Monday, September 12, 2011

Understanding Languages

There is a language for everything 
A language for thinking, for speaking, for understanding, for expressing one's feelings in music or paintings, for communicating in sign language and by demonstrating personal ideas or thoughts. One can mimic, imitate and impersonate, one can reduce one's communication to a smile or a frown, to tears of joy or sadness. Every language has its own significant niche and speaks to the listener, spectator or an audience. Sometimes it helps to take flight into another language, verbally or in any other form of communication. Some languages are very structured and rigid, some are forgiving and easily comprehended.
Textile crafts speak a universal language transcending all levels of society. There is no need for a dictionary - a blanket, a hat, a wrap, mittens or socks - everybody knows these items and their individual worth. Patterns and colors convey an additional message just as easily. Cultural differences in the use of color are deeply rooted in societies and speak their own language, and as the world quickly grew into a global one with the advent of the internet, these differences became even more visible and at the same time much less separating.

Fascinating is the use of color in knitting. The best example is Ravelry: looking at one popular pattern and its realization in a hugely diverse array of yarn colors and structures demonstrates the versatility of colors - and the impact they have on the viewer and on the person wearing them, speaking to the viewer and calling for an intuitive reaction. A visual and richly rewarding conversation begins.

Often we remember fondly the special person in our childhood who opened doors to a new experience, a higher level knowledge, an introduction to a world hitherto hidden or unknown. We hold a special place in our heart for those people, frequently for a lifetime. Learning how to ride a bike. Jumping into a pool. Saying words in a different language and being understood. These early friends enabled, supported and believed in our fantasy and imagination. Most knitters remember their beginnings and how they ventured out, exploring new patterns and stitches, designs and alterations of them. A versatile language indeed!

There were throngs of people looking at this painting by Max Ernst, discussing and guessing its meaning, as it spoke to everyone in a different language and triggered thought many processes.
The title of the painting from about 1923 is "L'Autoritaire".
It was shown at at the Museum Berggruen / Sammlung Scharf Gerstenberg. Most probably, each viewer will have a different interpretation of this enigmatic painting - but it talks to everybody!

In knitting, we have the option to speak through and paint with colors, as Jane Thornley does so masterfully. Through our knitting we communicate with others and are probably more open and honest and easily understood. What a beautiful and enriching gift to have!
Time for a project update: The unique pattern, Forest and Frills, by Tiny Owl Knits found its yarn in my stash: The blue Classic Elite Yarn Montera for the overall body and Berroco Optik Multicolor grabbed the chance to become the frills.

The knit was easy and fast - once finished I could not wait to try it on
and finally see how it draped into place. The combination of the two
yarns worked well and the Berocco Multicolor prepares the ground for
many T-shirts with different colors to go with it! An intensely blue mohair border highlights the outline of this bolero.

The beautiful coral/lobster colored Rowan Kidsilk Haze mohair shown in this post is used in my project "Minimalist Top by Anna Kudaja"- my Flaming Lobster Top.

1 comment:

handstitch said...

Well said. I find that fiber art language is unique yet universal. It is very adaptable and readily to be clicked/connected with a total stranger any given time.

Your composition particularly highlighting the bolero with blue mohair is outstanding, pleasing to the eyes. I don't need to say much about the Flaming Lobster top...as you already know how it sings to my heart :D Thanks for the inspiration. I so need a lift this evening :D