A lot of people asked me over the years, “How do art and activism come together?”
Let me explain.
Chelsea King was a San Diego high school student who was murdered by a convicted sex offender named John Albert Gardner in 2010:
Chelsea’s Light Foundation was established by the family to create laws to protect children. Dream in Color, a yarn manufacturer, created skeins of yarn to make shawls (or whatever you want really). A portion of the proceeds from the yarn sales go to Chelsea’s Light Foundation:
Further, Chelsea King’s brother was 13 years old when his sister was murdered. He created a documentary about his experience stating that creating a documentary was actually better than therapy. I also heard that same sentiment expressed by Mariel Hemingway about her own family challenges and how she became an advocate:
This is how art, albeit making documentaries or textile arts, and activism come together. I buy my Chelsea’s Shawl yarn at Gentler Times Knit Shop in Naperville, Illinois, just a block away from where I meet my writing group. 100% super wash merino is one of the better textures for me to work with. Needless to say, my next bohemian strippy scarf will be made using Chelsea’s Shawl Yarn.
Once I knew what was going on, I was able to knit my scarf very quickly.
I generally do not work with worsted yarn. I am a yarn snob. I know my great grandmother who used to crochet did not spend this much on a skein of yarn, but there has to be more of a sensual feel to the yarn for me to handle it for a long period of time. And I LOVED the look of this worsted yarn! The stripe quality is phenomenal! There are TOO MANY cute bohemian patterns out there for me to pass up, so making this scarf helped me to restructure my wardrobe.
I am a total fan of 1960s and 1970s vintage clothes. I love eras before then, but I notice with myself, that I tend to look best within that era. Maxi dresses sing to me. Blue jeans with flare in the leg are the only jeans I will allow in my possession. A scarf with a blouse reminds me of the stylishness I saw out of the women around me. When I was little and my parents were gladly getting rid of their 1970s clothes and carting them off to the Goodwill, I begged them to place them in a box for me until I grew up. I KNEW I wanted them for myself.
Off to Goodwill they went.
And I grew up and I had to start over, looking around for what I wanted. Luckily for me, the textiles in knitting and crochet gave me what I was looking for: Unique bohemian chic. One frogging on the way to completion of this project isn’t bad, now is it? From what I understand, it is not at all unusual to see people doing more than that.
The scarf measures 40 inches long. I will need to get knit more scarfs before the winter comes. I forgot how to bind off, so I will have to ask my fiber arts group about that. There are worse things to indulge in. There are worse activities to bond with people over. Either people do not ask why I do this or they make assumptions. But it really very simple for me: There really are worse things to do besides knit a scarf and I simply do not want to be involved with any of them.