Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today at Split Rock

It's our third full day at the U of Minnesota at our workshop/seminar. (The U calls their summer art workshops Split Rock.)

We are learning not only some of the "mechanics" of structural knitting, but also how to think in knit, how to plan shapes, projects....

Our teacher is Adrienne Sloane, who is great at this! She keeps asking questions so we have to figure things out - no rote learning/knitting here!

It's so wonderful to be thinking of knitting in three dimensions - it opens up its myriad possibilities! The past two days we've been knitting samplers of various techniques that we can use to knit shapes and attachments, etc. We've had political discussions about knitting too!

We visited the studio of a structural knitter here in Minneapolis/St.Paul, Karen Searle. It was enlightening for me to see the studio of a "real" artist. At first it just looked chaotic. Then as she talked about her art and creating it and I just hung out in the space, I could get a glimpse of the artistic process. Very good.

She's written and published a book called "Knitting Art", which presents many structural knitters, with prose about their lives and approaches, and great photos of some of their pieces. I found several that are very inspiring - by which I mean that I could see trying to do something like that. But I noticed that each person has their own approach, techniques that they've developed as a result of their experiences and talents and likes. The idea would be for me to find that. But perhaps I can emulate them first, then find something personal.

Knitting a sock or a shawl is one thing. Being artistic, creating something new, and that makes a statement - that's different! This is great fun.

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