Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a day with the original knitsib

Since none of you (slackers!!) guessed who that was with me in that photo the other day, I guess I'll just have to tell you. It's Brenda Dayne from the podcast Cast-On! She is currently taking a US Tour and she taught a couple of classes this past weekend at A Verb for Keeping Warm. I'll tell you about the class I took in my next post, but for now, let me tell you about the event that she held at the shop after the class.

It was called A Memorable Yarn, and it's part of a project that Brenda is working on for (I hope I have this right) an arts council back in her area (she's from Wales).

Here is her event description:

A Memorable Yarn
What is a memory? It is a set of encoded neural connections in the brain. It is also our ability to encode, store, retain and subsequently recall information and past experiences. Neurons firing in our brain are why we can knit, but it’s our memories of where we’ve been and what we’ve learned that make us knitters.

Join Brenda Dayne on a journey through synapses, brain wrinkles, actions, words, needles, and yarn as she explores these primal human connections in A Memorable Yarn. A collaborative, investigative storytelling and gallery event, A Memorable Yarn brings knitters, their work, and their memories into the spotlight.

Your participation is simple. Donate a few yards of a yarn that holds a certain memory – perhaps leftover from a meaningful project, a yarn personally hand-dyed or hand spun, or a souvenir yarn from a foreign adventure – and an hour or two of your time to knit a small Memory Bag as a physical recollection of that special yarn or project.

This small but intentional act will, in turn, create a new memory for you, as the knitter, and for Brenda, as the artist who will join these invisible strands and tangible objects into a single, powerful collection of personal history. Together, the Memory Bags will form a literal representation of hundreds of hours of labor, and create memory connections between knitters beyond their local social circles, bypassing age, gender, skill level, and socioeconomic status.

To take part in the Memorable Yarn Project, download the pdf,  which contains directions for knitting your own Memory Bag, as well as a form for recording your memories. follow the instructions to knit your Memory Bag, then bring it and your recorded memories to the Memorable Yarn event nearest you.

So here is my (wee!) Memory Bag:

And here is what as submitted on my form for recording memories:

A Memorable Yarn, June 10th 2012
      I was in a pretty horrific automobile accident in the spring of 2004.  I lost my right leg, and my right arm was left broken in several places.  The doctors kept insisting I play with a Rubik’s Cube for physical therapy for my hand, and I thought I'd lose my mind. I asked if returning to knitting would be a suitable replacement. They approved, so I picked up the needles up again after a break of a decade and a half.
      I started a blog around the same time, where I tracked my thoughts and feelings about being an amputee (as well as my knitting). It turned out that most of my readers were knitters. I began reading their blogs as well, and several real life friendships developed.
When I had recovered enough to make an attempt at wearing a prosthesis, I wrote about wanting to knit socks the same colors of my fake leg and setting out shopping to find yarn to match. A week later, a package arrived. Carol Sulcoski of Black Bunny Fiber Arts (and now the author of “Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn,” had seen one of the pictures of me wearing my prosthesis, and no sooner had I mentioned wishing I had matching yarn, she had rapidly gone to work dyeing a special surprise for me.
The yarn you see here in my little memory bag was my first gift in the mail from another knitter, and it was my very first experience of indie handpainted yarn. I used it to knit the first socks specifically for my prosthesis, and they were my first fancy/non-vanilla socks. The little orange heart I added in the corner is made with a remnant of my own handspun (not my first handspun, but the first I was ever proud of), and it was also my first 3-ply yarn. The fiber was hand dyed by Kristine Vejar, of A Verb For Keeping Warm, which is the location where I am delivering my memory bag to you!
Thanks to knitting, my life has been filled by sending and receiving creativity, friends, love, and compassion.  Brenda, thank you so much for the opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for my craft and the knitting community by contributing to this project.
                                    Warm Regards & Happy Knitting ...

I'm really excited to see what this collection of Memory Bags turns into!  And I'm so excited to be a part of it. 

Part 2 (which technically was Part 1, as the class came before the event)...tomorrow!


Lorena said...

You don't know how many times I thought of you when I was dyeing my silver and blue R2D2 yarn! XOXO