Category Archives: knitting


photo-142 - Version 2

There’s something really wonderful about being part of a community art project, even one that takes place online. Being a small piece of the whole can take the pressure off and feel liberating. Seeing the great variety in the work of others can inspire and somehow lessen feelings of intimidation. And the finished work, a very individual yet very communal creation, is always a beautiful surprise.

In 2011, I participated in a Portland, OR community knit mural project called You Are The Chosen One. The mural, composed of 108 squares knit by 99 artists, was the brainchild of Seann McKeel, who conceived of the theme, designed the grid, organized the knitters, and assembled the work. The only requirement was that the squares be a certain size, and the rest was up to the individual knitter, which generated a beautiful variety of squares. I signed up to do the H square in CHOSEN, and learned intarsia, a knitting technique that was new to me.

The squares were assembled by McKeel and friends into a large hanging mural that read YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE, and was displayed in downtown Portland in September 2011.

photo-142McKeel invited contributors to submit statements about what they feel they are chosen for, encouraging much reflection about the purpose of one’s life. The statements are as personal and varied as the squares themselves. What are you chosen for?

photo-141McKeel, the co-producer of You Who!, a monthly Portland children’s rock variety show, also organized the 2010 community-based art project knitnotwar 1000, an art installation composed of 1000 knitted cranes, an international symbol of peace. You can read about the inspiration for the project here, and if you want to knit cranes yourself, you can find the pattern here.

Interested in reading about a children’s community art project? Take a look here.

k1, p1

I learned how to knit as a kid, but then knitting sat on the back burner for about twenty-five years before I took it up again. I’m really glad it had a revival in my life, because there’s so much I love about knitting. The colors, textures, warmth, and beauty of yarns. The variety of projects, patterns, and stitches. The community that gathers at my wonderful local knitting store, where people share patterns, joys, sorrows, and news to the gentle clicking of knitting needles. My rhythmically moving hands. Watching stitches form into a perfect pattern.

I’ve used knitting with a few art therapy clients over the years and I think they’ve felt some of the kinds of benefits mentioned above, particularly the tactile, rhythmic, meditative comfort knitting offers.

For those also into knitting and/or recycled art, here’s a knitting artist to inspire you. Ivano Vitali spins yarn out of recycled newspaper and knits up gorgeous garments and wall hangings on huge needles.


Black Bijou (2011) is a cardigan and skirt outfit. The cardigan is knitted with black ads and has a white edge crocheted with newspaper in a daisy motif. The transparent skirt is made with the black edges of the newspaper.

Boa (2005) was knit from the yellow pages.

Lots more here!