“I knit the afternoon away. I knit reasons for Elijah to come back. I knit apologies for Emma. I knit angry knots and slipped stitches for every mistake I ever made, and I knit wet, swollen stitches that look awful. I knit the sun down. ”
― Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls
A dear friend, neighbor and visual artist/weaver, Camille Shafer, recently commented on these pictures which I had posted on Facebook, pointing out the overlap of sailing and weaving terms. Weaving is the certainly the ship I use to navigate my artistic explorations as well as my frame of mind at the time. Each step of these coverlets takes weeks, from winding out the yarn off the spools, to dyeing the warp sections, to knotting, winding on and then of course weaving. By the time I have made it to holding a finished piece in my hand, I am a changed person from when I started, simply through the passage of time.
I think we probably all have past-times that allow us to process things in our heads; busy the hands and the mind can work. After Camille's husband died in 2001 from MS, she spent months digging out the basement foundation of her house one wheelbarrow load at a time. You do what you can to get through, one day at a time, and you can amaze yourself with what grows out of seemingly rote tasks. Much of creation is just that, rote work, and don't we all create beauty through the work of life?
So I value the time I get to sit and knot and process, although this time around was much more pleasant as it was January and comfortable in my studio, rather than August and boiling.
Right now I can't see ever getting enough of these coverlets, the process, or the outcome. But if I do one day find myself in need of a different horizon, this would be a trip I'd gladly make:
New warp all knotted up to the old one
14 yards ready to pull through the reed and heddles and wound onto the back beam