knitting and stitching, 2003 – 2013

please use the dropdown menu that appears beneath the “knitting and stitching, 2003 – present” link to see specific exhibitions and groupings of work. you’ll find more there than you will here, but here is where everything else goes!

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i made this footstool for my father as a christmas gift in 2003. the cyanotype image is of my dad, two of his sisters, and a neighbor child. the blue yarn soy silk which i handspun and hand-dyed with indigo extract. the fawn yarn is hair from my childhood dog, coby, also handspun and knitted (my father had been saving it for me as she got elderly, and in fact brushed her clean of undercoat to spin after he came home and found her dead.) the wooden footstool was purchased at a craft store, and ben did the staining.

The wives of henry VIII, as fishing flies (2005). from left to right, in the order of their ascension: catherine of aragon, made with a milagra charm of a praying girl, representing catherine and henry’s daughter “bloody” mary; anne boleyn, with unattached “floating” head; jane seymore, with a “death’s head” (as she actually died of her own accord, rather than being killed by the king); anne of cleves, “the flanders mare”, with big clunky “head” and “feet” (cochineal-dyed waste silk makes her mantle); katherine howard, based on a “nymph” fly, as she was never quite an adult; and the queen who survived the king, katherine parr.

i believe this doll was commissioned in 2005. the doll maker was beth robinson. she may have worked with human hair before, but she had never worked with teeth, or a kidney stone. this doll – “little amber”, as she is known at home, has my hair, my kidney stone from 1987 as the “beauty mark” on her face, and has the family dog, ripley’s, teeth.

beth also sent the plain, cut linen pieces for the dress to me, and i added the elizabethan blackwork stitching.

elizabethan blackwork sampler for katherine nguyen, january 2006.

the “storytelling pelt”. this was a year-long freeform project, begun october 11, 2006, and added to or amended every day through october 10, 2007. i began this project as a group on flickr, but the core group that finished it remained at four members. all the finished pieces, it should go without saying, came out very differently. this was an experience that i would certainly have again, as it was very primal – both in the knitting, and in the social aspect of the group.

i dabble in commercialism! this is manos del uruguay’s clasica yarn in color 121, “cornucopia” (i had wanted to call it “curcurbita”). the fact that a best friend owned the north american distributorship for the manos collective’s yarns certainly had something to do with the fact that when i said, “i’d like to see a gourdy, pumpkin-y multicolored yarn in manos,” it actually happened. we sent some images to the collective, as well as a few smuggled gourds, and vetted the prospective yarns the co-op came up with. cornucopia came out in summer 2008, ready for fall knitting.

two cover images from the NOSHI Knitting Monograph Series. i had based the physical properties of these print-on-demand pieces on monographs about visual information studies by edward tufte. a call was put out to anyone who wished to write about knitting in a way that had not been done before, and would not be accepted or approved of by industry periodicals. only three were ever published, and i authored two of them.

the ferris bueller vest. i couldn’t have been more proud. i still can’t be more proud. this is the project that changed everything for me — the most empowered i had ever been as a knitter.
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not a stitch was a satellite exhibit of the fiber philadelphia biennial and was held at b square gallery. i was proud to exhibit the knitwear fetish art of oompah joompah as well as the non-stitched, but stitch-inspired, work of so many other artists. the exhibit was featured on artblog’s art safari.
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“prayer” flags featuring the kids’ drawings, transfered to muslin with graphite transfer paper, hand-embroidered, and then machine-sewn into flags using scraps from some of their baby clothes and other items.
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