Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Funny knitting thing I came across while surfing the Internet at work waiting for this very long, day before Thanksgiving weekend, work day to complete....

I was reading and searching knitting blogs to learn new things and see what knitters are up to in the world and I came across this post about a girl that is a performing artist that is asking knitters from all over the world to send her some unfinished project to become a part of her next performance piece called "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". I just thought it was kind of a cool idea to be a part of something that will maybe raise awareness on an issue I doubt many people are aware of... mental illness among Asian American women. Being a quarter Asian American woman myself I really wasn't aware of this issue being so staggering but apparently it is, and now I am concerned. I did a little goggle search after reading about this performance artist and came across this article from the APA which talked about some interesting problems that second generation Asian American women face. A lot about our growing up bi-cultural and feelings of pressure to maintain our Asian-ness while also being American. Which is actually something I have always tried to explain to American friends but always seems to be looked at as a non-issue. Read the article and learn a little something, I know I did.

Now I am a new advocate for getting the word out to help other Asian American women out there, and all I was trying to do was surf some knitting blogs.

But anyway back to the knitting request that Kristina Wong makes. I'm just going to paste it in here cause I think it is cool and I am going to send her the back of a hooded sweater I never got around to making the front of.

Dear Knitters,

Got an old knitting project that you don't plan to ever finish? Half done socks? Five inches of a scarf? Now they can be part of a touring theater piece! Help performer Kristina Wong demystify the knitting circle and unravel the deep psyche of the master crafter in her new solo show "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Your donations of unfinished knitting pieces from around the world will be included as part of the set for a live serio-comic exploration of maintaining sanity in times that seem almost fictitious. All contributors will receive set construction program credit for the life of the show. (Please forward this notice to all the knitters you know) Your friends in crafting, The Cuckoo's Nest WHY UNFINISHED KNITTING? "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" originally set out to explore the sky-high rates of mental illness and suicide among Asian Pacific Islander Women. Asian Pacific Islander American women have the highest rates of suicide in the country in a statistic that seems to be widely unpublicized and often disregarded. The unfinished knitting collected represent incomplete intentions, women's work, spinning a yarn,and loneliness. During the show, Kristina uses the knitting pieces to represent “unravelling” women and even unravels some of the pieces during the show. These knit pieces may also be displayed as part of an art installation later in the run.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING: Please include the skein of yarn (if there is one) attached to your unfinished knitting. Include the knitting needle it's sitting on, or if you want to keep you needles, pull some waste yarn through the loops so that your piece doesnÂ’t unravel in the mail. On a sheet of paper please include the following information. This information is all optional as it may be displayed as part of a public installation of this work. Name (or alias) Gender Age Ethnic identification Where do you live/ Where are you from? What was the original intention when you cast on this piece? What reasons do you have for not finishing it? Any information about this piece that is pertinent to its history or to your history. If you are interested in knowing where "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is touring to, please include your email address. Note: Your name and hometown must be included if you want to be credited for set construction.

DO SEND: Unfinished knitting, all different shapes and colors that can be unraveled if pulled at the string. This could be the sleeve of a sweater you never finished, the first scarf you started, or any other piece of knitting that for some reason or another you have not managed to finish nor do you anticipate will ever be finished. Knitting that is full of mistakes are as welcome as are perfectly stitched pieces. Unfinished knitting attached to tangled skeins are welcome.

DO NOT SEND: Finished knitting or store bought knitwear, finished knits that are damaged, anything with more square footage than a baby blanket (3 by 3 feet) or tangled yarn. I am interested only unfinished knitting that has been pulled off the needle and that has the capability of unravelling. YOUR KNITTING WILL NOT BE RETURNED! At the end of the run of "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the remaining pieces will be stitched together to create blankets for charity. Any attached skeins of yarn will be cut and also given to charity.

TIMELINE: * Knitting received by December 1, 2006 will appear in the Berkeley premiere of WFOTCN on December 9 and the run at MACLA in San Jose December 15-16. * Knitting received by March 15, 2006 will appear in the East Coast premiere of WFOTCN March 23-24 at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA. * Knitting may also appear in other national performances of this show.

PO BOX 251664

Please do not send anything COD. QUESTIONS/ PRESS INQUIRIES?

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