Heart and Seek
Heart and seek is a multi-site installation of small embroidered hearts. As well as the suspended heart in the gallery, Fahey has embroidered hearts in public places around Footscray, inviting the viewer to find them, and to also make their own.
Fahey says that the work is ‘about knowing the place in which you live and finding the love in all the nooks and crannies’.
Little. No BIG
Level 1, 119 Hopkins Street
Sunday February 5th 2017
1 – 3 pm
Gallery open through February
Wed – Sat 12 – 5pm or by appointment
Further work can be discovered on the streets of Footscray and beyond. Tag your discoveries #heartandseek
You are invited to contribute to this work – and your community! Here are the instructions for making your own heart. Please consider these instructions as a guide: use whatever colours, materials, techniques that take your fancy.
x Red wool – can be obtained from your local op shop, your own craft stash or raid someone elseʼs, or any colour wool, or cotton, or anything that you can find that’s long and strippy 🙂
x A fence or grating with either diamond or square grid. Make sure it’s not too small as you need to get your fingers in the gaps and wriggle them around a bit.
x A friend or two – ʻcause these things are always more fun with mates
Part A: Finger Knitting
Step 7: Repeat steps 4-6
Step 8: After about 7-10 rounds a ʻsnakeʼ of knitted wool will be forming behind your hand. Pull on this snake to lengthen and tighten it.
And thatʼs it!
Now time to keep knitting. Youʼll need about 5 metres for each heart you want to make. Once you have about 5 metres of knitted wool, cut the wool and tie it round your finger knitting to knot it. Donʼt worry about this looking too attractive; itʼll get chopped off during the fence stitching process.
Part B: Fence Stitching – Cross Stitch Technique
You can make up your own design but here’s a simple heart pattern to follow:
Now these photos arenʼt as clear due to the whole night time installation aspect of this kind of thing. Turns out my camera doesnʼt like taking close shots of bright red wool at night with a flash…
But youʼll get the drift.
This tutorial is based on a stitch done on a diamond shaped chain link fence. If youʼve struck gold and found a square grid fence, the directions will be slightly different. Iʼve italicised the extra bits.
Step 1: Figure out where youʼre going to start. You want your stitching to be nicely centred. Donʼt rush this process! Count it a couple of times if you need to. Make sure your design has enough room without running into the edge of the fence, or into a broken bit of fence. See if you can find the fence in Footscray where I forgot this crucial step!
Thereʼs your first cross!
Now a brief pause to talk about tension. Itʼs really important to keep all your stitches tight! Firstly because it looks better, secondly because it lasts longer and finally and most importantly because it uses less wool! All that time finger knitting – best to use it efficiently! I usually stop every couple of stitches and give everything another tug to make sure itʼs nice and tight.
Step 6: When youʼve finished the pattern, tie your wool off as tight as you can. As with your original knot, make sure itʼs super secure.
Step 7: Cut off the extra wool. Make sure you leave a couple of centimetres spare just so the wool has a little bit to move before coming undone. Remember your stitching has to brave the elements so it will all move a bit over time.
Part C: Fence Stitching – Weaving Technique
This technique is heaps easier and quicker and really only works on diamond shape chain link fences.
Get yourself a bundle of wool to work with. I usually wrap it around my hand about 30 times and then cut it off. Tie one end onto an intersection on the fence. Wrap the wool over two diamonds until the whole area is covered. Continue wrapping along but only covering one diamond. Tie it off and cut the string. In the picture below you can see how it will look and where the ends are tied off.
These hearts work best on smaller fences, or if you do a whole bunch of them. Here’s an amazing fence a group of craftivists did in Wellington. Don’t you love the colour!
Congratulations you just spread your love into a little corner of your community for everyone to share. Pop a picture on instagram or facebook and tag it #sharethelove so even more people can see!