Monday, 26 May 2008

on the sticks

A month ago, if you asked, I would have told you I can't knit. Despite the fact that I actually can since my Nan taught me to do so when I was about 5 or 6 and surprisingly I've never forgotten.
It must be the little rhythm we had going:
"Through the hole, around the needle, back through the hole and off!"
It became a kind of knitting mantra that I never really let go of. But despite the cool chant, my knitting skills were, well, lack-lustre. I couldn't do much else that knit and purl and I don't think I ever even finished a scarf.
I do enjoy watching the knitting show on cable however, and have found myself drawn to try different things, which upon watching the techniques, I find I can actually do them.

Inspired by the ever-talented and truly lovely Peta, whose hand knits are to die for!! I decided to bite the bullet and just go with the flow.
Peta describes her style as "organic". She doesn't work to a pattern, but rather she allows the yarn to speak to her as she creates beautiful one-off pieces in this simple yet sensitive manner. (Knit-nazi's schreech: "what!? She doesn't use a pattern!?)

Considering I can't read knitting patterns anyhow, this method really appealed to me, so I went out and bought home a bunch of yummy yarns and whipped up my first ever completed knitted item! (A petrafanella rip-off no less) To the discerning eye it is less than perfect, but that just makes me love it all the more!

And I've been practicing. My knit-literacy levels are up and I have a couple more projects on the sticks.


Craft is a place i visit between doing other things. I have always held a distinct line between what is art and what is craft, and I'm cool with that. And with crafting making such a resurgance, I'm happy to poke my head out of the crafting closet and hold it high.

I was explaining to my friend Carly how between making art I make craft; as a way of keeping myself busy but also as a way to explore techniques in a non threatening way - and I can make something useful from it!
And she said to me that it wasn't really craft, it was more like preliminary sketches, the same as she would do for a painting in her journal.

and i like that.


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Honestly, I never expected that I would be selected to exhibit in Stitched and Bound. This was my first quilted piece and a huge learning curve and now that it's finished I look at it and think ugh, I could have done this or that so much better.
So when I received a letter saying congratulations, I'm in, I nearly flipped. Excitement was closely followed by self doubt: If I was questioning the integrity of my work then how would it stand up to being exhibited publicly?
Doubts aside, I am going through with this. We all have to start somewhere and I learned from Paulo Coelho to recognise self-sabotage. I decided a while ago that it's better to be making crap work and nurturing your inner artist than to not make work at all. It's so easy to give in to fear and equally important not to!
When I spoke to the organiser of the exhibition I was astounded to learn that the judges thought of my work as "exciting" and "sensitive to my theme"
Well...I'm not going to argue with that!