Monday, November 5, 2007

For the Love of Fiber

I was thinking about my love for fiber and where it came from. My artist statement says that I learned about fiber at a very early age sitting next to my grandmother who taught me how to knit, crochet, embroider. When I was young instead of running outside playing in the dirt you could find me with a set of knitting needles or a crochet hook and a colorful ball of yarn in my hand.

My mother used to work in a department store kind of like Kmart is today. Sometimes she wouldn't be able to find child care for my brother and I, so she would set us up at the snack bar and give us a few dollars to buy whatever we wanted. I always bought yarn and embroidery kits. If I have a few extra dollars in my pocket you can still see me in the embroidery thread aisle. It is a pick me up that completely makes my day especially since I have become enamored of how one shade can go up just one little number and be a completely different color. You embroiderers will probably appreciate that, if you don't embroider you have no idea what I am speaking of.

I think the love of fiber is a strong one. It connects us with the past, when everything hand made for us was made with love. To this day I can remember afghans made by my grandmother and the beautiful hand embroidered pillowcases, alas I was not aware of my love for the medium and I did not appreciate them as I should have and I don't have very much to remind me of my grandmother's handiwork, but every time I put a stitch on an embroidery project or knit up a purse or scarf I think of my grandmother.

When I was a bit older my friend Robin's mother used to knit the most beautiful fair isle sweaters. Robin had hundreds of them in many different color combinations. It was so much fun to watch her knit and see how beautiful Robin looked in her sweaters. I was a little intimidated at that point and did not ever think I would ever be able to make such beautiful garments. Now I make purses. I use my embroidery and knitting and beading to create one of a kind pieces.

Nothing rocks my boat better then the feel of the fiber, the color, the texture, and the wonderful feeling of taking pieces of string and yarn and embroidery thread and making them something special.

That explains the love affair I have with fiber. I hope you find your love affair with something that gives you as much joy as I get from my fibers.

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