Updated: Oct 12, 2021
A Good Yarn Exhibition Whitehall Historic House, Cheam Thu, Fri, Sat 10AM-5PM 03 Dec 2020 to 27 Feb 2021 (extended to June 5th 2021!) A finger knitted installation inspired by SamiArt's creative conversations with:
Documentary, finger knitting tutorial, and more here: A Good Yarn Project
Supporting RMNS and SNW - fingerknitted #SamiArtStyle items purchased during the Exhibition rrasied £50 in donations split between the two charities! A Good Yarn project was made possible thanks to the support of Mayor of London's #CultureSeeds fund, with thanks to Sutton Heritage for their local support.
Back in October 2015, I started finger knitting as part of a conscious grieving process. By March 2016 I submitted a proposal to yarn-bomb part of Sutton High Street for a regeneration programme, with finger knitted ropes made by local community groups.
SamiArt & the Finga Ninjas was born. Since then, I have gone on to share this simple craft with over 3000 people, and counting!
It wasn't long before I started popping up at festivals, local fun days, and in town centres sharing this simple, fun effective craft and encouraging the playfully creative Finga Ninja spirit in people of all ages and abilities. It's such a warm feeling to see people wearing what they have learnt to make in a very short space of time.
WOMAD 2019 - SamiArt & The Finga Ninjas workshops with all ages - magic moments!
The Love Wimbledon Autumn Arts & Crafts Fair - she's wearing the items she made :)
It didn't take me long to learn how to add rows and I started making gifts for friends and family and soon created a #SamiArtStyle finger knitted apparel pop up stall - hats, beanies, scarves, tops, arm warmers, wrist warmers and more. The first event I popped up at was Tribal Village a psychedelic trance party at The Steelyard in London.
Surprisingly, most of my customers that evening were men who loved my hats, in particular the neon mix elf hats, so I made a few more for the next trip. I call it.....
...The Dangler :)
In 2018 I ran weekly Finga Ninja workshops for Savvy Theatre's Woven Stories project with ESOL students at Refugee & Migrant Network Sutton (RMNS) and subsequently ran a pilot project of A Good Yarn with RMNS students in May 2019, supported by a small grant from Arts Network Sutton.
The success of this pilot, which I now refer to as Chapter One, led to a successful application to Mayor of London's #CultureSeeds fund to run A Good Yarn, Chapter Five (there've been a few good yarn taster sessions in between!) with Sutton Night Watch Charity for the Homeless.
The funding came through on a Friday in March 2020 - by the Monday evening the country was in Lockdown 1.0 due to Covid, however, we were blessed with small windows of opportunity between various levels of restrictions and were able to run the workshops in September 2020 and I just managed to create and install the exhibition, with wonderful support from Sutton Heritage, at Whitehall Historic House in Cheam in November. The house was open to socially distanced visitors for 3 days when we entered Lockdown 2.0 and the house had to shut its doors to visitors.
The sleep pod - an emergency aid - imagine calling this 'home'
Then we entered Lockdown 3.0, and it remains unclear when the house will reopen to visitors so we snippets and stories from the Exhibition are being shared on social media - do please follow on INSTAGRAM and READ THIS BLOG
Commun-i-tree, human-i-tree, artis-tree. I have been reading a lot about trees - how they communicate, connect, support each other, share food, messages - the weak and the strong, their interdependencies, their 'social network', their 'wood-wide web' - We have SO MUCH TO LEARN from trees. Suggested reading: The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohleben.
NONE of this journey would have happened if my beautiful Mamma hadn't passed away from colon cancer in 2015, her passing led me to a conscious grieving process in October 2015 during which time I found a finger knitting tutorial! Thank you mum, I love you so much, and I love the positive ripple effects of this post-traumatic growth! I know you would be full of joy too. Bless you!
About the author
Samia Tossio is a playful creative, artist, and designer.
Samia hosted a weekly radio show - The Go With The Flow Show, which started on Juice Radio during lockdown 2020. The show featured special guests, eclectic tunes, creative news and positively kind vibes, and was often co-hosted by her husband, Paolo Tossio
Playful Creative - doing things with a spirit of playfulness, love, and imagination - inspire and share through creative communication!