KonMari can mess with you. You think you’re done. You think you’ve got the joy sparked, but once you’ve raised the question, it comes back sometimes, a haunting little question mark.
Does this thing really spark joy? I dunno, I mean, I like it. It’s, um, a good thing I think.
Consider this item, for example. This is the first sweater I made, back when when the boys were short and the days were long. It’s Sarah Dallas’s Emmeline from Rowan 28, my gateway Rowan. (Go ahead, take a peek. O the memories!)
Recalling the joy that this cardigan sparked when I made it was joy aplenty for this to stay in my house.
I keep looking at it and thinking, This thing could spark more joy than it’s sparking. It could be less literal. I could maybe wear it sometime.
Mulling what to do, I recalled a shirt I saw two years ago at Shakerag Workshops. It was a shirt brought by the master shibori dyer Yoshiko Wada. She wanted to show an example of work made by developmentally disabled people as part of the Nui Project in Japan. So glad that textile artist and fellow Shakeragger Jody Alexander caught a photo of this shirt. (Please, lordy, click on that link and scroll down to the extravagant stitching photo.) I just found it today, like a lost set of car keys driving me crazy.
Isn’t that extraordinary?
The abandon of it all really comes clear when you look at a lot of the Nui Project work. Here you go. (Again, if this is the last click you click all day, it’s a pretty extraordinary click.)
The looseness of it all, wow. The intuitive color play. The all of it.
Another haunting project on my mind was a plain dark cardigan that I saw eight years ago at Downtown Yarns in New York. It was a plain cardigan, maybe not even a handknit, but stitched all over with embroidery floss in the most wandering, random way.
I don’t know where this is going to lead, but I’ve got two long flights coming up, and this is going with me.
Remember how our Tilleke Schwarz embroidery class had us making tiny stitches? How we ended up with six (lovely) square inches of embroidery after five days of sewing? I’m going in another direction on this, namely: how fast can I pile a new layer of additional joy sparkation onto this previous-joy-sparked cardigan?
PS Yoshiko Wada has a gorgeous Instagram feed at @yoshiko_wada_, in case you’re looking to stock up your Instagram larder.
PSS Here’s an article about the Nui Project in Kagoshima City, Japan.