My Knitting History

Most people who knit were inspired to pick up needles by someone in their past.  I am no different.  My mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother (pictured right)  all knitted at some point throughout their lives.  My grandmother and great grandmother knit to augment the family income.  My mother knit for relaxation and to bring some handmade joy to her family.  My mother-in-law taught me to knit in the round and to knit socks.  I discovered my passion for knitting with her coaching and encouragement.

With the wire knitting it was a little different.  I first learned about Viking style  wire knitting from a book by Irene From Petersen entitled: Great Wire Jewelry.  I bought the book in 2000 but didn’t finally give it a try until about 2010.  Having spent some time living near the Norse site in L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, I felt a connection to this technique, as if it helped me better understand the people who came here.  Some of my more detailed and OAK pieces feature this style of wire knitting.

Then around 2015, I discovered the work of Ruth Asawa, wire artist and sculptor.  I found her wire work to be mesmerising!  I learned how she formed basic stitches and scaled the whole thing down to see what sort of jewelry I might make from it.  Most of the pieces on this site use her approach to wire knitting. 

During a craft market in the spring of 2018, my booth was approached by a customer who inquired about several pieces I had on display.  I launched into a description about discovering Ms. Asawa’s work online, how exciting it was and how I was inspired to adapt it to jewelry making.  It was then the customer told me she was from California and had been Ms. Asawa’s neighbour.  She told me she thought I had captured some of her essence in my work, and that she would likely have been pleased to see it.  Although Ms. Asawa and I would never meet, our spirits had crossed paths through our work. 

To be part of a knitting tradition, wire or fibre, is to become part of a long tradition.  Every time I pick up my work, I think of the women who have gone before me, of the hours spent creating beauty from fibers and wires.  

And I am honored to be in their company.


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