about this project

this project was started in January 2010 and was intended just for the one time showing at the conference Textures (June, Riga, Latvia, 2010). Since I received requests from other people who would like to participate, I decided to create a new place for it and let it continue... Anybody is welcome to add a new story in fiber one, two, three dimensional, not too big in a size (between 20x20x20 and 50x50x50 cm). The written story about the piece is optional but will be appreciated to the level you wish to share it. Every submission will be documented on this blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Karen Skowron (February 3, 2010)

The Last Frontier  -  Us ;  explorations on the journey of s/Self.
Expressing the journey in fibre with the intent to engage the senses.
A work in progress.
Polyester batting *  was vibrantly hand spun on a Louet S10 wheel to provide a yarn which is representative of the energy of our being(s).
*The polyester was chosen with a nod to repurposing items such as pop cans into fibre/cloth etc., but mostly because my many years of playing with fibre, rough and dusty and wonderfully natural fibre like rope and hemp and ripped-into-strips fabric and raw fleece and dog hair and itchy wool etc. has led to a need to consider the respiratory system and (try to) limit the playing to amiable options. 

The Last Frontier was knit from this lively yarn with little or no attempt to tame or straighten it:  acceptance.
Eleven stitches were cast on to #7 needles:  numbers intrigue me and master double digits such as 11, 22 etc. often figure in my work;  the #7 needles felt right with which to start and were selected by browsing through the vessels which contain the waiting-in-the-wings needles with both eyes and hands until a pair felt right with regard to size, colour and content -  #7,  yellow, vintage plastic.
The piece loosened as the knitting progressed - with the expression of journeying being focused upon - both with relaxation of the knitting technique and letting go the resistance to the self-consciousness of expression and deciding to move up – or down -  needle size(s) at will and whim : expansion.
Then came the wish to use even bigger needles and eliminate what was coming between me and the means of expression – the knitting needles themselves.
In the past I have knit using my arms as the needles and decided to do so again. Arms provide a most immediate and satisfying contact and interaction with the fibre and the process.
There is also an ongoing contentment at having solved the problem of not having had a hand ‘free’ to throw the yarn as one does when knitting with two needles separate from the body:  the dominant hand reaches through the next stitch and then down to scoop up the length of yarn attached to the ball bringing it back up and through that stitch and then looping it onto the arm of the dominant hand.
The eleven original stitches had been transferred from the last knitting needle onto my left arm and were knit across to the right arm using the method just described. Then I knit back using the left hand as the dominant hand and then forward using the right again,  etc.  Back-and-forth-knitting.  I likely knit the backward part with the left hand going into the back of the stitch as I usually do in back-and-forth-knitting which results in stockingette stitch (I can also knit back in knit stitches and produce the garter stitch pattern) but I do not recall this now and this inability to remember pleases me : doesn’t matter; humour.
Knowing when to quit was the next question and the answer came about as I would stop now and stop then and ask if  the feeling of knowledge had yet bumped into the feeling of  wisdom and when it did – I stopped.
The stitches are not cast off – this is a work in progress/process – so a clear piece of nylon fishing line was used to secure the last row and the last of the yarn ball was left joined.
I had considered taking the last row of stitches off my arm and letting them unravel as they might or could or would in their part of Story in Textures but it felt more right to keep them in the tactile state as they had left me.
So here it is.  Meant to convey how I was feeling in expressing this journey of the last frontier.
Cheerfully submitted
Karen Skowron
Playing with fibre
Victoria BC  Canada

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