Get Your Knit On!

Last week, I used knitPro to knit an anarchy symbol on a cardigan for my neighbour's new baby! All creative knitters should be familiar with this very handy tool created by microRevolt, with which users can upload images and download a pattern. But knitPro isn't just about helping out crafty folk. microRevolt's mission is to "investigate the dawn of sweatshops in early industrial capitalism to inform the current crisis of global expansion and the feminization of labor." Founder Cat Mazza's efforts will be acknowledged by a well-deserved Honorary Mention in the Digital Communities category at this year's Ars Electronica Festival, opening tomorrow. The Logoknitting tactic promoted by microRevolt involves placing logos of well-known corporate sweatshop offenders, such as the Gap and Nike, into DIY fashion items. This ironic act of resistance counteracts corporate disregard for the work and skill that goes into mass-produced clothing. microRevolt provides basic knitting instructions, information about protest activities, such as the Nike Blanket Petition, and excellent links to anti-sweatshop organisations and knitting sites. Grab your needles and stitch together your own connections between advertising, labour, production, and consumption in the global economy. Then stage your own knit-in. - Helen Varley Jamieson.