gauge (2020-2021)

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Ⓒ Mai Ishida

“Gauge" is the measure of the number of vertical and horizontal stiches in a 10cm square piece of knitting fabric. In knitting books, "standard gauge" for each work is specified so that we can make the same size as the designer’s given one. Even if we use the same needles and the same yarn as shown on the book, the number of the stitches may not always be the same because of the individual differences in hand tension. That’s why it is important to do test knitting or gage swatch before starting to knit. If the number of stitches is fewer than that of standard gauge, we should use smaller needles. If more, we should use larger ones. Having selected the most suitable needles to match the standard gauge indicated on the book, then we can finally get down to the knitting work.

 

During the 1st state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19 from early April to late May 2020, I took extra days off and spent most of my time at home while refraining from going out. As strained self-restraint life continued, I gradually came to think that I wanted to record my antagonism between mind and body as data. I was seeking something that enables me to tune up my feelings and look inside myself at that time.

 

I looked up the benefit of knitting on the web. I found an article on it saying, “Knitting increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the prefrontal cortex which controls imagination, communication skills and memory. The prefrontal cortex is the highest center of the brain that plays an important role in our thinking and creativity.”

 

Having read it, I decided to use the special cash payment (100,000 yen) for purchasing yarns, and began to knit one piece of 10 cm square gauge a day with needles No.10. I’d been working on one each without having decided the color nor the pattern for it in advance and taking a photo of it every single day for one year from April 28, 2020 to April 28, 2021. (My birthday is on April 28.) Over a period of one year, 365 pieces of each photograph were finally connected together into one block.

 

During my knitting life over that one year, sometimes I was energetic enough and sometimes fatigue and sleepiness made me dizzy and even made my hands numb. Therefore, even though I used the yarn and needles of the same thickness, the size and the alignment of each gauge varied depending on the pattern or my hand tension on each day.

 

Televisions at midnight display color bars to measure signals and maintain quality. During the days of my self-restraint life, each of these gauges had certainly been the color bars for me. Connected and lined up altogether, they have finally leveled me out- each of me in those 365 days has been connected at last looking backwards, like a command log.

ヘッディング 3

ヘッディング 3