Off Topic: Christie Anthoney

By day Christie Anthoney is the Creative Director, Adelaide College of the Arts, TAFE SA and by night she knits Nanna Pods

Off Topic and on the record as South Australian identities talk about whatever they want… except their day job. By day Christie Anthoney is the Creative Director, Adelaide College of the Arts, TAFE SA and by night she knits Nanna Pods. “I’ve only ever been interested in the colours and the process of knitting and finally I discovered that I could make Nanna Pods,” explains Anthoney about her woolen iPod covers. “That was a breakthrough. They’re really simple to do, I can knock out one a night and they are satisfying because I can change colours, patterns and shapes. The problem is they have no purpose. I’m stuck with them. I give them away and I have dabbled in egg cosies for boiled eggs, then again who’s really going to use that? It’s completely useless,” she laughs. The former Director of the Adelaide Fringe knits the Nanna Pods while relaxing in front of the television. “I find the process really satisfying. I find that when sitting and watching the tellie, even the news, it just isn’t enough. If I watch the news and a couple of murdersome Brits then I’m likely to knock out a Nanna Pod. “I thought it would be cool to make something for an iPhone or a phone but actually nobody wants to put their phone in something, when your phone’s ringing the last thing you want to do is muck around to get it out. I actually think I should make them bigger for tablets. Then they might have a more useful life, to actually protect something. For a while there I was sewing on velcro to see if people could use them for a purse or something.” Anthoney’s grandmother taught her to knit when she was 12 or 13. After she mastered the art of knitting, an eclectic 80s knitting book called Wild Knitting inspired Anthoney. “It showed how to knit bikinis, stuff out of metalbased thread and really weird home objects. It was very colourful, very 80s with George Michael-like gloves that were fi ngerless with rainbow colours.” When Anthoney discovered a particular brand of wool in Edinburgh her knitting fate was sealed. “In Edinburgh I went to a shop that had a whole wall full of wool in boxes, and the colour of it was just awesome, it was a very satisfying moment. At that time I wanted to buy a whole lot of colours but I knew I couldn’t make a jumper out of it because it’s not the 80s. I bought a whole lot of colours and then I just started knitting stripes, just to do squares. There are a lot of CWA women who knit squares for rugs and and things. It’s probably something I should consider; it’s probably more humanitarian to make a rug for someone. But I made a little pouch and thought, ‘I’ll make Nanna Pods’. One night I ordered these online [Nanna Pod logos]. You can only order a minimum of 100. I’m now on my second run, so I’m on my 200th pod.” Anthoney once started a knit club with a friend, which was held at The Grace Emily Hotel. “We discovered we were secret knitters, it’s nnot something that’s particularly common even amongst my friends, but we discovered we were knitters and thought, ‘Wow, we can share some tricks’. We advertised this thing called Knit Night at The Grace, it was beer and knitting. Clanger, the guy who was running The Grace, was really cool. He let us take over the front bar and then it got too big. There were people rocking up, women particularly, from all over the place. So we moved to the beer garden but it was just too dark. We were all bringing in our knitting and our lamps to try and get some light in there. But it was just too dark. We couldn’t see what we were doing. Then we tried to think of somewhere else to hold Knit Night that was cool enough. We just disbanded it. We might do it again.” tafesa.edu.au/adelaide-college-of-the-arts Photos: Jonathan van der Knaap

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