(Note: To read all 6 entries about my Self Portrait and the Threads in Space show, click here.)
I did it. Not only did I actually finish the knitting, I embroidered for several hours (duplicate stitch, it looks just like knit stitches but I did it in very fine laceweight yarn on top of the base sockweight yarns to slightly change color in a few areas).
I blocked it in the hotel room on Friday night. Then when I got to Sue’s, we steamed the heck out of it with her Scuncii steamer and I went looking for the closest yarn shop that had size 1 knitting needles. I decided I really wanted to hang the piece with a straight knitting needle at top and another at bottom, sort of as if it were unfinished. Because it is about me, and I am certainly unfinished myself.
We found our way to Depth of Field yarn shop (more on the Minneapolis adventure later) and they had size 1 (2.25mm?) bamboo needles (about 11″ long), perfect! We proceeded back to Sue’s shop, where the piece was mostly dry and after inserting the two needles at top and bottom of the piece, we hung the thing.
It worked, my friends. It really worked. I’m sort of in shock after all that rollercoaster emotional stuff I felt while I was “attempting” a self portrait. Well, I am here to tell you it’s not an attempt. It looks like me.
In 10,374 stitches. Officially using 11 or so yarn colors, but then I blended different yarns together in different ways and so who knows how many “virtual” colors actually ended up in the piece? I’m not sure I want to know how many color changes I made in one 91-stitch row, either. It was a lot of work. But as often is the case, now that it’s over I can tell you the effort was worth it.
Whew. I need a vacation! Oh, yeah. I’m sort of on one. Or that is to say I’m out of state seeing people I really like.
Photos: 1) My self portrait in yarn… wool and alpaca and wool blend yarns, with bamboo needles. Yes, the ends are dangling. The back looks like a rug. I’m smooth on the outside and frayed inside at times, and so this felt like Self Portrait: good day (front) and bad day (back). 2) Me at left, and my beloved artist friend Sue Hensel. Who pushes me harder than anyone else I know but without trying. Some of my biggest projects have been in concert with her creative and networking energies. Sue, you are the best!