Monday, July 28, 2008

Yellow Springs Tree Sweater: "Tommy's Tree"

"Tommy's Tree"

A Special Tribute
Ellen Blake Hoover

My brother Tom Blake has disabilities, such as compulsive/obsessive disorder and autism; he does not speak at all, and has a form of aphasia. Tom turns 65 this year, but he's always been my big brother and childhood playmate/best friend, so we grew up understanding each other even though he didn't then (and can't now) speak. At the time, my parents thought he was deaf and he was treated as such, so his language and understanding skills suffered (turns out he is not deaf but certainly has hearing issues).

As a young adult, he started this knitting and I've always been appreciative of it and how he chooses colors, textures, etc., but I've been unable to use it except as noted below. He uses any threads he can - wool, cotton, and polyester blends. I did the tree because the "knit knot" art inspired me to do something to show Tom my appreciation of his work and besides - I have a barrel of his knitting rolls. I included some of his knots (which are very unusual) and a few of his safety pins that he uses for transitions (I am not always sure what the transitions mean, however - I think they are transitions between times he works on the chains), and I have a mandelvilla plant growing around it. He has not yet seen it, but he will be very happy when he visits to see the results. Tom lives in Sidney Ohio in a group home and works to support himself.

My sister, Barb Geuy - also of Sidney, and I are Tom's guardians.

You can see this beautiful work on the tree at 204 Dayton Street (the corner of Walnut and Dayton Street)