Prudence Mapstone needs no introduction. She is the queen of freeform knitting, crochet, and yarn manipulation. Her colourful, vibrant and fun work always draws a crowd – and admiring sighs and smiles. Her totem exhibition at this year’s Fair is no exception. The totems, displayed in a small alcove next to her yarn stand, cannot be missed – just follow the crowd.
Totems represent a kinship group – a clan, family or tribe – where some totems celebrate cultural or religious beliefs while others are merely decorative and an artistic expression of a shared experience. Prudence’s totems fall into this latter group. She celebrates yarn. It is as simple as that.
The colours, textures and thickness of the different yarns dictate how she applies them. “It is an organic process. “I start by choosing a colour palette and it just grows from there.” Prudence makes a swirl, or a scrumble as she calls it, adds new colours, change the stitch patterns and builds on it until she, well… stops. When she has a few of these, she lays them out on a flat surface, plays around with it, then she fills the gaps with more knitting or crochet stitches. And so the totem grows until the scrumble clan is complete.
Sometimes there are recurring themes, like the mitred knitting, or the bullion flowers, or the felted balls, but other times many different styles and stitch patterns sit comfortably next to each other like different personalities in one big happy family.
Prudence is as delightful as her work, she smiles, talks and shares. It is obvious that she loves people, yarn, and yarn-loving people in equal measures.
To see her work and find out about her classes, books and patterns visit her website at http://www.knotjustknitting.com