Knitting with Kitchen Tin Foil


This was an idea that i had during my first project of my second year at uni. I was responding to an ‘umbrella’ which lead me down the route of structures.
I wanted to experiment with different types of yarn to see how i could manipulate the knit into a 3D form that would stand on it’s own. At first i used 0.2mm wire to knit with on a domestic knitting machine which was amazing because it was really smooth to knit with once you got it going. The finished sample is very strange because you it is wire therefore it should be rigid and sharp, but the actual sample is none of those things. It behaves like a fabric.
Although interesting it did not have the desired effect as it would still need reinforcements if it were to be a free-standing form. I then turned my mind to other materials that could be used that would create a rigid structure but still fairly easy to knit with. This is when i thought about tin foil.
I ended up spinning 15 metres of the stuff using a drop spindle to provide a weight and stop it unspinning. I could not spin it in the traditional sense as it was too flimsey and rigid at the same time (weirdly), so i ended up twisting it by hand. This was zo hard to do, as when you thought you had cracked it, it decided that that method would no longer work, and i f it didn’t do that then it would rip. The process is very hard on your hands and my fingertips wers still hurting the next day, but the finished yarn looks quite impressive.


Having spun the yarn, the next stage was to knit with it. I had originally thought about knitting it quite tight in order to get the rigidity; however when i started knitting it kept ripping due to the movements of the needles just to get the stitches to form. From here i decided to use 20mm needles which is a lot bigger and therefore looser than i had planned it to be, but it meant that i only had one stitch break (which i managed to recover).
In appearance i am really impressed with this sample because of the way the foil reflects the light and by the textures of the yarn itself as well as the natural texture of knit; but with regards the structural intention, i willhave to go back to the drawing board and maybe spin it in smaller sections so that it will spin more and become more rigid and less breakable.



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