Toshiko Hayashi




Knitting & Stitching Show

The 2001 Knitting & Stitching Show:

exhibited work

'My Part of Paradise'





My attitude to Knitting: As a young child I had a passion for crochet and hand knitting, and I would copy my mother as she cast stitches on and off, or increased and decreased them. It was almost like playing and I never thought this would become something important in my life. After many years of secretarial work, I went over to Holland and started knitting again. At first I just needed to create something nice for myself to wear and later on I knitted for other people.

I had no special education in dressmaking or knitting, so I made simple 'T-shaped' garments, one after another. However, people bought them! The beauty of the T-shape, especially when draped gracefully on the human body, fascinates me.

At first my work used imagery that was something to do with flowers, but became more abstract later. Colour, however, has always been the most important aspect. I tried, whether I was wanted to express an image of flowers in bouquets, flowers in the landscape or even flowers in the mind, to do it only through colour. It opened up 'impossible possibilities' for me. Knitting became a kind of tranquilliser where, having surrounded myself with all the colours I like, I can sit, relax and knit.

I don't make any preparatory sketches, but just start straight in, following the image and atmosphere I have in my head. I use only simple techniques to realize what I have in mind. To be honest, I must say my techniques are very limited. If I feel the work is starting to move in the wrong direction, I simply pull the yarn out and redo. If I've gone too far to do this, I simply change the concept to fit the new direction and start again from there. So easy! No stress! I continue to enjoy knitting.