Thursday, February 16, 2017

Art for Art's Sake


This is going to be a pretty knitty post, but this was a fairly consuming project and it was also a fascinating experience...


Last Tuesday I bought 17 yards of fleece (if that sounds like a weird amount, it was the sum total of all they had at the two nearest Hobby Lobbys)...


...spent 5 hours cutting it into 3" strips using a rotary cutter I had borrowed from a quilting friend (because the cutter and guide were not designed for cutting a double layer of fleece, I had to kneel on the guide with one knee while pushing my full weight onto the blade in my right hand - thankfully, it never slipped and I still have all of the fingers and toes that I started with)...


...pushed through about 4 hours of very tedious linking together (fold end, snip, fold end, snip, pull through, repeat)...


...then embraced the extremely tactile experience of arm knitting it into a giant blanket. That part took about 2 hours, although I kept having to stop because my arms were cramping, so the actual knitting didn't take quite all of that. They were also flushed once I finished, from the constant motion of stitches being pushed up and pulled back down. I crammed on 30 stitches, the absolute limit for the length of my arm, and it ended up being the perfect size. At some point - like, in several years - I might like to make one for myself.


Because this one was not for me. I'm increasingly interested in knitting as an art form - it's practically impossible to place a monetary value on something that so much time, energy, financial investment, and heart went into, and even writing out the pattern takes a little of the joy out of it. But I adore artistic exchange - Morgan (find her and her amazing artwork here) now has a blanket she couldn't have knitted, and I have a picture I couldn't have painted.


Because the blanket was not portable (understatement) and I like to have a project to tote around, I've been making "house scarf hats" - that is, following the colors and sequencing of the house scarves in Harry Potter, but because I have no interest at this time in making a full length scarf, I made them 8 inches deep and seamed across the tops. It was a refreshing interlude between the manual labor of the Epic Blanket.


As always, I've immediately moved on to new projects - and while it may be a long time (if ever) before I make another blanket like that, I'm still grateful to have had the experience of doing it.

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