Sunday, February 25, 2007

Another Finished Dishcloth

I completed another dishcloth (matches the one I did before) only added a loop so it could hang from the cabinet...I know! Such exciting knitting to report! Heh.
Some comments heard while knitting a dishcloth:
Them: "That is pretty, what is it?"
Me: "A Dishcloth. Or a handtowel. It matches my kitchen."
Them: ...
Them: "But it is too pretty to wipe dishes or hands on!"
Them: "And you could buy those so cheap at Walmart!"
Them: "Like $3 for a three-pack!"
Them: "It seems like so much labor for something you are just gonna mess up!"
Them: "If it were in my kitchen, I would get it all stained in two seconds!"
Them: "Shouldn't you use your skills to make baby booties or something? How old are you now?"
Them: "What happens when it gets all stained? Will it wash out? Is that cotton?"
Me: "Um...well...I mean..."
Me: "I made my mom some dishcloths. They tighten up in the dryer and get all soft and thick, and she really likes them..."
Them: "But...But...What do you do when they get all messed up?"
Me: ...
Me: "Well, I guess that is their job, isn't it?"

Does anyone have a more clever response? I need some ammo, here!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Local Artist Installs in Wisconsin

Anna Peach used to have a studio here on the Big Island, and this piece is beautiful. She has gathered bits of antique and handmade lace and crochet, and formed them into a dress, which is also a tent and a sacred space. I find it especially beautiful because, sitting under the skirt, one feels secret and safe and enclosed with the labor of generations of women's hands. Her words are more beautiful than mine, and below is a clip.

Anna Peach installing Spirit House at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, photo courtesy JMKAC

On January 12, 2007 I traveled from Zurich to Chicago to keep a promise to the Hamakua community. The purpose of the trip was to bring the artwork ‘Spirit House’ to The John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where it would be displayed in the exhibition tilted, Laced With History, curated by Lena Vinga. The artwork was created from over 600 pieces of handmade lace that were sewn together to form a gown that also included a chapel like interior space. I worked on the piece for over two years in my Honoka’a studio and when it outgrew the space, it was my promise to take it around the world.
I explained that the point was not to make a dress, but rather something that brought us together, to find some common thread that made a sanctuary for all from the shared act of labor. I found that there are times when you are so close to your own truth that you can only see it through others, and it is through others that I see this piece: I see the tailor who sewed in my studio 75 years before me, the elders who clutched my hand and spoke of mana, the little girl who sang songs in Hawaiian while peaking out from the inside of the dress, and the childhood friends now grown that would gather beneath the hem to tell stories of a shared life. This piece is theirs more than my own. I am content to be the one who was learning how to sew, and along the way I was learning how to listen. With that I was presented with the most elaborately garnished meal that I had ever seen and thumbs up sign from the cook. Three snow angels later I retired to bed relieved that a very special promise had been kept.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Finished: Coin Purses

I made these to surprise a friend who really needed them, but he guessed what I was up to long before I finished.
Knit from Hemp for Knitting AllHemp 6 in Sapphire, and on a pair of #3 circulars. I knit the pouches in one piece, in the round, which then offered the problem of how to get the State of Hawaii Seal patches sewn on. I tried by hand, but that wasn't working well. I tried the glue gun, but it seemed unstable. Finally I broke out the sewing machine, and managed to sew all the way around the patches by wadding them up...
Each pouch has a blue zipper and is lined with a blue tie-dyed cotton lining. The inner pouch can be turned out all the way to fully dump any hidden contents out of the rounded corners of the lining.
The pouches resemble a certain State-issued medical card, and were made in appreciation of the many voting citizens, suffering through various medical issues, who are also preserving our Constitutional right to allow the States control over their own medical laws. Yes, the same rights that brought us Roe vs. Wade.
He loves them, told me I could sell them, and they directly meet all specifications for size and use. Yay!