The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra
by Christien Meindertsma

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Dutch Design Week 2013: designer Christien Meindertsma has compiled photographs of hundreds of jumpers knitted by an elderly woman into a book and organised a flashmob in her honour (+ movie).

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

Christien Meindertsma's book celebrates the creations of Rotterdam resident Loes Veenstra, who has knitted more than 500 jumpers since 1955.

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

Museum Rotterdam and visual arts studio Wandschappen asked Meindertsma to create "something new" with the jumpers that Loes Veenstra had knitted, mostly using yarns donated to her over the years.

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

"In the book I tried to categorise the sweaters so that you can see the same yarn or pattern return in different pieces," said Meindertsma. "What is quite special is that almost all pieces were knitted without a pre-made pattern; she just improvised and used what she had at the time."

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

The jumpers are photographed against a neutral backdrop that enhances the patterns and the use of different yarns and threads that have become available since the 1950s.

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

When Meindertsma discovered that the jumpers had never been worn she organised a surprise flashmob of people wearing them on Mrs Veenstra's street.

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

Groups of dancers, a marching band, a choir, baton twirlers and hundreds of volunteers wearing the sweaters appeared on the street, where Mrs Veenstra was able to view her entire output for the first time.

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

The project won Best Autonomous Design in the Product category at last week's Dutch Design Awards, whose selection committee described it as "a good translation of a special story into a carefully designed book," adding: "the flashmob puts a smile on your face."

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

Other winners included a bubble-shaped extension on top of a neo-classical museum, and a conceptual proposal to shrink the human population. Iris van Herpen's fashion collection featuring 3D-printed garments won the top prize.

The knitting collection of Loes Veenstra by Christien Meindertsma

Photography and videos were a cooperation with Roel van Tour and Mathijs Labadie.

  • H-J

    Wonderful work from both Loes Veenstra and Christien Meindertsma.