I have had a knitting practice since I was a child - my mother taught me how to knit during moments of idle time, usually while visiting family, and it became a comfort and a support in social or other moments of discomfort. In 2018, while I was trying to write my Masters thesis, I started writing with knitting. It became a kind of digestion: an embodied memory that enabled meditation through repetition, a time-creator that lubricated the cogs of more public articulations. The first word I knitted was ANXIETY. As a rule, I use yarn that was gifted to me, or that I find second-hand. I do not buy new yarn, nor do I reject colours or textures of the yarns I use.
I now knit at least one word per year, and always gift the resulting object to a consenting friend. This year, I've knitted a small word "OCH" for "Herbarium". It's not quite a word exactly; rather, it was the "word" I decided to use as a graffiti tag from 2010-2012, influenced by peers, that I would shyly write on public walls in Toronto, usually just with a thick permanent marker. People would ask what it stood for, and I would say, "I don't know yet". I started knitting it this year with the intention of finding that answer.
I did not find the answer, but through this slow writing process I found many possibilities: Outside Car Horns, Offering Cold Ham, Ordinary Creatures Howl, Ominous Cave Heat, Other Countries Habits, Other Court Hearings, Our Chaotic History, One Century Has, Over Combing Horses, Oscillating Camera Head, Onze Cadeau Herhaald. A Scottish friend who sat next to me halfway through the "H" told me "och" can be a Scottish word: an exclamation, a punctuation. It was completed still with the same uncertainty I had in my 20s. I trust that one day, what it really stands for for me will be revealed.
40x20x10 cm, knitting, textile fibres, (2022)