Loret Karman & Joost Jansen
NEW CRAFTS by Crafts Council Nederland
Knitting a multicoloured image is a complicated process. The technique that is usually applied is called intarsia, and requires the knitter to work with multiple colours of yarn at the same time. The large number of balls turns even the knitting of a simple figure into a laborious matter. Hence, few knitters are truly proficient in intarsia knitting.
In recent years, Loret Karman and Joost Jansen have been searching for a way to simplify the knitting of multicoloured images and to make it accessible to a wider audience. Karman is a specialised hand knitter and yarn dyer. Jansen is the founder of Survival of the Fashionest, a brand that produces hand-knitted clothing. Jansens designs contain complex motifs executed in intarsia. Currently, this is done in Bulgaria, by a team of women who are masters in the technique. Even so, the process is time-consuming: the knitting of a single jumper takes approximately three weeks on average.
Together with Karman, Jansen developed a method to dye the image onto a single length of yarn. This allows the knitter to knit a multicoloured image using only one thread. A first proof of concept is displayed in the exhibition.
During the making of this sample, however, the new method turned out to be almost as challenging as intarsia, be it in a different way. Pre-dyeing the yarn necessitates meticulous mathematics, and the dyeing itself is arduous. Subsequently, the knitter must knit neatly and consistently to avoid colours ending up in the wrong places.
Jansen and Karman are currently in touch with a Israeli spinning mill that could produce the pre-dyed yarns industrially, with machines responsible for both calculations and dyeing. That would permit further development and scaling of the single-yarn production process.
Text: Nora Veerman
Photography: Fan Liao