Monday 3 March 2014


Close Knit is a project I conjured up in 2009, a way of working with family graves, landscape and textile process. The sixth gravestone cosy has been problematic and led to a pause in the project that I'm picking up again after three years. This work involves the practical: researching and finding graves, traveling to them, measuring, photographing, creating a knitting pattern, knitting the pattern and then returning to photograph the work in situ. This part of the process simply requires a desire to make the work and action. The less tangible is tuning into what would be the 'right' colour for a relative, many of whom I knew only vaguely, some who were dead before I was born. With Violet I've had my biggest struggle to date, odd really when she is my only relative who's name is a colour.

I began to make Violet's cosy while living in Sheffield. In a department store I bought six balls of lilac wool, my first hunch on her colour. I knitted the whole front panel of the cosy and didn't enjoy it one bit. The wool was poor quality, knotted in places and I had to cut away knots and create joins in the knitting, easy to hide but irritating. When I'd knitted the panel I found my colour choice too obvious for a lady who died in her early 80's. I unravelled the knit and gave the wool away. Next I bought six balls of purple wool, didn't knit too much of this and quickly realised this was wrong too. It didn't 'feel' right and this project is as much about feeling and intuition as it is about practical choices.

This week I've begun again, and am sure this time. I've booked tickets to Bristol for early April, giving myself a challenging deadline to finish the work which I'll site three years since my last visit to her grave on a beautiful spring day.

Aunty Vi was shy, beautiful and gentle. My mum's favourite sister.