William Carlos Williams – in 5 minutes

Here is a brief audio-visual intro to the American poet, WilliamsCarlos Williams.  Just be aware that the beginning and end of this video have a few flashes of white light and black screen.


Film “Paterson” – a mood poem

I’ve just watched “Paterson” – a Jim Jarmusch film about a bus driver who secretly writes poetry and delights in overheard conversation.  It’s a really gentle, observant film with not much action, but a lot of listening.  Here’s a really good summary of it by reviewer Mark Kermode, who sums it up as a ‘mood poem”


Health and Safety at Work: Awards Ceremonies

Professor Mal Archaic once again introduces our Friday Night is Health and Safety Film Night.

Hello, bon soir, .  This evening, we tackle the problem of Awards Ceremonies.  All of a sudden, normally sane celebrities becomes moved to emotion, trips, falls, tears and unwarranted exclamations.  Or the temptation to appear more profound than usual.  Really, just the same as an graduation ceremony at a regional university, eh, what? what?

Let us examine the perils of Hugh Laurie – in action –

Stephen Be: life, creativity and knitting

This video interview with colourful knitting designer, Stephen Be, is just too much fun not to watch.  (As it says at the start, the wonderful interviewer, Kirsty Glass, apologizes that the first half of the interview was in poor focus – but such good content she had to keep it – so she funkified it up with a variety of visual effects until the good focus kicked in at 13 minutes in.)

One garment, 3 ways

Stephen is famous for knitting with glitter or chunky wool – and mixing it up.  He demonstrates the same chunky “ponchino” (a poncho with only one diagonal point, not the usual two found in a poncho) – worn 3 ways:


“My philosophy is: a pattern is a guideline only” – Stephen Be

Creative Takeaways

Screen shot 2018-05-18 at 10.52.02Your passion shows at an early age: Aged 8, Stephen Be was making outfits for Barbie dolls, buying shoes, handbag and hat to accessorise, adding a sketch of a scene as vignette – and SELLING the entire outfits to all the girls in the neighbourhood, for their dolls.  So he was designing and merchandising.  What were you naturally obsessed with, or enjoying, in primary school?

You may go through different cycles in life, don’t feel stuck in the one way.  Stephen calls it his Marilyn Monroe effect – the 7 year itch – needing to change things up from time to time.

Screen shot 2018-05-18 at 10.45.56

When you’re feeling mixed up, listen to the advice of someone who knows and loves you – twice, Stephen came home to Mom and started again with her advice, after things not working out in New York, and later unhappiness as a very wealthy, successful but too commercial designer

If you’re creative, your work IS your c.v.   He turned up for a job interview without a cv, as he didn’t know how to do that – but with 2 suitcases of his knitwear – he got the job

Screen shot 2018-05-18 at 10.39.55For creative people, being confident in presenting yourself verbally is your natural birthright – he comments, offhand that he’s creative, he can present himself and get work.

Guideline – go creative with patterns you see – deliberately knit in different textured wool and colourways.  Stephen keeps it interesting by always knitting with two or three yarns. (Obviously, for resizing wool or needles, you need to develop in skill and experience on unfitted garments, say knitted squares or scarf, so the fit is still good).


Self-portrait knitting freestyle

Kristy Glass has an amazing knitting vlog on Youtube – in it, she mostly interviews pretty much every well-known knitwear designer, vlogger and writer in the knitting world.

Here, she shows her own freestyle creation – she worked not from someone else’s pattern nor did she write down the pattern as she invented it, going along.  This is free-form.  It’s fairly instinctive and therefore highly individual – and fun!  She responded to inspiring wool to make something which makes the most of the yarn’s bouncy nature (her character is similar): a bubble dress!

By the way, for non-knitters, FO means Finished Object


The Art of Conversation – Studs Turkel Archive

Basically, you need never be bored again.  An immense archive of  the great audio interviewer and social historian and researcher, Studs Turkel, speaking over 40 years with great thinkers, movers and shakers as well as people less famous – has been properly curated and placed online.  This is America, talking to itself, about its hopes and fears in the 20th Century.