A knitted mask by artist Tracy Widdess.
In an interview included in the 2014 book Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles, British Columbia-based artist Tracy Widdess says she began knitting nearly twenty years ago. Somewhere along the way, Widdess recalled that she found herself working with a group for a charity project charged with re-creating knitted masks from the 1970’s. After conducting some research for inspiration, Widdess came across a 1992 issue of Threads magazine and an article called “Snow Fooling” by Meg Swansen. Swansen was a protege of her mother Elizabeth Zimmermann, the founder of old-school crafting and knitting company, Schoolhouse Press. The images in the article struck a nerve with Widdess and her contribution the project would land her on the front page of the great, now sadly defunct website Regretsy. The exposure would inspire Widdess to create her own brand of sewing calling it “Brutal Knitting.”
Widdess would pursue various creative arts in school including sculpture, teaching herself to knit along the way. Soon her monsters and other strange knitted characters came to be by way of commissions—each taking 50-100 hours to complete. She is currently accepting commissions, so, if you have always thought how much better your life would be if people would just stop talking to you in public, then something wicked from Widdess is just what you need for your next walk around the block. Examples of Widdess’ wild work follow.
More after the jump…