knitspiration: artist dave cole

elisemade knitspiration

this week, i want to share some amazing work by the artist dave cole.

i first discovered his work sometime around 2007 when i was a junior in art school, focusing in hard on fiber and textile arts. i was just starting to discover the world of fiber artists and how they were transforming materials and processes typically associated with "craft." when i discovered dave cole's knitting machine, a large-scale installation from 2005 that utilized custom john deere excavators to knit a giant american flag, my whole notion of what knitting could be went out the window.

photo credit: Mass MoCA, from

photo credit: Mass MoCA, from

the installation took place over the course of a week, during which the machines knit the entire flag. this piece is inspiring because it introduced me to the concept of extreme knitting (now pioneered by the incredible artist jacqui fink), and to the idea that knitting can make a social and/or political statement. 

to check out the video of the machines in action, click here.  

another piece by dave cole that i love is the money dress:

photo credit: Stewart Clements Photography, from

photo credit: Stewart Clements Photography, from

the dress is knit from $1,124 of hand-cut bills. i would love to know how he cut them and how the cuttings were connected to create yarn. i also wish i could touch this piece, i bet it feels really cool! i love the idea of using non-traditional materials to create knitted fabric. 

what do you think about the knitting machine and the money dress?

to learn more about artist dave cole and check out his other textile work and sculpture, visit his website at