I have been back in my studio, felting away. Unfortunately, though, without taking pictures. Sometimes it’s just nice to work without interruptions of any sort. I haven’t even been bringing a phone into the studio. It’s a wonderful way to retreat from daily life into a totally different, totally wonderful world.
Speaking of the world, I recently mentioned to a friend that I’ve been knitting a lot. Probably the effects of winter, mild though this one has been. I’m also trying my hand at needlepoint (needlepoint? yes-needlepoint), something I haven’t done since I was a kid. You see, I read this book, Knitting Heaven and Earth, by Susan Gordon Lydon and got all inspired. She was a knitter and needlepointer. She talks about needle craft and spirituality. She was also one of the very early feminists and is well known for her article written in 1970, “the Politics of Orgasm”. As I talked about all this, my friend who is a younger woman (not yet even 40!), said “So what’s she doing writing about knitting?” And that got the old brain spinning.
How did it happen that needle arts, textile arts, traditional areas of women’s creativity, became “un-feminist”? Politically incorrect? Uncool? How has this idea been reflected in the greater world? The art world? Exhibiting, marketing and appreciating textile arts of all kinds? Does this have something to do with why modern American textile art is one of the least collected art forms in this country? Devalued?
Yes, I have been doing a lot of knitting. I’ve been making squares for my “Learn to Knit Afghan” which I started …oh…probably 3 years ago. It’s a great project for me. I can finish a 9″ square and then put the afghan aside for 6 months, picking it up again when the urge hits. Each square is made of a different knitting pattern. Though I have been knitting for over 50 years I have come across patterns I’ve never tried before. Some I like; some I don’t especially care for.
I have knit about 1/2 of the 63 squares for the afghan. Here are some pictures I took of the squares.
Next post I’ll go back to my felt again. I’ve some interesting new pieces to share.