Yarn: Documentary Review
Jeanne was telling me a couple days ago about a documentary on Netflix called Yarn. I hadn’t heard of this before and, of course, the word yarn has me intrigued. She said it was quite good and that yarn lovers, like me, would appreciate the documentary.
With director Una Lorenzen, co-director/producer Heather Millard and Co-Director/Producer Thordur Jonsson, they put a beautifully scripted and story telling documentary where the yarns just don’t intwine with projects but also with our hearts.
Yarn, to me, is an emotional connection to creativity. This documentary nails that vision and my personal belief. There were 4 artists where the documentary circled around. With Tinna from Iceland, Toshiko from Japan, Tilde from Sweden and Olek from Poland. Together, the ensemble gave a different perspective of moving yarn to being more than just your typical thoughts of projects. Putting yarn in front of people through art installations.
Olek, in my opinion, is one of the most well known faces of yarn artistry. From her wild and free flowing ideas of Yarn Artistry, some refer to it as Yarn Bombing, which I really dislike. Her work conveying messages to provoke thought.
Tinna is about connecting life to fiber arts. She seemed really thought provoking on making something so simple to be highly symbolic. From incorporating yarn to floating balls, wall pieces and more.
Tilde was about incorporating yarn into circus performance. Immersing the audience to indulge in the world of yarn as the acts circle around the yarn in some capacity. It was imaginative and really thought provoking.
I was most taken back by Toshiko from Japan. If you see your play structure where kids are bouncing on crochet netting and more, you will know her work instantly. I found myself glued to everything she was saying on how the yarn connected to each other was more than just a play structure. From the vibrations of the netting transferring to others. The netting creating instant friendships with children. Giving children a reason to laugh, scream, run and play. You could tell from this documentary that she was highly passionate about the vision and goals she had in mind.
Definitely, all four artists would be interesting with a sit down for a cup of tea. There were parts were Olek is just letting it all hang out personality wise. I realized, I would probably connect well with her generally.
Tinna was making statements that when men crochet, the world takes notice and when a women does, it’s just a shrug of the shoulders. I have to say, I think that is a pretty true statement. It would be typical of something manly related and a woman stepping in to do the same task. It gets noticed.
The documentary had a running monologue with heavy on adjectives and symbolism. At times, fairly deep in thought to how it was written.
So while I thought based on the title, that the documentary would circulate around the history of yarn. The documentary was so much more than that. It put yarn in the art form category. I truly think crochet is a form of art. While crocheters, at times, dismiss themselves as artists when they use others patterns to create things, there is still a raw talent and usually crocheters will change up colours and more. Some easily dismiss crocheter as imitation artists by completing patterns, I cannot help but think that is so far from the reality. We are each artists and have our own take. We can hold our hooks different, our approach can be different though our results make be similar. We each tackle each stitch with interest and determination.
While some may look at this documentary and think, what a waste of yarn. It’s us, you and I as crocheters, that have the power in our hands to show others what yarn can do and means. Think about it. The last time you made a project and handed it to a friend in need or maybe a charity contribution. Your artwork went onward. You showed through your stitches the meaning of giving. It’s the everyday, unsung heroes of crochet, that are the movers and shakers of a movement. While there are mainstream artists, like the ones in this documentary, that stand up and get noticed. They are merely the people who get the public to ask more questions about our craft. You need those people in our lives. This is what helps the tradition of crochet and knitting to stay in the forefront. While we are used to mass produced knitted clothing and more, nothing beats a truly handmade with care item.
The Crochet Crowd has created exhibits ourselves and knows the power of inspiring non-crocheters to look at our hobby with interest. We open imaginations and, in many cases, the feeling of nostalgia and memories past. Looking backward to move forward, sort of speak.
Some parts of the documentary are sub-titled, you shouldn’t be surprised. Most of the movers and shakers in our industry are from Europe. In Europe, more people still crochet or knit than here in North America. With global importing as high as it is here in North America, people are most likely to buy a pre-made hat a retailer than to make it themselves. In Europe, it’s still fashionable and affordable to make your own items verses buying something pre-made. It’s all about perspective.
If you get a chance to watch this documentary, put down the crochet hook and enjoy. It’s now available on Netflix in Canada and the USA. I hadn’t heard of this documentary before, glad Jeanne told me about it. I would have missed out.
Trailer for Documentary