I decided to consolidate my blogging under my photography website, evitbolt.com/blog. See you there! (look for the knitting category)
Labor Day weekend should be renamed BBQ weekend. Between buns and beer, roasted peppers and crispy whites I found myself really looking forward to Tuesday. Now, officially Knitsemble Tuesday. To recap, we had our second meeting last week (some pictures below) and it was still just me and Clara. But that’s because I’m not counting the curious gentleman who arrived expecting an army of knitters and had to work up the courage to admit that yes, in fact, he came to learn the needle thing.
So I’m getting ready to head out to the bookstore in a few hours to knit, on what seems to be another round of summer highs. It’s blasting out there. The weather’s been so strange with rainbows and lightning the likes of which I hadn’t really seen in my 15 years of LA dwelling. And I was reminded of a conversation at last night’s gathering between two new friends who studied philosophy. Apparently there is a professor at USC who gets away with teaching metaphysics, an honorary privilege and quite an accomplishment for that branch of academia. Apparently it’s not that popular.
But I digress. Something sparked my curiosity and so I googled metaphysic of knitting and found my way to a wonderful article written by Jodi Seale from South Africa of all places. She quotes:
Once synonymous with the clickety-clacking of serenely industrious oumas, knitting is now hailed as the new zazen (a sitting meditation). And with knitting and crochet covering the four languages of the aesthetic world: textile design, fashion, interiors and fine art, VISI is the perfect platform for Nanna van Blaaderen to be showcased. This Dutch textile designer somehow manages to weave each of these four languages into a song all her own, one which transcends all the previous attempts at postmodern knitting.
On a less material level, Nanna’s work is a layered lace-of-a-story about what it means to be human. Each piece is corporeal, with various degrees of physicality: dense muscle; the soft warmth of thighs and breasts; the line upon interwoven line of story-telling skin which pulls, twists and drapes: blood vessels, heart, womb and brain.
Also, her work is a manifestation of the soul: our quietness, strength, fragility, fallibility, pliability, versatility. It represents a life lived – the interwoven story, with ‘self’ as the singular thread winding and twisting around and around itself to create the unique garments of each of our lives.
Needless to say, I had to lookup Nanna. And from the moment her site launched I got goose bumps and felt an instant connection with her work on some visceral level that I can’t really explain.
Nanna’s most recent body of work, Species: A Tribute, employs a powerful paradox in protesting the use of fur: she masterfully knots together gentleness and strength. This humbling, feminine and creative wisdom, embodied in Nanna’s work, takes us back to a time when industry had not drowned us in greed and speed. And when women communed and consulted and collaborated with each other – providing warmth, sustenance, protection, nurturance and community within their circle.
It’s hard to not think of the archetypal garment in what it means to be a woman: the blanket. It can be spread open upon the ground: a place for loving, repose or feasting. Swaddle infants in a protective second-womb.
Nanna teaches us this: our function is to provide protection and unveil beauty to a world cataracted by the exhaustion of industrialised technology, where we are slaves – ‘human-doings’. Nanna’s work whispers to us that we can rest in simply being: uncluttered, unfettered, real: ‘human-beings’.”
And there is a little interview with Nana here. But there is nothing quite like hearing an artist talk about the process and so I was thrilled to find a video where Nana talks about her life-long passion for animals and an affinity for photography. She’s echoing so many of my own thoughts about textiles and I’m really inspired by her work.embedded by Embedded Video
See you in a few at The Last Bookstore!
After a long hiatus from knitting the tide is back and I’m thrilled. I now live in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, in a very vibrant and eclectic area often referred to as the Old Bank District. It’s a mixed bag of artists, professionals and plenty of trix. And so when a used bookstore to rival the size of ones in the big league opened just on my doorstep I felt overcome with a sense of community that just smacks of picking up the needles again. The Last Bookstore is a marvelous venture. The bookstore buys and sells more books than any other used bookstore in SoCal and is quickly becoming a vital force in revitalizing a part of downtown that has really been neglected for far too long. Just walking through the aisles gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and then when I think about what it means for the neighborhood I start tapping my feet like a bunny rabbit. Or maybe just a bunny? Something…it’s really, really exciting.
As we bounced ideas back and forth, my new knitting buddy mentioned the beekeepers quilt (ravelry link).
I also created a Ravelry group for us here.