spinhandspun designs

Sweet Porridge: A Stop Motion Animation
February 15, 2010, 11:50 PM
Filed under: art-icles | Tags: , , , , ,

This afternoon, I uploaded a high quality version of my Sweet Porridge stop motion animation to Spinhandspun’s Youtube account. The original was completed in 2007, and features a cardboard house of thrifted furniture whose handmade inhabitants are overcome by a porridge avalanche.

If it existed, The Making of Sweet Porridge would feature me stabbing myself in the hand while watching Baraka (specifically, the part with the chicks), flinging six quarts of oatmeal into the Wisconsin snow, and confusion upon realizing (at the critique) that our prompt was to address the cult of celebrity in mass culture.

This particular story has been adapted and translated into AT&T Text to Speech from a Grimm’s fairy tale, and the dolls are embellished with yarn from upholstered wire armatures.

I had spent the summer of ’06 learning how to spin wool, and the original version was my first YouTube video. Its upload on Valentine’s Day 2007 marks the beginning of the pseudonym Spinhandspun. Happy third anniversary, alter-ego.


Knitting from the Inside Out: Designs by Inmate #200244
February 15, 2010, 8:55 PM
Filed under: artists in review | Tags: , , , ,


Mutual friends brought #200244 to my attention last winter. At the time, I was writing a literature review on the effectiveness of art therapy in the prison system and yarnstorming Spinhandspun into screaming infanthood. #20024’s subversive dog sweaters intrigued me, and his big house crochet inspired many components of my thesis.

On the outside, #200244 created projects using the materials around him. A painter and mixed media artist, he learned to crochet in lock up through a program that teaches inmates to make blankets, hats, and mittens for charity. With enough practice, he took to crafting his own designs.

For #200244, creating is a privilege: “I am fully aware it’s all I have, so I appreciate it a lot more. I pretty much live to make the next piece better than the last.”

Recently, #200244 has made the switch from crocheting to knitting to save on yarn. He has also taken up veganism, and begun a pink stuffed animal series in addition to more sweaters.

In the future, he hopes to meet a farmer who will let him knit sweaters for his cows, and has a garment in mind for Yoko Ono. That said, he predicts Ono will be less receptive than the cows.

Below are a selection of images from his current collection. Each item is moderately priced, and available for purchase. Contact julie@shimonlindemann.com for information.

Photography by J. Lindemann & J. Shimon.

#200244, #200244

Smoking Skull, #200244

Skull and Pig, #200244

665 + 1 = Fun, #200244

Grenade, #200244

Pink Elephant Sweater, #200244

Yoko, #200244

Math, #200244

Potted Skull, #200244

Pink Elephant with Pants, #200244

Pink Elephant, #200244

Pig, #200244

Industrial Felt Designs

Carga Messengers, Carga

Unzippable UM Bags, Josh Jackus

Bookwave Hanging Storage, Mehtap Obuz for Ilio

Buzzilight, Buzzispace

Wine Carrier, Graf & Lantz

6 Pack Wine Rack, Etcetera Media

Table Top Accessories, Filzfelt

Knot Seating, Yvonne Ip for Made

Peacock Chair, Dror

Re:Cover and Folder, Fredrik Farg

Diamond Garland, Jeanie Lai for Moufelt

A-Z Refrigerator Magnets, MiChiMa (Industrial Exception)

Object vs. Installation vs. Photograph vs. Exhibition
January 13, 2010, 4:58 PM
Filed under: art-icles | Tags: , , , ,

Earlier this year, Martyn Smith of Oldroads.org asked me a profound question regarding the viewer’s experience of public yarn art. He separated my work [read, guerrilla knitters: our work] into four categories:

  1. The knitted object itself
  2. This object in installation
  3. The installation’s document in photographic form
  4. The photograph or object’s installation in a gallery

His question?

Which of these four categories is the art?

At the time, I argued that all categories were art, with each experience prompting different aesthetic interpretations.

Among other things, the object itself conjures knitting’s associations with time, focus, patience, design, and (for some) its historical framework as a woman’s craft.

Of course, the experience of a public installation depends on its intended goal, be it to challenge knitting’s reputation as a pastoral craft-form intended to keep women occupied in the home, juxtapose our industrial landscapes with handmade reminders of our humanity, reclaim public objects as our own, or to offer an unexpected change in scenery.

The photograph, then, documents the artist’s act and intended public statement, yet lacks the transcendental “ah” moment of an unforeseen first-hand encounter. Roland Barthes best describes the difference between a photograph and the human experience it represents in his book Camera Lucida. He writes, “The Photograph… becomes a bizarre medium, a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modest, shared hallucination… a mad image, chafed by reality.”

Installed in a gallery, the craft is validated and accepted as a form of high art. But like a photograph, guerrilla knitting exhibitions deny viewers the excitement and secrecy of discovering these works on the streets.

Martyn’s question is alluring, and I find myself reconfiguring my original response near-daily.

I am curious, guerrilla knitters: What is your response? I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments section of this page, and will pose the same question in a forum on Subversiveyarn.ning.

Follow Spinhandspun on Twitter
January 12, 2010, 2:47 PM
Filed under: press, resources | Tags: , , , ,

Even though I started designing websites with Expage and Angelfire at the age of 12, my first relationship was via AIM, and I have an art degree focused on digital processes, I need someone to walk me through this: Spinhandspun has finally joined Twitter.

I’m not sure how it happened, exactly. Though I’ve always appreciated the site’s marketing potential, the tweeting juggernaut has conceptually terrified me. Regardless, I woke up this morning, pounded a cup of coffee, and decided to take the dive.

Ironically, my Samsung Eco Phone [read: Samsung’s version of green marketing because it’s made with recycled corn and has a picture of grass as its default background image] makes bird sounds when i receive text messages. I see this as a sign that smart phones are moving into psychic phone territory. The semi-attractive twenty-something at the Sprint store in Bemidji must’ve known this would happen.  I should’ve taken down his number since having a contact who could forecast the future would benefit anyone in the business of blogging.

Follow away at:

The Contiguous U.S. Represented by Yarn Store Density

Map of the Contiguous United States Represented by Yarn Store Density

Need yarn, supplies, classes, or a place to knit and socialize? Search www.knitmap.com

Knitmap allows you to locate yarn stores nearest to you, and read first hand reviews of each space. Search results can be limited for: hours of operation, seating, classes, Wifi, spinning supplies, snacks/refreshments, whether it is a chain, and if they sell other crafts.

So far, my favorite feature has been generating this map of the contiguous United States based on yarn store density. Looks like the east coast is winning. Manifest Destiknit!

Subversive Yarn.ning : Social Networking Site for Yarn Artists

Attention yarn artists! Looking for ways to share your work and gain inspiration from other like-minded folk? Rachel Elwell of the fabulous Art Yarn blog has created the social networking site Subversive Yarn . Ning for knitters and crocheters alike! Members have access to event promotion, portfolio sharing, forums, group discussion boards, and more. Below are just a few examples of member work:

Word on the Street, Vancouver. September 27, 2009.

Photo courtesy of Leanne Prain & Mandy Moore

Zoe’s Cover of the Sculpture

Jade on Her Park-Bench-Couch

Photos courtesy Matthew Venables via Michelle McCosker

Knit a Poem

Crime Scene Do Not Cross

Photos courtesy of Molli the Woodtagger

Knitted Plastic Bags

Photo courtesy of Denise Litchfield

The Shed Jumper Project

Self Assembly: Crocheting Ikea Curtains

Photos courtesy of Rachel Elwell

Plastic Jellyfish

Handspun Plastics

Photos courtesy of Rockpool Candy

Again, check it all out at: http://www.subversiveyarn.ning.com !