'TRANSLATION' SCARVES by Elizabeth Meiklejohn for BOOK/SHOP
EDITION OF 3 ONLY!
Oakland-based artist Elizabeth Meiklejohn recently created these exclusive knit scarves for Book/Shop. She knits each scarf, then hand-letters them with dye. She then washes and unravels each one, washes the yarn, and then re-knits each piece, resulting in a subtle though distinct change to the design. It’s a process not unlike translating text from one language to another; like any translation, the text reappears in new form, but with its essence unchanged. None of the three scarves (available in blue, green, and black lettering) are identical, each left to chance results through the art of translation.
Approx. 9" W x 6' L. 100% Cotton.
Elizabeth says of her process:
“A knitted fabric is at its simplest a series of horizontal rows, each with the potential to carry color and create pattern. These scarves interpret the crisp lettering of BOOK/SHOP’s logo with a hands-on process, dissembling and reassembling one row at a time. Similar to traditional ikat weaving, the dyed pattern becomes textured and complex, revealing the fabric’s underlying construction.
After text is painted onto each scarf with dye, the fabric is washed and unraveled, pulling apart the letterforms into streaks of color. The spool of dyed yarn resembles Morse code or hasty scribbles - a seemingly random array with no underlying pattern. But by re-knitting the fabric precisely the same way it was knit the first time, these patches of color stack together and familiar letters gradually emerge.
As with most analog techniques, every factor is an opportunity for variation: the tempo of knitting, the position of the yarn spool, the humidity in the room. Small distortions occur throughout, the pattern shifting from side to side and front to back in unpredictable ways.”