knitting, but decided it was not worth it. This will work as a scarf with a sideways fringe.

I have started knitting Sydney, NSW 2017 temperatures, and am trying a method of knitting in the ends, but so far that seems to be just meaning that there is a definite front and back.  The back being where the knitted ends are not as invisible as they should be.

I like this project because it is local studies, craftivism and datavisualisation. Local studies because each length of knitting records the maximum temperatures for a specific location for a specific year.  Craftivism because it is using craft for activism, in this instance for climate change.  Datavisualisation because it is showing the maximum temperatures for one year, and functions as a knitted graph.

I would really like to thank the people at the Tempestry Project for being willing for me to work with Australian wool for this project.

*I have to qualify this because before the last few years I was *mostly* buying Australian. This means in my fibre stash I have a range of knitting fibres from various locations around the world.  Now I really buy all Australian unless I am in another location and am buying locally produced fibres. You can see all my photographs for this project below. Tempestry inspired knitting

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue rights statements

This came through my Instagram stream
So I made my way to the relevant opac, and searched the catalogue, ending up here.

I was impressed by the very clear rights statements, see below:
Copyright Statuspublic domain
Copyright NoticeMaterial is in the public domain. No restrictions on use.
Copyright InformationThe Libraries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art make digital versions of collections accessible for research purposes in the following situations: They are in the public domain; the rights are owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art; we have permission to make them accessible; we make them accessible as a fair use, or there are no known restrictions on use. To learn what your responsibilities are if you'd like to use the materials, go to http://www.metmuseum.org/information/terms-and-conditions
It was useful that this information was clear. I have only looked at this example and have not further explored the catalogue.

It is something that libraries should always consider - how to make accurate rights statements clear and easy to find for people who want to further use material.  I continue to be frustrated by organisations which state that material which is out of copyright is in copyright.

As an aside the library has a very interesting blog, and you can explore the other museum blogs here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A few thoughts on This thing of paper: eleven knitting patterns inspired by books by Karie Westermann

this thing of paperthis thing of paper by Karie Westermann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a lovely book. As the subtitle says it is knitting patterns inspired by books, with the book divided into sections on manuscript, invention (looking at the printing press) and printed works. The inspiration is about the history of books including items inspired by vellum, incunubula and marginalia. This is a books where research using original sources is important to the design of the knitting. Photographs for the book were taken in the Innerpeffray Library in Scotland.

Each pattern has an essay describing the book related sources of inspiration, combining information from research and relevant personal stories. These are lovely essays to read connecting books and printing history to knitting patterns and the history of knitting. I was tempted to quote heavily from the book for this review, but will show restraint. 'Books are dangerous. They make us imagine worlds beyond our own mundane experiences. They make us see the world as other see it. Books carry hope and promise' (p31). There is a lovely account of the value and significant of libraries from when the author was a child.

This is a joyful book to read and is beautifully illustrated. All the knitting patterns are interesting, and I have a few bookmarked to try, although it will be a while before I can start any of them, unless I want to have even more unfinished knitting lying in baskets. There is a lovely and encouraging section on embracing imperfections in our knitting (with my knitting this is inevitable), but this is relevant to many other aspects of life too.

This would be a book for libraries to consider both for the knitting patterns, but also for the connections of making and reading which would be a fit for libraries which have maker spaces or provide space for knitting groups (one of the most active maker communities in many public libraries).

I really like that this book, like some other knitting books, provides both a print and ebook when the item is purchased. As an aside I am one of the Kickstarter backers for this book.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A few thoughts on the book Tinkering: Australians reinvent DIY culture by Katherine Wilson

Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY CultureTinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture by Katherine Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book explores the concept of tinkering in Australia. It is based on interviews with several tinkerers (mainly from Victoria) and uses aspects of ethnography as the methodology for this research. This interesting book is based on the doctoral research by the author.

There are useful ideas in this book for libraries which have maker spaces or other connections to makers and tinkerers to consider however, libraries are almost invisible in the work. There could be another interesting research project looking at the connection between libraries and making and tinkering.

The discussion of tinkering in this book includes a wide range of formats including electronics, mechanical, building, research, photography, and jam making. Mending is raised as a tinkering area, but it is acknowledged that more research needs to be done into this area.

There are useful perspectives of failure and mistakes presented through this work. Block, one of the people interviewed for the research states, ‘I make mistakes all the time, that’s how you learn about things and get more experienced. You have to think, and you have to be patient’. Hondo, another interviewee states that you ‘never know if what you imagine will turn out’.

The author writes that when ‘policy makers and bureaucrats make decisions about cultural spaces like Men’s Sheds, Hackerspaces, community gardens, manual education and innovation programs, they need to understand that their magic force lives in quests, stories, senses, skills and the plotting of self in he continuity of experience...For all its senseless and supernatural overtones, magic is an important way to understand the everyday transformative, spellbinding power that pulses through Australia’s sheds, paddocks, kitchens, backyards and workshops’. p83. This idea of forces of magic is an interesting description to use.

While there is no index, there is a useful and detailed list of select references.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A few thoughts on Social Media in an English Village by Daniel Miller

Social Media in an English VillageSocial Media in an English Village by Daniel Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is part of an series of books using ethnography to explore social media use and attitudes towards it in different communities around the world. It very interesting both for the descriptions of ethnographic practices and the specific results in each location. The results are different in each place.

This volume showed interesting examples of how different people and organisations in the community were using social media. One of the most interesting areas was the use by people with terminal illnesses as part of their experiences of dying.

This was a very interesting book to read.

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