I knew it would happen one day. It was a day that was always in the future. But then the future came to my doorstep. It was the day when I would have to untangle The Knitted Mile.
After its brilliant premiere on the streets of Dallas, TX, the piece has mostly been stuffed into two, large garbage bags. It was an almost-but-not-quite mile-long knot. Once I took it out and showed it as a giant pile, along with the photographs of the knitters who helped me make it. But mostly it has sat in my studio in its very undignified form, almost anonymous given the humble, if practical, covering. This piece, which has gotten into books and has gained me invitations to exhibitions and other projects, has not been fully appreciated in the intervening years, I am sad to admit.
And then the day - THAT day - came. It was time to untangle.
A friend helped me carry it home from the studio where it is too dirty for this kind of work. I gingerly unveiled it. Was it as bad as I remembered?
Yes. Yes, it was. (Sorry about the poor photographs - it was a dark and humid and, did I mention hot?, day.)
I found one end and began the process of laying it in a box like a fire hose. It is the same way I laid it the back of the car when I installed it in Dallas.
Query: Is it unethical to do something in front of someone with the knowledge that they will get so irritated by the way you are doing it (which is to say, the wrong way) that they will push you aside so that they can do it (which is to say, the right way)?
There might have been a little Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer fence painting kind of thing going on but, as some might have predicted were they of the nature to make those kinds of predictions, certain others could not bear to watch my incompetent untangling method. Just as she was beginning to say things like, "shouldn't I be paid for this?", a friend texted her and she found an escape hatch. But I could tell that she was a little disappointed too. This is the kind of thing that really excites her.
Then it was just me and knitting and the humidity.
Confession: I might have cried once or twice.
In the end, the box was filled and I was left with two balls.
This is fine. It will work for my piece for Ithaca College, which I have titled, Heaven is the Most Dangerous Place of All.
And so it is.