Week 0: 1-3 January 2016
2 January 2016 / Saturday
This next day I found myself still considering E’s challenge when it occurred to me that I could use knitting to resolve a long-standing desire to spend time each day making a visual representation of the day in shades of a single color designated to that particular day of the week:
My interest in this colour ‘meditation’ has evolved over a long term practice of colour-coding my personal life – including the days of the week – and thinking about my embodied experience of time; planning my daily schedules, etc within this framework.
I had been very excited when I realized that the chakra system could be overlaid precisely onto my own (not very original) ROY G BIV(M) spectrum that I have always used for the week. In the last few years this interest has included daily still life constructions, readings, drawings and postures as meditations on the corresponding chakras for each respective day of the week.
I have been struggling for a significant amount of time to find a technique for the daily making I envisioned this meditative process to progress through. My recent ideas had been around using fabrics and making sewn – or maybe glued- collages but I felt discouraged by lack of working space to access the fabrics and assemble.
It occurred to me that knitting would be a very simple and effective technique to arrive at the same – or at least similar – daily practice. Like with the fabrics, I would be able to indulge in various shades of colour and textures for each respective day and (eventually) play with the overall ‘shape’ of the week.
It also had the following attractive elements:
1) I did not have to knit to a pattern
2) Was not simply making a scarf
3) Had a larger context for my daily efforts
4) Had evidence of how much time I put into knitting each day
5) Over the next two weeks I was able to appreciate that this approach also offered me my own training ground to explore the elements of knitting (stitches, patterns, colour, yarns, needle size, etc) without the pressure of producing anything.
On that second day I looked at my Mom’s yarn collection at home in preparation for my first ‘week’ to start on Monday (4 January). There was not a wide range of colour as she had very natural shades of hand-dyed wool from her good friend N.
N lives on an island off of Seattle, WA where she raises sheep, makes her own wool and knits and weaves. N has named a black sheep after me – Ryya. I had already loved the fact that there was a black sheep named after me, but when I learned that she names each of her sheep with a letter from the alphabet in succession (like they do with hurricanes) it appealed to me even more!
My Mom was very excited to share her yarn and demonstrated her obvious affection for the many natural colour yarns she had, so I felt a bit limiting to be so specific and intentional with my choice of a bright rainbow spectrum that was already in place for me as a framework. I was looking forward to exploring the boundaries of the spectrum over the course of the year but not that radically that soon.