Before I began knitting yarn gardens in 2007, I wore many hats, some of which I continue to wear. I taught high school English and then Literacy Education for the University of Maine system, from which I retired. I live in Bar Harbor, Maine, with my husband, Skip Brack, where I currently help run the Davistown Museum (www.davistownmuseum.org) and Skip’s tool businesses, which include Liberty Tool Company and the Hulls Cove Tool Barn (www.jonesport-wood.com). When I am not knitting yarn gardens, I enjoy making other kinds of art, writing, reading, teaching literature and writing to two local homeschoolers, and designing and maintaining the flower gardens in the museum's Hulls Cove (Bar Harbor) sculpture gardens. Our sculpture gardens and other gardens and places on Mt. Desert Island, where we are blessed to live, sustain me spiritually and inspire the wearable art that I so enjoy creating.
I first began knitting multicolored scarves using blocks of different yarns when I bought one skein of recycled sari silk yarn, which combined gorgeous rich reds, purples, blues, oranges, yellows, turquoise, and burgundy and was spun from sari mill waste by women’s free trade cooperatives in India and Nepal. I began with the sumptuous multicolored sari silk yarn and moved to other colors and textures that wanted to mix with the sari silk colors. I made that one for myself and others in colors that I often wore but couldn’t find in stores, such as the periwinkle lavender blues to which I am drawn. I incorporated knitting ribbon, which knits up particularly beautifully and has a lovely, soft feel. I wore them with great pleasure, and they were much admired and coveted by friends and strangers. I was wearing one when I visited a shop that sold locally made items, and the owner demanded to know who made my scarf and where she could get some for their shop.
So, with great pleasure, I began to knit scarves to sell and have shown them in shops on Mt. Desert Island, Blue Hill, and Corea, Maine and the Davistown Museum Maine Artists Guild Gallery. I began with blocks of different colors and have moved to knitting scarves on huge circular needles, knitting horizontally so that the results have a woven look. I usually begin with silk or rayon recycled sari yarn and then move to other yarns, of which I now have many kinds and hues, all of natural fibers, some locally spun and dyed. I take inspiration from the flowers in the Davistown Museum sculpture gardens, which I design and maintain, hence the name Yarn Gardens. It is a joy for me to work with color in this way. I find it to be a meditative, centering, and therapeutic activity. It is my hope that wearers and observers of the Yarn Gardens scarves might, in turn, experience some of the joy and comfort that making and being with them give to me.
Yarn Gardens are one-of-a-kind wearable art. I knit scarves in colors and yarns that speak to me, but I am happy to knit scarves in a particular color palette for those who request it and don’t find one that suits them in what I already offer. If you order a scarf, please know that your scarf will not be exactly like any other that you might see online or elsewhere.
NEW Fall 2010 - Scarves with NO WOOL: Yarns may include cotton, silk, rayon, tencel, hemp, nylon, polyamide, or others.
SevenArts Show, December 2009:
(from The Wool Peddler, where I purchase my yarn)
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