Artist Beki Rymsza launches her book The Knit Parade with a wall-to-wall wool installation. On September 12th Shoreditch art gallery The Great Eastern Bear was transformed into a vibrant disco; complete with sequins, colourful cocktails and Sister Sledge. Nothing so unusual, you would think – except that the whole thing was knitted from wool!

The gallery’s walls were draped and a specially created knitted dancefloor (reminiscent of the one in Pulp’s ‘Disco 2000’) had been laid down. Upon the dancefloor were knitwear-clad mannequins with mirrorballs for heads. ‘Boogie Nights’ blared, disco lights created twinkles and the effect was a delightfully retro colour pop that urged the hundred invited guests to get into the groove.

The brainchild of artist and self-confessed ‘crafty-type’ Beki Rymsza, the disco celebrated the launch of her book The Knit Parade; which gives readers step-by-step instructions to create a series of sweaters all inspired by song titles. Maybe you’d like to wear Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ on your chest? Or Madonna’s ‘Lucky Star’? Gary Numan’s ‘Are Friends Electric’ – the book features them all and more in a warm, fuzzy format.

Rymsza insists that the patterns can be followed and creations achieved by a novice knitter, but adds ‘,You can follow each pattern to the letter (or number) or you can do your own thing – which of course we’d encourage. It is all about creating unique knitwear so don’t be bound by our colour choices or image placements, go wild in the Jarol aisles and do what you like…’

A spokesperson for the Great Eastern Bear gallery also commented ‘,In the UK we grew up with Top of the Pops, and the presenters had some pretty splendid knitwear throughout the Eighties. Maybe there has always been a connection between jumpers and discos…’

To create the knitted disco, the artist used an impressive 25 kg of yarn, 76 metres squared of knitted panels and 75,000 disco ball mirror tiles! The exhibition was open to the public to view for just four days and evening cocktails were provided by Brittains vodka.

For more information:
The Knit Parade,12 Statement Sweater Patterns, 12 Motifs to Meddle With, by Beki Rymsza is published by Collins & Brown