The areas that I want to work in with knitting for my final project are amateur creativity,teaching, Heritage, time investment and value, and contemporary reinterpretation of knitting.
One of my personnel frustrations with knitting is the amount of awful knitting that show a lack of visiual awareness in aesthiethic consideration and a timedness to move away from following patterns in anyother way than exactly. Knitting is a craft that gives a method of creation, a construction technique, that should let peoples creativity floris. Or even in a more traditional sense allow people to create what they need or want to there own specifications. I want to encourage people to develop their knitting and free them constraints of patterns to be makers. I also want to make it assesable as there is an ability gap for beginner knitters between patterns difficulty and the persons skill as a beginner. This leads to frustration and giving up on the craft, in this sense I want to create unrestrictive patterns that allow creativity and develope the beginners skill by meeting them where their at.
There is an Irish saying that says ‘It destroys the craft not to learn it,’ and I do not want knitting to be a lost art. With a more freer understanding of knitting the beginner has the freedom of not knowing lots, Shunryu Suzuki said “In the beginners mind there are many possiblities, but the experts mind there are few.” Learning in its self is a interesting process, within craft learning creates community and historically has been a key element to community.
Knitting heritage is strongly found in the learning of knitting as it is a skill that is passed through families playing a key roll in family histories and communities. I am interested in peoples knitting history and stories about knitting. In researching knitting hertiage I found a large amount of false hertiage where meaning and signifance is invented or exzaggerated prodiminately for the purpose of marketing. This idea of false hertiage interests me as much as the real heritage of knitting.
Knitted objects or gifts have great value even when they aren’t perfect. I am interested in the value of handmade objects and the time investment that would require a large financial cost to out match if this in many cases is in fact possible. Handmade objects get passed down and kept as priecous items, with great stories and value, which ties into knitting heritage also.
The final area I am interested in is the contemporary reinterpretation of knitting. There is fantastically inspiring work being done within this area. Freddie Robin’s project How to make a piece of work when you’re too tired to make decisions where pieces are created by rolling a dice to create the instructions for creation of the piece reinterprets knitting almost like a game. Also her project BODY, NO BODY, SOME BODY, ANY BODY based on two commisions made for Mat Fraser who has short arms and Catherine Long who has one arm. The project confronts preceptions of disability. With Mat they wanted to challenge the common assumption that disabled people are passive and harmless.Freddie Robins work is dragging knitting out of its preceived postion of a harmless hobbie whos particpants are old woman. Another area where knitting is being reinterpreted is knit graffiti, where people go out and attach knitting to objects and round them. One of the most interesting of which is Merdith Warner who in one of her projects unravels lost items and knits them to the place in which she found them. Or Janet Morton and her lace trees, which are beatiful and striking. Morton’s tree coverings are so successful in there complete encompassing of the trunk and branches where so many other acts of cover objects are timide.