A new scarf 2012 Cindy Grisdela

After I got back from the Ann Arbor show last week, I intended to take a little time off to recharge, but I seem to have just temporarily switched gears.

I’ve started two new knitted scarves in the last week–one of which is pictured at left. I just couldn’t resist the colors in this hand-dyed yarn! This yarn would be wonderful no matter what you did with it. I’m a novice knitter–I don’t do much more than make scarves every now and then, but this is my first effort at a lace-type pattern. What’s been interesting is that while my hands are busy with the knitting, my mind is racing with new ideas for my quilting.

Being an artist for me is something of a solitary pursuit and I try to take the opportunity to see other artists and work that is different than mine when I can. So I drove down to Richmond yesterday for a meeting of the Virginia/North Carolina regional group of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). The meeting was held at the artspace gallery, which is having a fiber art exhibit called “Pushing the Limits,” through September 23. It was a great opportunity to meet other artists and see an interesting exhibit, but it did give me pause when each of the 20 or so artists there gave a short talk about their work and I realized that most of them used some sort of surface design or embellishment in their art. Their pieces were wonderful and the work in the exhibit was very thought-provoking. Was my work interesting enough to stand up next to theirs?

If you’re still with me, there is a connection between the knitting and the exhibit meeting! I realized after giving it some considerable thought while I was knitting today with that beautiful yarn and its gorgeous color and texture, that my work is my work–it says what I want to say in my art. True, it won’t appeal to those who are looking for groundbreaking, push the limits work–I didn’t even apply to the artspace show for that reason. But working out compositions with color and shape and adding interesting texture to the finished piece with intricate stitching to create something that is well-crafted and beautiful to look at–there’s value in that too. And that’s what interests me and makes me excited to get up in the morning and go into my studio, so I’m sticking with it.

I’ve made some rough sketches and put some preliminary designs up in my studio to make a start on some new pieces based on the ideas I’ve had since I got back from Michigan and started knitting, so stay tuned–I’ll be posting some in progress shots in the next few days.