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KNITTING PROJECT Artist hopes to increase thoughts of current events



Published: Tue, April 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



It's an art project in the vortex of at least three forces: the second anniversary of the Iraq war, the excitement over Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates" and the frenzy over Martha Stewart's homecoming poncho.

From knitting and war and public art comes Nina Rosenberg's RedSweaters.

On RedSweaters.org, the 25-year-old artist writes that she's not making a political statement about the war or creating a memorial to the fallen; she just wants to "suspend 1,500-plus hand-knit mini red sweaters from a tree" outside her San Francisco home to acknowledge the life of each U.S. soldier lost in Iraq and spread awareness of that sacrifice as people take the time to contribute a hand-knit sweater.

"I would love it if we could find one participant per sweater," she writes. "Then we'd really be sure that the country is giving some serious thought to today's current events."

The minisweater idea was partially spawned by a video that surfaced in February purportedly showing a U.S. soldier being held hostage. Instead, it turned out to be a hoax using an action figure. The minisweaters, which Rosenberg says take 1 to 2 hours for an experienced knitter to make, would fit an action figure.

Rosenberg updates knitters with a blog about the project, including the current death toll and number of sweaters completed -- so far, she's got 11. The site includes patterns and other instructions.

She's excited about the response from the knitting community, which, she writes, is very supportive. "It's the thoughts that the piece provokes that make it so important and effective."




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