work > Unraveling

Unraveling documents the unraveling and subsequent reconstruction of a sweater. The piece serves as a personal narrative and metaphor for the experience of emotional deconstruction and transformation into functionless.

A sweater has the function of keeping a person warm. It mimics the shape of the body and becomes a second skin, another layer of protection. Sweaters are depended on for warmth, comfort and, outward appearance. In representing a personal narrative of the disintegration of expectations, I decided to undo the protective covering. I created a tangible experience to show to myself the unreliability of this and other surrogates. Now when I approach my closet, I need to look elsewhere for what I once found in this sweater. I need to either buy a new sweater, wear my other sweaters more often, or simply be colder.

With the unraveled yarn from the sweater, I began to knit. I knit on circular needles, the piece moved around and around in a dizzying spiral. When the sweater had completely disappeared, I had a long tube on my needles. I had to react to the tube. Could I find a way for it to somehow function? Would it fit around me? Would it look ridiculous if I tried to wear it? Would it be better to let it go? Maybe I would be making a fool of myself by wearing it. Or would it make a neat little dress and would I become a fashion star from this tube that I am left with? Maybe it’s not as functionless as I thought, maybe it’s not something that has fallen apart, just something that has changed.

I wear the tube as a dress. It’s tight on my legs and I can’t walk. The top is too stretchy and it won’t stay up unless I hold it, gather up all the extra into a big clump and hold it in my fist. I feel trapped and exposed. Not quite fashion star-like but still I smile at the camera.

Unraveling
sweater
Unraveling
sweater
Unraveling
sweater
Unraveling
sweater