Hello! I finally finished my one-metre knitted piece for Wool Against Weapons, the protest against renewing the Trident nuclear weapon. I can’t be at the protest, as I’m recovering from an operation, but I was able to darn the ends in and organise the buying of an envelope and the posting (thanks to loyal boyf!) so that it arrived in time to be included.
The brief was: 60 cm by 1 metre of pink fabric, any shades of pink or pattern or relevant symbols or message. I started it with baby pink (not a favourite colour for me, but I had some to use), and worked it like a sampler, doing a few cm of whatever texture stitch I felt like:
There is a moving step stitch, a garter basket weave, a three-way rib with moss stitch, and further along some bobbles that didn’t really work well (as I was chatting in Social Fabric the time and forgot to do the decreases, and had make good on a later row).
But I felt a growing urge to include some kind of message, and settled on ‘BE SAFE’ as a warning that was still positive. Veering away from the more include use of Peace terminology, as the way people twist words, I’m sure they would argue that keeping weapons keeps the peace!! [yes, like porn helps chastity, would be one rejoinder...] Also the fabrics have to be made into blankets for vulnerable people afterwards, so i wanted something that also felt snuggly and reassuring for that purpose. So i did a big intarsia of those words – first two letters, then four letters across at once! Impressed with my charting, but not with my tension which yet again is a bit puckered across some of the edges. Perhaps there is really no answer to this (except sturdy blocking)…
As you’ll see, I hadn’t yet centralised the feature panel and wanted to include some design. I was at the Bread and Roses knitting group and suddenly conceived the idea to add Kitten Skulls as a suitably gothic but cuddly decorative motif. Thanks to wonders of the internet, and egged on the other knitting ladies, a suitable pattern was located, but I hesitated to go ahead without checking with the project organisers. I rang Jaine Rose and spoke to her partner who said it was exactly the sort of thing that she would love and would fit in well! So, yes, if you won’t disarm the country because of the people, think of the (nuclear) kittens.
After more stitch sampler work, I got to 90 cm but had run out of both pink wools, so decided on a 5 cm black border at each end to enhance the faux-gothic quality. (Since it’s also a bit narrow, was going to add black also down each side, but ran out of time pre-op. Sorry, stitcher-upper people, hope the ends will stretch and i think I won’t be the only rather narrow one as the pattern’s a bit narrow.) Then as a means of labelling/signing, the easiest was embroidery, added below the gothic kittens (i had no time to plan so the letters came out ok but the spacing a bit sucky):
To my surprise when the last knitted pieces were gathered in and listed, I seem to be the only one using a Tag name. I’m used to working guerrilla style so it’s funny to see everyone else’s normal names :-) My ‘slipk2not’ warranted an ‘!’ in the list, which makes pleased somehow, as it looks like the organiser is digging it… So a big cheer to everyone doing W4W and specially to those dealing with my piece for me. Another shout-out to Niamhy Stitches whose feminist subversive embroidery has inspired me in the later stages of this project – such an interesting artist who I’d like to get to know better.