Meta badges

Thank you all so much for the kind words and support re: “But is it Art?”

You really all made me feel much better about being crapped on by the shop, and your comments have inspired me to find new ways of selling my badges directly. I am investigating the best ways of doing this and when current Big Projects are out of the way, the badges will be listed somewhere on the Internets, and YOU will be the first people to know about them. I am amassing the makings of a glorious badge-empire, founded on vintage knitting magazine badges, typography badges, vintage nature book badges, Victoriana badges and – my personal new favourite branch of badge-creation and self-accessorising – meta badges.

To explain…

Some years ago, Liz presented me with a fantastic fat quarter. It is red and features a print of scissors, and I love it very much and often muse on what it could become. At the time, Liz described this fabulous print to me as “meta-fabric,” being as it is fabric – i.e. a sewing material – featuring a print referring to the act/tools of sewing. Visually referring to itself meant that it could be said to contain self-referential information or meta-data… hence, “meta-fabric.” Being employed by the OED (which defines meta like this) Liz is much better placed than I to precisely describe the nature of meta, but as I understand it, meta means about or referring to itself, and ever since she introduced me to the concept, I have been all about the meta-everything.

One of my favourite art pieces in The TATE Modern, for instance, is Ceal Floyer’s Light Switch. This work – like Liz’s meta fabric – is somehow very meta; it refers to light, and it is in and of itself comprised of light. Floyer’s work features a slide image of a light-switch projected onto a wall at the correct size and height of an actual light switch. It is a light switch about light-switch-ness, and I like the way that an everyday, ordinary, mundane thing can be playfully rearranged like this – and celebrated – through such mischievious, imaginative means.

So it is with the meta badges. I am enjoying arranging badges onto my outfits which refer to their knitted-ness. Perhaps this is because I am too busy with other things to actually accomplish any knitting, but I am loving the addition of meta-data to my clothes and I think everyone should have a fantastic set of personalised meta-badges to emphasise the means of their construction, or to underscore some of their principal design features.

A most playful accessorisation of clothes can ensue when one has an arsenal of knitting-themed badges to hand.

The first thing one needs when creating the ultimate meta/knitterly outfit, are some knitted clothes. I have recently come by two hand-knitted sweaters, around which everything else in my wardrobe revolves. I did not knit these items myself; they were knitted by Amy, who is the genius behind The Arctic Haberdasher on Etsy. She knitted them for herself and then – after deciding they did not fit her personal style – confined them to the wardrobe where they languished for a few years, before she decided one day to sell them. One is knit in what I would call Hooker’s Green, the other in Mustard Yellow. At the height of my Land Girl obsession, I purchased the Green one; the moment it arrived and was set about my person, I immediately wrote to Amy and purchased the Yellow one. They are amazing… knit in vintage wool to a vintage pattern, they are perfect for the unsettled weather we have been having; not too hot on the hot days and a good layer against the cold on the cold days. They go well with shorts and breeches, and are practical and quiet for when I am out and about pretending to be a Land Girl with Mark on our numerous walks.

I have worn very few other sweaters since acquiring these… they are my very favourite thing right now, and have formed the basis of the meta-badge craze.

Once you have chosen knitted items which you are similarly thrilled about, inspect them for knitterly details. A beautiful neckline; some buttons; perhaps the wondrous fabric or shade of yarn of which they are comprised.

Neckband detail!


Once you have found a detail you find pleasing in your knitted garment, refer to it via a carefully selected meta badge.

Knitted fabric/colour reference.

Waist band reference.

Yellow and green vintage knitting and meta badge references.

Once you have thusly meta-accessorised your outfit, wear with pride!

6 Responses to Meta badges

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » The meta data

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