CraftSanity Episode 72: Protest Sweaters, a Vagina Yurt & Other Political Knitting by Lisa Anne Auerbach

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On my bike

Whether you agree with the statements stitched into Lisa Anne Auerbach’s protest sweaters or not, you have to give her props for being one talanted knitter. Her fiber art is both well-crafted and thought provoking. So, even if you’re Republican and appalled by a messages like “Bush is a Turkey”, you have to respect the fact that she has a Passap e6000 (knitting machine) and she knows how to use it.

obama sweaterFrom protest to empowerment and all that jazz in between, Lisa Anne isn’t afraid to put her views in writing and knit them into fabric. Some people stand on street corners with signs and megaphones.

Lisa Anne protests while she goes about the business of life. She’ll knit some serious text and maybe a suicide belt into a wool sweater and wear it around town, through airports, biking around L.A. or wherever else she happens to be. Her riding sweater is one of my personal favorites declaring: “On my bike, Los Angeles is mine.”

Her latest political sweater set is pretty rad, too.

During our chat, Lisa Anne, a 40-year-old artist and adjuct photography professor, said she made art for more than a decade without a lot of attention. But she kept at it and her work has become widely known in recent years. Last month she completed her first commissioned piece for Eve Ensler, writer of the “Vagina Monologues.” Lisa Anne knit a vagina yurt for the 10th anniversary of V-Day.

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Check out more of the machine knit artwork she’s made with that pain -in-the-rear machine of hers. As if her knitting prowess isn’t a good enough reason for all of us (including Bush supporters) to be impressed, Lisa Anne is also a photographer and zine maker. We talked about all that, too.

Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear Lisa Anne talk about her life and art and the thrill of meeting Jane Fonda. She also talks about one of her latest art projects that you can get involved in. Read more about it at www.thetracthouse.com.

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THIS WEEK’S PROJECT: I contacted Lisa Anne after reading about her in Sabrina Gschwandtner’s “KnitKnit” book. I interviewed Sabrina for CraftSanity Episode 61 and Lisa Anne let me post her body count mitten pattern. Unfortunately the war’s still raging on so I’m going to direct you to that pattern once again. Download the pdf.

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Taking Names: Who do you want to hear from next? Send your comments, guest and show topic suggestions to jennifer@craftsanity.com

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