Friday, 29 February 2008

vik prjonsdottir (knit)

My last entry was about an artist concerned with an earthy reality of knit - the processes involved in obtaining the wool, treatment and connection with the animals that provide the wool and our everyday use of the items. This entry is about Vik Prjónsdóttir, an Icelandic collection of designers using myth and legend, storytelling and fantasy alongside the reality of knit as part of their very unique community.
There's something about knitting which often connects us with each other, different cultures or sometimes nods to our folk roots and history. Is it because it was historically a cheap source of clothing and industry, easy to source and make. 'Make do and mend'..? Perhaps because it grounds us? Or is it because we need only do it ourselves as a relaxing, almost meditative past time and are able to take time to reflect and wonder about the rhythmic stitching of other people at other times?Today there's a new tradition emerging from such designers as Vik Prjonsdottir and Cilla Ramnek (previous post). In their hands, the beauty of the ancient craft is being applauded, recorded and pushed into new territory in an elegant yet dynamic manner. In the case of these ground-breaking Icelandic pieces we are asked to re-evaluate the way in which we view knitting. Somehow, this historical grounding feels modern and new to us - perhaps because we have become so used to our narrow expectations of the discipline. We're so excited to see people using knitwear in new ways for fashion, employing modern fibres and new stitch techniques. But here we are being asked to re-think our concepts of how we use it entirely, whilst it is still moving with it's roots firmly in the soil of tradition. We have beautiful throws and quilts, but they're nearly always square and flat... here, the use of knit to warm us is taken in radically different directions drawing us to this fascinating part of the world and it's unique lifestyle.
The twosome blanket is a great innovation based in fact on practicality. In earlier times, when homes were without heating, it was traditional for Icelandic people to share a bed and thus share warmth.

The beard caps are obviously a reference to traditional caps that farmers in Iceland wore in heavy snowstorms. They had a small opening on the face but covered the head and neck.

The sea blanket refers to the fact that the Icelandic waters are among the best parts of the Atlantic Ocean to fish. Over the years, many ships have been caught there and many sailors drowned.
You can visit their website here and buy their products here


tara thomas said...

This is all v.interesting stuff. Love the blog - I'm studying textiles so will be coming back for more.

Alexandra said...

Beauiful and innovative work. Love the babygro and the blanket for two.

Carolina Eclectic said...

Love their work, I saw the beard cap somewhere else and loved funny.

vishu said...

hi!!! realy a lovely blog....never seen such creativity in knitting!!! gr8 work....luv to c more,,,,so keep up d good wotk