I knit, you knit

Back very early in my project research I was interested in a project where a woman had ripped her mothers knitted work and then re-knit them to make a quilt as a grieving process. I found the project beautiful and thought it was a very meaningful act of knitting. It lead me at the time to consider the unspoken rules of knitting that if someone invests time and knits you something you are not meant to undo the knitting and use the yarn to make something else. At the time I did not really develop it, I did  a small drawing of if you were knitting to relax you could have pictures of all the things one ball of wool would be. But at this point I hadn’t developed or really understood what my project was or understood the contextual basis of it so didn’t follow it up. 

As I was reading through my blog in preparation for my Viva I came across that post and wanted to revisit it. As I am interested in the process when its not to produce an object as an outcome, it interested me that the object was being undo. I started experimenting by asking my Mam to knit me something that I would rip afterwards so that I could knit her something for her to then rip and begin again. By the knitting and ripping and investing time into someone that doesn’t have a tangible lasting outcome to represent the investment the process mimics investing in someone like in a conversation. In the knitting we can knit each other things that we want to share with each other or show techniques. This knitting narrative differs from the knitting conversation as this piece is an activity that does not help to maintain or create the conversation like the knitting conversation.

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2 comments
  1. jennytaylor said:

    These are interesting thoughts. My mother taught me to knit when I was very young. I am now a mother myself, but my own mother died before my children came along. I have some pieces of her knitting that she had done for my nieces and nephews (who she did meet), and I have kept them intact. Some other pieces, though, (jumpers she had made me, for example) I have undone and used the yarn to make things for my children….. as way of passing on something of my mother…. and I guess as a way of mourning the fact that she is not here to knit for them herself…

    Thoroughly enjoyed your post, and I will be sure to check back often to read some more of your ideas. I like your mind!

    • katflap said:

      I like my mind too, it would be awkward if I didn’t : ) thank you and thank you for sharing your story! I’ve keep some of the stuff my granny knitted for me when I was a baby for my kids. And My great granny crocheted and crocheted each great grandchild’s name and each family name of her children and grandchildren. But I have cousins and a my mam’s cousins son who have been born since she died and once I finish my degree I plan to do their names as she would have done their’s if she was alive.

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