Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recycling hand-knit socks

I am, as I've mentioned, a sock knitter. A sock knitter with an obscene stash of sock yarn (yes, I know, it doesn't count as stash). I am also a sock knitter who has 4 pairs of holey hand-knit socks that sit in a drawer. They sit there because I put so much time into them and had so much fun making them and they're so pretty, I'm loath to throw them away. I'm equally loath to darn them, so there they sit. I knew I'd eventually do something with them, but I didn't really know what.

Then, when exiting the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum in December, I saw visual artist Nick Cave's (NOT Nick Cave of The Bad Seeds, I looked it up) "Soundsuits" and I about fell over. I stopped in my tracks. I stopped breathing, my heart stopped.

There before me were giant, human-sized suits, suits designed to cover a person's entire head and body, made of cut up recycled knitting and crochet. They were so stunning, so brilliant, so beautiful. I couldn't believe it. Passionate knitter and aspiring artist that I am, I said to myself, "This is why I'm here today, to see THIS."

I kept thinking about those wonderful Soundsuits and then one day thought of my stash of defunct hand-knit socks, and it hit me: I'll cut off the leg portion of the socks, cut them open and sew them together into a quilt! Or a poncho! Or a shawl!

Now, I've only got 4 pairs' worth so far, so this will be a few years' long project if I do it using solely (hee hee... no pun intended) my own hand-knit socks. But it will be fun, it will be beautiful, and it's great to know that my hand-knit socks will have a life beyond their original incarnation as socks.

And guess what? the Soundsuits I saw in December were just a preview. A whole Nick Cave exhibit starts in March!! I am so, so, so, SO THERE!!

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