Sunday, July 25, 2010

Combat Yarn Photo Shoot, cont'd

Across the knitted battlefield.

Combat Yarn Photo Suite, in process, day 2

Day 2 of photography.

Combat Yarn Photo Suite, in process, day 1

This is a sampling of the first day of shooting. These yarns were all spun on the Majacraft Aura from hand dyed blended batts developed for this project. Additions of cloth, netting, raw silk in the batts, army men, camoflage material and felted balls spun in place. The photographer is John Hensel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Battle scarf?

Battle yarns are being photographed and composed by my son, John Hensel, who is a profesional photographer. Stay tuned! The process is fascinating.
Meanwhile, I have chosen one hank to knit and that process is also fascinating.

The stich definition is good, it is easy to pull the added elements to the front. It looks normal and transgressive all at once. A very odd piece of fabric. A battle scarf?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yarn joins the drawings

While I may be adjusting the blacks a bit, I think it is done. The addition of a lightweight handspun mohair took it where it needed to go. The sea creature aspect continues...these seem to be "jelly-fish of memory"? Who knows, it is still a mystery to me.

I do think of the threads as memory, connections to the past, to shared histories...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rainbow Circus

Remember the bobbin full of rainbow? Here is the yarn. It is about 500 yards of gently energized singles made from 3 batts, dized off the drum. The Aura bobbin is so big, it could have held another batt's worth of then some.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rainbow relief

Sometimes camo just doesn't cut it. So, I made 3 rainbow batts and dized them off the carder, making fluffy, vertically striped roving...i.e. the bamboo is in long strips rather than clumps. Yummy to spin on the Aura. because I can go so slowly, I think it will make a usable single. If not? I'll ply it with something or other;-)

Meanwhile, in the woodshop, of all places!, I have been making more striped rovings using either the carder, the hackle or both! Too fun. I will be teaching a fiber prep class this fall that will cover this and all sorts of other cool ways to personalize your fibers before you spin them. It's called Into the Wild. Look for it on the Weaver's Guild website
Blue! At first it was Too Stripey! So, I carded it and rebuilt it on the hackle more ot my liking.
Still doing camo-colors. Upstairs, in the dye studio, camo-dyed merino yarn awaits the steamer.

Transgressing wool!

In the art world, one talks about transgression. Transgression can be loosely defined as breaking expected boundaries or expectations. Yarn is expected to be soft, warm, useful, at times even life saving. It is often associated with leisure, craft and women's work. Rarely is it thought of as an object, a material or a subject of fine art.
So, as I progress on this project, I have to consider how this potential body of work transgresses expectations.

This yarn is transgressive because:
• It is not made for the express purpose of knitting or looping in someway into a useful object.
• Its purpose to to be a sculptural object or a field for narrative/political photography.
• It paradoxically uses its traditional softness to express a hard/harsh/violent reality
• It uses its allusions to its life saving properties( warmth, padding, protecting) as a field of discussion about war and death
• It uses a "women's art" to discuss a "man's pursuit."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Progress is being made

Despite the trials of a radically slow internet today, progress is being made on the yarn front. Combining the characteristics of way over twisted yarn and radical additives, sculptural yarn is happening. The yarn has been washed, the twist set. It is wildly elastic. But what interests me is that it will form a stable ball of stuff. What interests me further is that it becomes a field for narrative photography! Keep watching this space. My camera and camera skills are inadequate, so, I am planning a collaboration with a photographer: John Hensel . We hope to turn out large prints of these things.
Aside from his website, you might enjoy some of his videas: Let's Eat Japan.