Fiberlog

Games Day 6

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 2, 2012

More inkle-weaving, more progress on the back of the sweater, and finally did something a little different than what I’ve done for the past 4 pieces–I put T’s initials and the year on the inner hem of the sweater–a little hidden message for him.

Games Day 5

The thing that inspired this was a retrospective on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s work at the University of Wisconsin that I saw a few years ago (I believe the occasion was the 50th anniversary of Schoolhouse Press). The gallery had a wonderful variety of things, including correspondence, bits of patterns she’d written with many scribbles and codes, clips from her PBS show, and of course tons of knitted objects. Some were knit by her, others were her patterns knit or interpreted by others. There was one example of a sweater that she knit, in the round (of course), with a hemmed bottom so as to avoid purling (of course). They displayed the sweater with the hem flipped up so that you could see that she had knitted the year in a contrasting color yarn. The notes next to the sweater said that she often did this, and it’s a charming detail that tells me a lot about he as a person.

I’ve done similar things on a few other projects, now, including knitting my husband’s initials in moss stitch into the gussets of a gansey I knit for him, and incoporating my initials into the sides of a Fair Isle sweater I knit for myself. It’s a little thing that feels very important when I do it. People try to express their individuality through their clothing, and yet their clothing isn’t individualized–chances are, it was manufactured half a world away in batches of thousands. Lots of people make beautiful things that lool like many other beautiful mass-produced things, because the aesthetic in our culture is for a relatively mass-produced type of style. (Sometimes I do, too; I’m not calling anyone out here.) So it feels very important, in a deep-down hard-to-verbalize place, to make a small addition that explicitly says “this thing belonged to this particular person, at this particular time. Every bit of it was made just for them. Other people might wear it in the future, but this fact will never change.”

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One Response

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  1. Susan Sarabasha said, on August 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I like that small touch that says so much. It is also fairly secret which adds to its power.


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