February 21, 2011

Green – Tree – Up

For whatever lazy reason, I have not tagged anything since I put up those two in January.

At the very least, I have plenty of tags that are ready to go. Perhaps I should carry them around at all times. I think this may fix the problem. I can pop a little amigurumi somewhere, snap a couple quick photos, and continue on with my day. If I pack a needle and some yarn, I can put up my two new tags that are just itching for some trees.

Until then – which I plan on resolving this week! – the best things I can give you are…

…Updates:

The neon-pink tag I fastened to a ship in late summer 2010 is STILL THERE! I have a friend who was back on that very vessel last week, and I’ve been told that my tag is still [secretly?] brightening up somebody’s bunk! I can’t believe it. I am so happy. It’s a government ship, folks…I did not think it would last this long.

…and Previews of what’s to come:

The bobbles are hard to see in the photo. It says THINK GREEN.

The bobbles are even harder to see but they're better than the green tag in person! It says: LOVE THIS TREE

This baby is my (current) masterpiece. It has been sent to a new friend as part of a larger project that will be carried out in the next couple weeks! I did a major photoshoot with UP before I sent it off, but I really like this candid shot. You'll see the full message soon enough....

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January 21, 2011

Finding Community At 6:45AM

This morning I went on a challenging run in the pouring rain! This in itself is a triumph but is not the point.

Whilst warming up I decided to walk by the 2 yarnbombs I put up recently (consult the post below). Guess what I found? They are both still up! I figured they would be because there are other yarnbombers’ work around in my area that hasn’t been taken down. This, however, is not the exciting part.

On the tree, the paper tag is still hanging onto the yarn and none of the ink has bled with the snow and rain! Hurrah! People can still look at it and read my URL link. Most excellent. This, however, is not the most exciting part.

On the ugly grey one, the paper tag is no longer hanging off the bomb. Some wonderful soul folded it up and stuck it in between the yarnbomb and the pole! Perhaps it was hanging precariously by a thread? Or somebody thought it might blow away?

I love good people.

January 9, 2011

My first Night Time Expedition

Monstrosity Hat

I did it! Locally, this time!

Recently, I made a warm hat to donate out of a warm and soft, but not particularly sightly, yarn. Behold! The hat is supposed to be a slouchy beret. It is so large a person with some serious dreadlocks could tuck them all in!

I had a little ball left after the monster hat was done, and decided to make a new yarn bomb, yet another with no particular message – at least, no message written in it. I don’t know if I was motivated to get the cursed yarn out of my home, but about an hour after I finished it I went and put it out into the world! I also sewed another one around a tree that I made in November. I like this one better as I attempted two ways of stitching a message into the piece – by knit-vs-purling and by using 2 yarn colours. Due to my use of a 2nd yarn colour, the piece ended up quite tight and curled over at the back. I was super happy to find that by putting it on a tree last night, the roughness of the bark kept the piece however I stretched it. Hooray! I think the piece looks mighty fine on the tree. Take a look…

Cushy, but ugly, checkerboard bomb.

It's hard to see the purled heart on the left; it's easy to see the red heart on the right.

Tree with a Heart

Tag & Nervous Sewing Job

This little tree piece has inspired me to finally attempt writing messages in my next tags. An idea came to me last night, inspired by the colour yarn I was considering, and I started it right away. Once I complete this one and another idea, hopefully I’ll have my 2 new ideas posted up here soon!

January 2, 2011

Weston-Super-Mare, England

I’ve finally done it. I ‘bombed’ on land. And it was not my native land. Sofar I’m 2/2 for tagging travel destinations.

Mushroom in a Tree - my first on-land yarnbomb. It's in a dark tiny forest on the edge of a parking lot, I wonder when it will be found!

Mushroom in a Tree with a Tag

I’ve spent a refreshing week in England meeting family and traveling to new places. This week follows 10 days in my hometown, where I made a cowl for my dad for Christmas, and I’m currently working on a scarf for my mom’s birthday. It’s been nice. Before hometown, I donated some old scarves I knit back in the day. It felt good, though I want to find a meaningful place to donate them to rather than putting them in a donations bin.

Do you see it? It's scurrying across a rock.

There it is! Tag on the tail.

Putting the mushroom and the mouse around Weston-Super-Mare was fun, but it didn’t bring me much of a sense of accomplishment. There’s no real message in these pieces, though I hope they brighten somebody’s day. I will move away from amigurumi and start creating more wrap-around tags whenever I get time (sometime after this scarf is blocked and mailed)!

December 15, 2010

Catching Up

I’ve committed a blogger MIA. My apologies!

Though I haven’t been blogging, I am happy to report that I have been continuing my love affair with yarn. I’ve made myself an item or two this fall, but moreso I’ve been working on yarnbombs!

I finally feel like “a crocheter” as opposed to “learning to crochet”. It’s fantastic; I really love it. I love both crocheting and knitting equally, they are both my crafty children.

A batch of yarnbombs I've been working on. I like my "embroidered" tag the best - learning is beautiful. I embroidered the scrap yarn I used to learn crochet - a true "learning project".

This picture shows the majority of yarnbombs I’ve created in the last few months. Obviously, I really jived with amigurumi. I enjoy it because it’s fast and cute, but I have to move beyond it. While making cute dudes could potentially meet my goal of bringing unexpected joy to others, it doesn’t really do much to promote community or make any statements. I want to push myself to figure out how to incorporate letters into my knitting/crocheting. I find it hard…as you can see by the ugly camo-heart yarnbomb in the photo! I was trying to make something with two colours…not lettering, but same concept. I didn’t take into account that knitting stitches are taller than wider. Oh well, I’ll keep trying.

Though I’ve made a bunch of wee yarnbombs, I haven’t put any out into the environment since it’s raining constantly and, until a few days ago, I didn’t have any labels made up (with the blog address). I now have labels but I can’t do anything about the weather. The solution: I have packed some of the yarnbombs for tagging elsewhere! I’m flying home for the holidays tomorrow, where it rains much less often, and I’m also going on a week-long trip to Europe, which…the rain will mess up…but who can resist tagging internationally? Rain or no rain, something will be left somewhere. For someone. Someone British.

Happy holidays.

October 5, 2010

New experience

Hello,

Things are going well. I finished my cowl today and it looks and feels great! Still have to hide in those loose ends and block the thing but that will be done tomorrow!

Today I flew home for a brief visit and a couple things happened. 1: I finished my cowl, as previously mentioned. It was great, especially so given the plane T.V.s weren’t operational today. 2: I had a knitting conversation with a stranger. I’ve read in Betsy Greer’s book that when she began to take her knitting around with her, she found it opened up a world of connections to strangers. Since I’ve read that, I’ve been excited to see if I experience similar situations. On the plane today I was sitting next to a middle-aged male, and as soon as I pulled out my knitting he asked me what I was making – “a sweater?”. Later on, once he noticed I would occasionally pull out a paper and tick something off (I was keeping track of my rows) and he asked what the methodical tracking was all about. It was so neat to have somebody you do not know really interested in what you’re making. I wanted to ask him if he knit, but did not. I keep letting opportunities to ask questions pass by lately….

Also, I’ve been hypersensitive to knitwear recently. I asked a woman on the plane if she knit her baby this awesome sweater he was wearing (she did not). Many times in the last few weeks I’ve come thisclose to asking people on my regular bus route about things I see them wearing, but never do.

I can’t wait to sport my cowl and I do hope I get some comments on it. Now that it’s done I have some new tag ideas that I will finally begin trying.

But first I should probably sleep off the jetlag.

September 28, 2010

Blast!

Darn this schoolwork guilt!

I’ve been spending weeks “getting organized”, whatever that means. I find the transition from summer to fall so disrupting as now there are approximately a million more things to do with the onset of classes. I haven’t done anything substantial with research in a little bit, but I had a motivating conversation with my boss this morn. What I have been doing consistently is knitting and crocheting after work. I finished my crochet tool case, and am working on a cowl…so much for my plans of giving back to the community. Sigh. The epic trip I made to a yarn store has turned me into a selfish knitter…after this cowl I promise I’ll get on the streets. I just need to ensure a sufficient level of neck warmth whist creeping the outdoors, that’s the ticket….

Actually, I want to knit a second cowl with a different size needles (I am using a different size than the pattern suggested) so that I truly get a feeling for how much difference needle size can make. So far, this is not something I have a grasp of. But if I make two cowls, dear readers, I will donate one and keep the other! So that is a decent trade-off for learning, no?

There is a yarn bomb very close to where I live and it is beautiful (I am jealous)! It’s been there for days and last night on the way home from a late movie I gave it a nice pet. I want to add to it! Is that acceptable? Or is that rude? What is the etiquette in terms of yarn bombing?

I’ve been reading Knitting for Good by Betsey Greer. I have really enjoyed reading the history of how feminism both abated and resurrected crafting. It’s much like a beautiful love story. I never gave much thought to why many of my elders and grandmothers knit and mothers and aunts did not – but is now so obvious. I’m glad I am part of the resurrection, because knitting brings me such joy.

September 11, 2010

The first stepping stone

This week I’ve started some “necessary” preparations for all my knitting plans.

First, I bought and checked out a few excellent books that will help me in my quest to enhance my understanding of knitting’s role in making social/political statements. I’ve only read a couple pages sofar, but I am really excited to keep reading and making some of the patterns I’ve looked at. I intend to write some reflective postings on these readings, so stay tuned….

Today, on this most cloudy but gloriously lazy of Saturdays, I looked at patterns online for hours and became almost overwhelmed as there are simply too many things I want to knit/crochet all at the same time. I wish I had 6 hands: two for knitting items for me/friends/family, two for donation knitting, two for bombing. I also looked at local knitter/bombers/graffiti artists on Flickr and other such internetly sites…and to be honest, I’m sufficiently intimidated!

I've got a feeling I'm into something good (do do do do do do do do!)

As far as k/c projects go, I’ve settled on starting with the obvious basics (in my opinion): I am going to start by crocheting a crochet hook/knitting needle case and then a big fat k/c/yarn bag. I have wanted to do the latter for months. The bag I am using now is tall and narrow and it makes me crabby every time I go into it.

I think I may have even started with bombing project number two….or I did before I even made project number one. I’ve been crocheting scraps of yarn together to practice different crochet techniques, and it could make a mighty fine pole-cozy at some point. There are still skills I need to learn, and skills I have started to learn but wish to practice before I start my ideas. I intend to keep doing wacky things with this practice, scrap-yarn rectangle. Also making the hook/needle case and yarn bag are perfect ways to practice crocheting.

September 6, 2010

Tagging on the High Seas

FIRST TAG POST!

As I was dreaming up tightknit for a couple months, I was also preparing for a trip into the Pacific Ocean on a research vessel for work. In the midst of prepping and packing and leaving, I completely forgot about my idea: to place the inaugural tightknit tag on the boat.

About a week into the voyage I came to. DAMN! I forgot about my yarn bombing idea! I didn’t pack anything to knit or tag with! What’s a girl to do!?

Well…use some screwdrivers and neon pink string, obviously. Bitchin’:

Next conundrum: where the hell do I put this thing on a boat? There are many places a knit square can be wrapped around, but it was hard to think of a good hiding spot that I could tag without being noticed.

The porthole cover in my room did nicely. I tucked the message above inside. I wonder if a scientist or crew will find it… if it will be kept or thrown away….

The neon pink peeks out just a bit. The crew member who changed over the sheets the day I left didn’t notice, nor did my bunkmate.

Sweet success…tagging on the high seas. This is an excellent way to start tightknit, though I didn’t have the resources to do what I aim to on land.

Now, onto some hardcore knitting!

September 1, 2010

Inaugural Post! Community and Craftivism

Hello universe,

This is the beginning of a project I’ve been thinking up for a few months. It started with a book and good timing. I have been thinking a lot about community, volunteerism, global citizenship, and making social change. Sofar, it’s resulted in a yarn bombing project I’ve named tightknit (title based on the ideal community).

This isn’t only a knitting/crocheting project: I intend to learn a great deal more about community, craftivism, knitting/crochet in general, and similar topics. I may create a tighter mission statement for this project, but I hope to create flushed out opinions, ideas, and perhaps acts that have to do with community and craftivism. As I read up on these topics I will write posts reflecting my thoughts…hopefully they’ll be interesting and can start conversations. Feel free to leave comments that will do so!

Welcome to tightknit. Enjoy the ideas, occasional wordvomit, and – of course – tags. Hopefully this becomes a conversation.