Primary Tools & Materials:
knitting, light table
Additional Tools & Materials: construction paper, die cutting machine, tape, pane of glass, desk lamp, camera
This matchup pairs needle arts and light. I used a practice square I made of a checkerboard knit/purl pattern to filter light through construction paper masks. I thought the patterns combined with alternating negative and positive letters would make for some interesting forms.
I started with three cut letters - a thick slab, a rounded sans serif, and a black sans serif. I was curious how each unique letterform's features would or wouldn't filter through the yarn. Surprisingly, you can actually tell them apart when you compare the images, though sometimes you have to squint your eyes. I think the most interesting result was how the checkerboard grid could be used to center, align, or contain the light that made the letterforms. The best example is image one - looking at the bottom slab serif, the mask has lit up exactly four units of the pattern - then the stem above lights up two - then back to four - then three on, one off, two on, and finally the upper slabs light four, skip one, light three. I was hoping this would happen, but I didn't do any special planning or measuring to achieve this alignment. The grid also served to "contain" light - and sometimes blocked it even when it was beneath. The skinniest of the letterforms (the rounded serif in number 4 and 6) could appear either one or two units wide, depending on where I placed the knitting over the mask. Finally - I couldn't resist making a bat signal (image 8).
I think the modularity provided by the knitted grid is the most striking characteristic of this study. Shifting it over by half a unit or rotating the knitting 90 degrees had a huge effect on the visibility of the letter underneath. Looking at it, your mind can fill in the blanks where the letter isn't completely visible due to the fuzzy, uneven edges of the letter as it streams through the weave as tiny dots of light.