The project started after sending a cap to my friend Martín F Yrirart. He is an Argentinean journalist stranded in Madrid and after receivingthe cap promised to send me a picture wearing the cap. Until then I had given away the caps as presents at home. Martin’s initiative to send me the picture gave me the idea to collect pictures of all the caps I had knit and then given away. Having the names of the people I had given caps to I began creating a site, as I usually do when working on different projects.

The next step was to incorporate people to whom I would like to give one of my caps. The idea of the journey of the caps fascinate me because I live in the country side inthe south of Sweden, far away from civilization, so to speak, and the caps, as in many countries, are part of different environments. One more aspect of globalization.

With time I have invited some artists and poets in order to enrich the images people create from a so simple object: a cap.


Who taught me to knit?
Traditionally knitting is a women’s activity. Most women in my generation learned to knit at home or at school. We had a subject called ”Educación para el hogar” (Home economics ) in which we learned the principles of cooking, baking, sewing, knitting and other practical things for housekeeping. We girls were supposed to be prepared to be good housewives. It was indeed a useful subject, not only if your goal was to be a good a housewife, but also for us to take care of ourselves. The thing is that boys did not had the same subject instead they were thaught the principles of carpentry, which is also useful, but they did not learn to at least cook.

In addition to what I learned at school it was my mother who guided me in the art of knitting. She was an admirable knit artist. I don't know who tought her to knit, as far as I know it wasn't my grandmother .... I never saw her with needles in her hands. This is a tribute to my mother for teaching me this wonderful art.

Knitting as a survival act
Knitting is a traditional art for making clothes. This technique allowed me to knit different kind of clothes for my children, especially when they were small: dresses, trousers, sweaters, coats, ponchos, socks, gloves, scarves and of course caps! Besides enjoying the knitting it was also a way to save money for the family.

As my children grew up my abilities in this field became obsolete leaving me only with the making of scarves and caps. The last three years I have knitted many scarves and caps for them, especially for my daughter who loves and uses them a lot, which pleased me very much.

Which kind of material do I use and where do I buy it?
I like to work with different kinds of yarn: alpaca, merino, camel, angora, etc. I buy the material in Sländan (The spindle, an instrument for spinning wool and other fibers), a small boutique in Lund. After all the yarn I have bought there I am sure the owner could afford a Ferrari by now.

How do I knit a cap?
I knit 90-120 stitches depending on the type of cap I am going to make and the thickness of the yarn. I begin with circular knitting and when I start reducing the stitches I change to five double-pointed knitting needles. Finally I work with a crochet to hide the thread over.

Usually I spend one to three days knitting a cap... so it is a lot of love invested in the work.


It is easy to find the connection between the act of knitting and the one of making and above all keeping contact with people. Knitting is a long process that involves material, tools, skill and creativity. The same ingredients are needed to make contact with people. The people I have invited to the project interest me for different reasons: their geographic situation in relation to mine, the kind of activity they do and the expectation of their contribution to build and keep the contact with me or/and simply because I love them.

Every answer to my invitation involves an illusion. First the making and then the expectation I have of the reception of the cap and what they can do with it. First of all I want them to use the cap as a regular garment whichis why they are not strident. I don't expect them to do something crazy or something they wouldn’t usually do.

In some cases the caps have led to other kinds of interaction. When I invited Heath Bunting, he proposed to make an exchange, he would send me a signed map, which is a part of his work. With Ximena San Cristóbal we decided to exchange caps and we choose in with color do we wanted our caps.

Although almost everybody has taken my invitation with enthusiasm promising to send pictures to my site a couple has not been able to answer to my invitation. This is interesting because making contact also involves try and failure.

Who oe what I am waiting for?
A friend who is involved in this project commented that I was like Penelope, knitting and knitting. Since Penelope was waiting for her husband and to re-establish her social status I asked myself if I was indeed waiting for someone or something.

Expectation is a kind of waiting. In general everybody is waiting for something or someone in his/her life.. In this particular case I am waiting for a response not only in terms of images, but also an acknowledgement, a comment a kind word something signaling the reception of the gift and and indication of a contact being established. I am very happy every time I get those images. Although patience is a condiment of the knitting contact, every person has his own way of reacting to a message or an event.

The journey
I gave the first caps as presents at home. Most of them ended thousands of miles away. That fascinated me. One little object travelling to other countries and continents now beeing part of a different environment. Besides the journey the caps has made with his owners as they receive them at home, I have use different ways of sending the caps. The most common is the regular mail, which make me very unsure when it comes to certain countries. Until now I have sent caps by mail to Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Spain and the UK. Other way has been with friends who travel to certain countries, specifically to Uruguay with Lelis Zunino and to Chile with Pamela Prieto.

Against brands
Some people have proposed that I make up some kind of brand for the caps. Since many of them were given long before I started the project this is not possible. However branding involves marketing, selling something, which is not the case. I am not selling caps Every cap is unique, they are personal objects and the person wears it because he/she likes it and because of his/her connection with me.

Another story is the identification with the project. I think this aspect is covered in the site. Every person has his/her own page with the images they produced and the images I have of the process, in the case of the caps knitted this year. Although a kind of mark it is not imposible, but means to send them to every body.

An art project ?
Many Contemporary Art projects have nothing to do with producing images, not even non representatives ones but producing events that transmit meaning. This project develops the concept of knitting in two dimensions: the one that involves producing an object as protection and decoration for a person, and the one trying to reach out and get a response from the other person by an object made with my own hands.

What do I expect from my friends?
A hope for an answer in terms of images, texts or what they want to send. The produced object or image should have the number of the house the person lives in. This make a conection with my house and the "other"'s house.

The main concepts of the project are: love, friendship, respect, interaction.

Ximena Narea
Källs Nöbbelöv, 2010