'Chizu Nakamura




Knitting & Stitching Show

The 2001 Knitting & Stitching Show:

exhibited work






Knitting and myself: I have been knitting for more than 50 years. I first began knitting seriously between the 1960's and 1970's, as an escape from the chaos of a life that had become rather full of unhappy incidents, such as my husband's long-term illness. I just moved my fingers and needles without thinking of anything else. At night, after my family went to sleep, I would carry on knitting until very late. These were the only moments when I felt calm and peaceful. Knitting was my method of healing my troubled mind.

Now things are much better, and I feel that my knitting should not only be useful but should bring a pleasure that carries with it a blessing, not just for my own sake, but for others.

How would it possible for me to transfer this sense of blessing or to heal people's minds through my pieces? It must be through the five human senses - seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and tasting. So far, I have only succeeded in satisfying three senses - looking, touching, and hearing. In my next piece I am trying to find a way to express one additional sense -'smell'. The final remaining sense - 'taste', will possibly be a more difficult challenge for me to solve.

So! My pieces are not only for looking at, but also for enjoyment through touching their textures, playing with them, cuddling them, listening to their voices, all for the pleasure of the senses.

I have been using my own hand-spun wool for all of my pieces. There is no special reason for this, but I feel a warmth and comfort from hand-spun yarns which touches my heart, and which cold machine-produced yarn can't match.
Message: I am an ordinary woman from a country that has used wool for a relatively short period. Records show that the main fibres used in clothes from the Joumon Period (BC 10,000 - BC 300) were of vegetable origin. Animal fibre - silk from China and Korea - was introduced as a luxury for the upper classes during the 6th century. Although wool first came to Japan in the 16th century, it wasn't until the 20th that ordinary people started to use it. It seems to be my duty to pass a message to the assembled ranks of fellow enthusiasts, with your long and honourable tradition of using wool. My message: 'I recently discovered that wool, in addition to all its other useful qualities, has a healing power when you touch it'.