This post is devoted to the ideas that anyone can be a knitter and a knitter can be anything else too – being a knitter isn’t mutually exclusive to being a homemaker, or a stereotype of being old – hell, I think I am young (but that may be as my mind is permanently set at the age of 24 < it was a good year!) but if you ask my teenage children I am obviously geriatric in my years. In fact ticking any form and filling in a box further down the page fills me with the idea that no matter how young I feel, how much energy I may have, other peoples perceptions of my age group is probably not what I want it to be.
The same can be said of knitting, yes, it may have been having a resurgence in the past few years but isn't the idea of being cool, not even knowing that you are? I work in the arts, across many fields, in fact I am an artist by training but hearing at a meeting the other day about the organisation I work at (jelly) being mentioned in a derogatory way as *oh, they're the knitters* by someone made me see red. Firstly by the implication of knitting being somehow minor and not being able to connect with people (think of the project we recently did in Jacksons, new friendships, Outside Inside festival, developing creativity) and secondly that jelly works with so many people in so many artforms that it made me understand that the problem lay not with the knitting nor the organisation but with that particular persons perceptions of the value of the arts (but don't get me started there).
The definition of a knitter (n.) One who, or that which, knits, joins, or unites; a knitting machine made me smile, take away the activity and think about why we meet – it’s about joining in, sharing, uniting, being with people who’s paths you may be unlikely to cross for geographic, political, social or religious reasons. Sit at knit night and listen to different people talk, engineer, designer, geneaologist, mums, artists, HR, linguists, researcher, product development, new technology, student and the list goes on.
So here, go see work that’s by a *knitter*
Sue Clark’s work is inhabiting the window at 27/28 Market Place.
Bird House number 3
I tell stories through collected objects and my own drawings and textiles. I use my imagination to make up explanations for things that I don’t quite understand, and am inspired by museum displays, full notebooks, collections, travelling, writing and open spaces. I use boxes, rooms, bottles and cases to frame or contain my assembled objects. And then there’s a lot more collecting, rearranging and editing until a story begins to emerge. It might be a chance juxtaposition or an unexpected cropping that sets off a train of thought. And then I draw, sew, knit and print to bring it all together. My work rarely turns out to be a picture on a wall. It’s more likely to be a three dimensional, narrative piece with a strong sense of place
All photos © Barbara Ghiringhelli 2010