Some images of the knitting component of creating the Generosity of Forests installation
Yarn collection for the Forest project
Haunting thrift shops – locally and everywhere I travelled – yielded a huge harvest of yarn (of which this is is only part) as well as a considerable collection of knitting paraphernalia.
Using multiple strands of yarn in varied textures and hues produces organic textures of the forest. Mohair, eyelash, feather boa, chenille, and other novelty specialty yarns add variety to traditional wool and common acrylic yarn, and sparkly filaments catch the light to enliven the overall effect.
Assembling the multi-strand yarn bundles
To avoid tangles while knitting with up to a dozen strands, it was helpful to bundle the strands in advance.
Too much to knit by hand.
Ten foot tall trees are heavy work, and twenty of these require too much knitting for one person in a short period of time. My friend, Ila, suggested using a knitting frame, but this was too small to accommodate my multi-strand yarn bundles. So with Doug Buis’ help, I developed an over-size, wooden knitting frame. This proved heavy and awkward to work with. We needed to either use a 3-D printer (but…plastic!) or some sort of support structure, plus a lazy-susan mechanism to make it ergonomic.
Necessity mothers another invention: the knitting wheel
Adding an upside down bar stool to the wooden knitting frame, and replacing the stool seat with some plywood covered in Stopp (there’s always an Ikea solution) allows comfortable knitting on a frame that easily rotates with a gentle kick.
The knitting wheel won’t serve every aspect of knitting a tree. The branches are knitted separately with super-sized needles, then stitched around the branch and attached to the bole – except when in a hurry just before showing. Here, I’m finishing a branch by knitting directly onto the tree.