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Knitting & tatting

January 23, 2019

There are so many ways to tell stories, and I guess a story is something that evolves through time, stitching a number of events on a timeline, which is also a thread. Hence expressions like 'spinning a yarn'. You can add a lot of intricacies to your story, with characters and situations weaving in and out. Thread represents to me the bare essence of the stringing together, a necklace, or a sentence. Full stops could be knots. But there is a natural movement in fibre that you don't get from, or rather, that I don't get, from paper or words, or the tapping of fingers on a keyboard. Fibre breathes, and from breathing, it lives a life that is also independent from your storytelling. Fibre to me is more of a companion than a tool, and every time I felt the kind of loneliness that can't be alleviated by human company, I picked up a yarn, a thread, a string, and knotted in place memories, so that they could tell a story. The idea of Japanese boro for instance, where pieces of fabric worn by your ancestors would form patches in your new garment, windows into the past. Or shaman amulets, medicine bags, although the latter tell stories only to yourself, if you ever do open them. If not, it's just the spirit. The skills that one can reach in the arts of fibre are extraordinary, and I'm only an explorer, and my form of exploration is the same that informs my writing and my art, namely, seeing, collecting, cataloguing and, finally narrating. And, as in my writing, I don't narrate a story that sits on a straight timeline, but a map, a tapestry, and, ah, a Navajo rug. Spider Woman being my guide and goal. 

Ah, but what about tatting? I discovered it in the gift shop of Sutter's Fort. I bought a small kit there and... well, I'm still untying knots. And knitting? Yes, yes, I'm knitting story sweaters. Photos coming soon.

 

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