I was out at the American Folk Art Museum in Lincoln Center a few weeks back for their Make It Thursday event, and I got the chance to see Anna Hrachovec speak. For those of you who don’t know Anna’s work, she’s been knitting tiny toys for five years and runs the website Mochimochiland.com.
She was at Make It Thursday talking about her most recent exhibition, Gnomes vs. Snowmen. I took the opportunity to swing by the exhibition, and to ask Anna a few questions.
1) Do you have any metrics on how much material you used for Gnomes vs. Snowmen? Feet of yarn, or number of yarn balls?
Let’s see.. I used about 64 skeins of green and white yarn to make the grass and snow, which was the part of the installation that I made using a knitting machine (like a sewing machine, except manual). All the rest of it – the gnomes, snowmen, trees, bunnies, etc – were hand knitted and didn’t actually use up that much yarn, but just hours and hours of knitting. Probably a good 500+ hours of knitting.
2) Is knitting okay for men to do?
I’m pretty sure knitting is the new hipster guy trend – I heard that Sufjan Stevens does it, for a famous example. Most of the men I know would like to be like Sufjan Stevens.
3) You said that you were inspired, for Gnomes vs. Snowmen, by the Bayeux Tapestry. What else inspired you for this?
I more or less conjured up every violent Warner Bros cartoon and every vague memory of famous battles/wars that I could think of. I’m not so great with remembering the details of history, but the result of that is a fun mishmash of cliches, like a snowman getting tied to railroad tracks, a Trojan Carrot being rolled into Snowman territory, and a flattened gnome stuck to a giant snowball.
4) Do you do other DIY besides knitting?
Knitting has really consumed my life for the past five years. I try other things for a change sometimes, but I think I might be a little bit of a DIY disaster outside of knitting.