As a knitter, I am aware of the painstaking amount of effort that goes into each knitted garment. In a process like sewing, you cut the needed pieces out of a plane of existing fabric and reshape them into a three-dimensional garment. It’s a negative process, excising elements and leaving remnants behind. Knitting on the other hand is a completely positive process, creating only that fabric needed for the garment at hand, loop by individual loop. Nothing is wasted as it’s being created exactly for the needs of the project, except perhaps your time as it takes FOREVER.
The sheer amount of time involved in knitting is one of the reasons I like it – I get a visual record of that time passing by. There’s an artist who only ever knits one enormous project, sitting in museums as an installation piece knitting ever more of it as it rolls out the museum and down the steps. Unfortunately the internet fails me in finding her name (damn you, Google!), but if anyone knows who it is drop a line.
This amount of life and time poured into a hand-knitted object, when combined with the fickle and ephemeral nature of fashion, seems the cruelest waste. I get angry flipping through Vogue Knitting, as page after page of ridiculous trend pieces sure to be passè by the time one finishes working them up flash by (not to mention their projects use rather expensive yarns, so not only are you spending a month or two working on something already dated, you pay $200 for the privilege).
As Jean Cocteau said, “Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.” Well put, and part of the reason I so enjoy vintage knitting. These lovely objects have already passed the test of time, and are sure to… reward….. your…..uh, investment……. huh.
Well then. Fugly apparently spans the decades.