Explore Fiber is a collaborative website showcasing and exploring fiber as a fine art material.
Our public radio station in Dallas has an informative talk show called Think with Krys Boyd. There was a great interview yesterday with Alanna Okun, a knitter from New York City, and author of“The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater: Essays on Crafting”.
In her interview, she addresses the power of working with fiber to calm the fiber artist through the act of creation. I have seen this happen in the art classroom; students become centered, focused and calm when they are engaged with fiber art processes. I know for myself, it is the true place I can “breathe”. Having yarn or fabrics in my hands is my heartbeat. When it’s not in my life, I feel adrift and untethered.
A story I relay frequently about my own entry into the fiber world was learning how to knit from my mom. I have been a fiberholic my entire life…when I was in the 3rd grade, I would stand up against the school wall at recess and knit. Boys teased me that I was knitting diapers, and though that did humiliate me a bit, it sure didn’t stop me.
All fiber art participants have similar entry stories. Being swaddled in soft cloth is one of the first sensory experiences humans experience. It is no wonder that people respond strongly to fibers and textiles, whether consciously or unconsciously. Take a listen to this podcast – you can stitch, knit or crochet as her tales unwind!