how it all started...
I have always been curious about life and all that it has to offer. Exploration and discovery form a big part of my life, alongside the desire to create, to make things with my own hands.
It is this desire to create that led me to making my own jewelry decades ago, starting first with beadwork, then silversmithing, to present day: a marriage of metalwork, stones and miniature knitting.
I picked up the art of knitting while travelling in India in 2009. Inspired by the wide variety of beautiful locally made yarns, I bought some yarn and knitting needles during my 3-week yoga intensive course in Dehradrun. Every evening after yoga, I will sit down and attempt to knit. Fellow yoga mates from different parts of the world offered their advice on how to best hold the needles for even tension and the most efficient knitting style.
From then on, there's no stopping me. I search both online and in life, for pattern ideas, instructions and demonstrations on stitches that I do not understand and in every country I go to, I will check out the yarn and haberdashery stores to see what is available.
I knit whenever I have a free moment, from knitting scarves to gloves, to socks, to jackets, to toys, and eventually, jewelry.
The very first proper piece of knitted jewelry I ever created was a long, fine silver necklace. I have been searching for a thin 925 silver necklace for a long time, in various countries but to no avail. I finally found a silver belly chain in my old jewelry case and converted it to a necklace. The only problem with the long necklace was that it kept getting caught in things and being thin and fragile, it kept breaking. That was when a light bulb went off in my head - what about knitting a very fine necklace with metallic thread instead? By using knitting needles as fine as 1mm, I was able to make a very fine long necklace and because it was knitted, the necklace was strong and resisted my test attempts to pull it apart.
niàn was then born.
Niàn in Buddhism means mindfulness: to be aware, to be present.
Knitting, especially with such fine materials, is a mindful practice for me, a way of staying in the moment, focusing on just how my fingers, the needles and the yarn interact with each other organically.
Hence, niàn is a perfect representation of what knitting is to me and what the creation of each jewelry piece entails. Because sometimes, it is simply the journey, not the destination, that matters.