The Art of Frogging*

March 12, 2010

A thread on Ravelry (members only, sorry) made me stop and take a closer look my  copy of the Spring issue of Interweave.  Shiela Pepe does really big knitted and crocheted installations for museums and art galleries with a decidedly feminist bent, sometimes representing genitalia, and inscribing information about the knitters and crocheters who worked on the piece, their mothers and grandmothers in secret code.  I love this quote on her piece “Mr. Slit,” which she’s comparing to Faith Wilding’s 1972 “Womb Room“:

Mr. Slittakes my own crocheting back to it’s 1980’s Lesbian Feminist roots. It’s a nod to Wilding as well as an overt sexualized update: I don’t really care about your womb; it’s the other parts that I like.

It’s the last paragraph of the Interweave article that really peaked my interest, though.  Pepe did a large crocheted installation in Austin, and then asked visitors to find one of her yarn ends and knit or crochet something for themselves, unraveling her work by their own creation.  I love it – here’s a video from the unraveling:

*”Frogging” is internet knitting slang for ripping out your knitting.  Some suggest the term came from “rip it” -> “ribbit” -> “frogging.” Frogging a project that isn’t turning out can feel really great and cathartic – it took hours to make that ball of yarn into a piece of fabric, and now in a couple minutes – poof! it’s yarn again.

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