A new way to knit: artist recreates a Renaissance painting using a single thread, in a circular loom.


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Categories: Fun, Inspiration

Greek artist Petros Vrellis recreates a Renaissance painting using a single thread, connecting thousands of straight lines in a circular loom.

In short, this project explores a completely new way to knit.
The knitting is done by hand, on a primitive circular loom; a few thousand meters of continuous black thread are knitted as straight lines across the circumference, in a pattern dictated by a specially designed algorithm. Note that there is a lot of computing involved in the process of making, but, the final artwork carries absolutely no technology.

Although any digital picture can be converted to a knitting pattern of this type, portraits are the most interesting themes. Despite the extreme limitations of the design, the depicted faces are still recognizable, but inevitably appear fuzzy and smudged; a large degree of uncertainty about the characteristics and the emotions of the depicted persons is inducted.

The project challenges our perception of reality and serves as a comment to our limited understanding of our world.
The first series of knitted portraits is based on ElGreco’s expressive figures.

Circular loom
The loom is an 28’’ aluminum rim, with 200 anchor pegs on its circumference.

Knitting pattern
In contrast to conventional knitting, absolutely no knitting is done inside the area of the loom. Instead, the thread is knitted as straight lines across the anchor pegs on the circumference, only. In geometric terms, the thread follows a path of consecutive circle’s chords. Thus, one single thread runs from one anchor peg to another, continuously, for 3.000 - 4.000 times, reaching a total length of 1 - 2 kilometers. Knitting is done by hand, with step-by-step instructions dictated by a computer. The absence of black thread gives a completely white color tone. The tone darkens as the density and the intersections of the black thread increase. Thus, afullgrayscale palette (from black to white) is possible. The knit is transparent and can be viewed from both sides.

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