Friday, March 18, 2011

Random Acts of Knitting and Senseless Beauty

image copyright ori sofer 2011

During the Monhegan Retreat 2009 attendees had a good time passing around a collaborative piece of knitting. Everyone knitted several inches in any style they wished. In the end, we had a column cozy which we presented to Holden who promptly installed it in one of the parlors. It was a nice touch, our souvenir to him and a reminder that we'd be back.

A few months ago my friend Maggie signed up to be part of a project at the Blanton Museum of Art down here in Austin (where I hang out when I'm not on the island). The Blanton had teamed up with Knit Graffiti artist, Magda Sayeg who goes by the handle Knitta Please. Magda has committed acts of public knitting all over the world-- she once covered an entire bus in knitting-- and, in particular, all over Austin where she lives. Often she uses pieces she knits on a machine-- it's the only way she can cover a lot of territory in a reasonable amount of time. But for the Blanton project, A Knitted Wonderland, she asked local knitters to contribute their hand knitting skills to create cozies for 99 trees.

image copyright ori sofer 2011

I honestly don't know how many people total worked on the project. I do know that for our tree I was part of a team of three and each of us knitted a section about three feet square. Maggie sewed the pieces together and installed it with help from her boyfriend, Southpaw and our other team member, Amanda. The end result is, I must say, pretty darn awesome. Visitors agreed and vocalized their excitement so much that the installation, which was due to come down this week, is staying up for awhile longer.

image copyright ori sofer 2011

I admit my enthusiasm about knitting what amounted to an oversized swatch in acrylic yarn (necessary to hold up in inclement weather) sort of wavered as I worked on the project, But the sum of the parts-- not just our tree cozy but a whole plaza of knit-covered trees-- left me quite happy I took part. And it makes me want to spearhead a movement for the 2011 Monhegan Retreat, leading the group in knitting multiple column cozies for Holden, and perhaps a matching sweater he can wear.

2 comments:

  1. We went and looked last Saturday. It was excellent! More pictures: Patrick's Photos of Knitted Wonderland

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  2. Are you sure Magda Sayeg isn't aka Spike? This definitely looks like a Spike-type of project! Great! Let's take on Monhegan...how about a lighthouse cozy?

    Patty Bright

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