April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Sometimes, knitters feel the need to go public with their private hobby. It goes by many names, yarn storming, urban knitting, yarn bombing, knit graffiti and my personal favourite, guerilla knitting. From tree cozies to memorial mufflers, these knitters know no bounds! Though they all seem to have different motives, I think it is safe to say that it is usually done in the name of art…warm, cozy and colourful art.
Not only are people acting out on their own, but the knitters are gathering and making collectives. Some of the culprits at work have some real rock`n`roll names with no shame for punnieness (when have crafters ever shyed away from a clever play on words?). Examples; Knitta Please, Graknitti and Micro-fiber Militia. Need I say more?
Vancouverites would be familiar with this scene:
Reactions to this form of art-graffiti-protest are usually positive, but while checking out what other people were saying about this craft phenomenon I came across some pretty heated debates! DeputyDog.com has an article on the subject which attracted some colorful language:
Realgraf says, “this isn’t graffiti. its a joke. knitting requires little to no skill … 500 hours for the tree? why don’t you spend some time doing something worthwhile. if you had spent that much time with a can you would probably be a respectable writer.”
(I don`t know exactly what he means by being a respectable writer by spending 500 hours with a can, but I digress) These are a few of the gems from replies:
Erica softens the blow with, “Anyone that doesn’t see this as wonderful and awesome has a stick up their bum.”
Xstitcher, “Respected by who? Other morons like yourself? I’d rather be able to knit and only have the respect of my grandmother if that is the alternative.”
So true. So true.
Troll says “idiot. … no skill to knit? can you knit? can you make something coherent out of string? …”
Well, can you?! There are about 154 comments on the article and I am pretty sure all of them are a backlash to the first comment by Mr.RealGraffiti. You better watch out, because knitters can really take this stuff personally, and they have large needles which airlines consider dangerous weapons and oh, do they know how to use them!
For more of knitting`s seedy underbelly, here is the site of the two who started it in little old Vancouver, Canada: yarnbombing.com.
April 19, 2011 § 4 Comments
Swiftly after posting a bunch of new and fun crafting projects (having nothing to do with yarn), I started knitting a sweater. What is wrong with me?!
Knitting is addictive. I can`t watch a TV show without it, I knit during my lunch break and find myself prying the needles out of my own hands to keep myself from starting a new row, “just one more, just one more!”. I may have a problem.
There are several factors figuring in the reasons why I am in such a state. One is that I just recently recieved a super awesome INTERCHANGEABLE, CIRCULAR KNITTING NEEDLE SET! Say that five times fast. For my birthday, my friends went all out to give me this most coveted item and now that I have it, I must knit! I must knit until I go cross-eyed, my fingers start bleeding and my shoulders begin curling in…if I`m not careful we may have a Rumplestiltskin situation on our hands (But how excellent would it be to knit hay into gold?! Rock on).
Secondly, I am moving soon. After living inJapanfor what will be two years this summer, I am heading back to the true north strong and free. I have no intentions of packing the mounds of yarn I have accumulated and mailing it back toCanada, so I am trying to knit as much as possible before we must be parted. This has also inspired some more creative projects (and subsequently, some very creative messups).
This toque is made of three different yarns: two leftover from the Lucky Clover Baby Blanket and one full skein I bought on a whim because it was on sale. It has served me well during the cold mornings and evenings this spring.Me wearing the toque and…
Gaspard trying it on for size (or is that Lisa, I don`t know which is which).
Thirdly, I am certain that there is one more very rational explanation for this little problem of mine, because all good things come in threes. Alas, it escapes me.
I haven`t started knitting up tree clothing yet, but there is something inspiring about it. Isn`t there?
November 6, 2010 § 3 Comments
One fine day in late October, Fiona Rose was born and I became an auntie for the very first time. My oldest sister did all the hard work, but the whole family gets to be a part of this tiny new life. I know I am excited about it.
When I went home this summer, I gave my sister the baby blanket I had slaved over for a month or two. It is a pinwheel blanket, like the one I made for my other sister’s baby which you can find the knitting projects with more details (lucky clover pinwheel blanket). The reason why I am posting now is today I got two photos from my mother over email. At first I didn’t know why she had sent these particular photos, but on closer look I could see that she was wearing the baby blanket I made.
And little Fiona peeking out of her baby blanket. She looks a bit confused by the situation she is in, but she will have to get used to all the pictures with all the baby paparazzi buzzing around. Who can blame them? She’s beautiful.
The Yukon can get quite cold in the winter time. So with the snow starting to grow on the ground, I hope Fiona’s blanket helps keep her warm. With that and all the love she is wrapped in, I am sure she will be well taken care of. Sweet, little Fiona Rose, we will meet soon, I promise.
November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
I finished the second cat hat just in time for our costume party last weekend! Phew! At the last minute I also realized that we needed tails to be legit and so I took an old pair of nylons, stuffed each leg with cotton batting and voila! We had some very nice cat tails for the party.
Here are some pictures of the complete costumes with face paint and all. If you haven’t been following the previous posts about how these hats were made, feel free to check out any of the giant cat saga episodes. Now for the moment you have all been waiting for…
Lindsay makes a fine feline. Most of the humans were impressed with the costumes, we did make a few children cry. Something about a giant cat just didn’t seem right to them, I guess. We didn’t do anything. We promise.
October 26, 2010 § 4 Comments
After hours of tucking, tugging and trimming, the cat hat is finally finished. Keeping me company, was my new favourite knitting-buddy; online tv-shows. The cat hat was made while Bones fought crime and Mondo made a whimsical mexican circus inspired clothing line. It could make a girl feel like she is accomplishing very little with her needle and yarn, but when I finally put on the finished project I didn`t mind; just another red ribbon to add to my collection.Ta da!
And it provided some comic relief with a few students at school.
I was going for a calico look with the yarn colours. I`m not sure if I pulled it off, or if it looks like some strange liger-thing, made by scientists with too much time on their hands sort of creation. What do you think?
The hair is made by looping pieces of yarn through the hat base (the tight toque). I took some of the yarn ends and unraveled the twist so that it frayed. All of the yellow I did this way. I didn`t fray all the yarn because that would take FOREVER and I do have my limits ( I know, shocking, right?). When I showed the hat to my friend Hillary she said, “You could make a mean fro”. Then I looked at it and thought it would look like some strange multi-coloured fro, minus the cat ears.
Lindsay picked up some face-paint so on Saturday we will have the full cat costumes. During the party we will enjoy eating human food, taking short naps and biting people who get too friendly.
I realized after taking this photo, that cat`s don`t “rarr”, but after living in Japan, all my animal sounds have been confused. Animals don`t all speak the same language you know. In Canada, cat`s speak English and French: “meow” or “meow” (with emphasis on the nasal area). In Japan, cat`s speak Japanese: “nya, nya”. Unfortunately, as hard as I study Japanese, I have yet to understand the cats here. Maybe they speak in a street slang you can`t learn in textbooks.
With all the work that went into the cat hat, I won`t be able to just store it away in the closet until another costume party comes along. The cold weather is coming, and I know just what to wear to keep my head warm through the night in my apartment. Nya, nya, nya, nya…
October 19, 2010 § 4 Comments
A girl can be busy now and then.
I was explaining to my sister why there were no new posts on a red ribbon and I began saying that I was so busy that no crafting had been done. But that was a lie. Only after writing a few more sentences did I remember that knitting project I was working on for Halloween. Why did it not register as crafting initially, I am not sure. Maybe, because I filed it under costume in my brain and though the two categories have a lot of cross-over I just didn`t make the connection. But connect they did, and so I had the brilliant idea to share this not-so-serious, actually-very-silly side of crafting which I enjoy indulging in every so often. Because when you are busy, there has to be an outlet for the nonsensical somewhere.
This post will have several parts over the next few days before Halloween, so if you find it interesting, please check back often to see the progress. It will be like your favourite TV show having back-to-back episodes: a crafting special! Or, you could catch all the action in one sitting after Halloween and it will be like a Saturday morning cartoon smorgasbourg of crafts. I leave that up to you.
Let`s start with the inspiration. My photographer friend, Lindsay and I were spying on other crafters` photos on etsy and came across the cutest, crochetted, lion hat . Lindsay and I happen to be a little obsessed with this Japanese stop motion video of cats and their owner. There is a song and giant cats and violence…what more could we ask for?
Though I can`t remember exactly who should be credited for the idea, we decided it would be great fun to dress up as giant cats for Halloween. Of course I volunteered to use my crafting skills to make the cat hats once again sans pattern. And so the saga begins…
First, I made this beautiful swim-cap-esque toque. Some would call it a “scull cap”, but that creeps me out so, how about tight toque? Anyways, since I didn’t have a pattern, I just used the pinwheel blanket pattern and decreased around the ends to get it to curve inward. Actually, I may have to loosen it a bit, because it is a tad tight, but you get the idea.
What’s that harrowing silhouette?!
Oh, that? Well that’s a giant cat…
So I still have the ‘hair’ to add yet, but I do think the ears turned out quite nicely. These babies are made with mad crochet skills and are basically folded pouches. Before I stitched them on the hat I could fit my fist inside. Well, I didn’t try, but my visual-spatial skills are usually quite excellent, so I am most definitely, maybe right.
Here’s an ear close up (the best I could do, sorry!)
The ear is simply sewed onto the toque with the same yarn using a tapestry needle.
Stay tuned for episode 2: the giant cat grows hair!
These last three shots I took by putting the camera on a timer to take them in succession. The first two are decent and informative, the last one is just more nonsense. You know what they say, you go crazy if you wear cat hats for too long.