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Yarnbombing and Jazz , Mendocino Crayon Box Update

20 Jul

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When I got the idea for yarnbombing all down the entire Main St in Mendocino , Ca I thought I was being pretty aggressive and I didn’t want the kind business owners who had given me permission to wrap their pillars to feel jostled . I carefully worked out color schemes for each building that would work well with the paint on the buildings . I especially wanted colors that would look pleasing when you walked along the street and looked past the felted pillars and saw the colors of the sea . I made many blank pieces of felt and dyed the colors . I did this for weeks . I drove up to Mendocino and we began to put the pieces up . They looked beautiful and calming .
When you walked down the street you felt and saw the crayon colors and it was all very soothing . There were many many pillars to sew up and as we kept dyeing the pieces and putting them up I got a little bored . So I started Tie dyeing them . Then I started putting in some patterns .
This was taking weeks of installation and everyone seemed fine about the installation getting more and more colorful so I began to pull out all the stops and put up really complex painterly pieces .
It was tremendously fun to make the striped and dotted pieces and as the weeks have gone by the piece that began in a very ethereal way has become very jazzy . I like that if you walked down Main Street each week all summer you would see a different piece each time . You could feel the colors like they were music steadily going along from soothing into some improvisational jazz .

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Yarnbombing and it’s Gifts

30 Dec

154673-004-0779C27AI was reading around the web about yarnbombing and I found an article in Encyclopedia Britannica about yarnbombing from 2011. There was this tiny picture of a very nice yarnbomb with a little tag on it. I kept looking and looking at the tag and yes ! That nice yarnbomb in Encyclopedia Britannica was my yarnbomb ! The Russian and I put them up in 2011 at The Berkeley Rep theater. It funny and pleasing to find out you are slightly famous and don’t know it at all. Here is the story Here

In 2011 and 2012 I did lots and lots of knitted yarnbombing and the media was trending on it so we got lots of attention and articles about us. As time went on and I began to look for new things to try I started doing installations with museums. More time passed and I wanted something more and wasn’t sure what it was. I began to apply to artist residencies and grants and spent a lot of time struggling with on line applications, portfolios and deadlines. And then I had to cope with rejections which I did not have to with my streetart. Then something very good happened to me.

I was accepted to be an artist in residency for yarnbombing at The de Young Museum for one month for Dec 2014. It was announced in The Fine Arts Magazine that comes from The de Young museum so it feels official. I found out 3 months ago.

I’m so happy about this and it’s recognition of yarnbombing as part of the art and textile world. This residency is an open studio -Kimball Studio – at the museum.I will be there knitting and felting and setting up projects that will be available to the public to participate in a museum yarnbombing installation. I hope you will come by and yarnbomb with me.

IMG_0129IMG_0156Yarnbombs from a guerrilla knitting that The Russian and I did in 2010 at The de Young Museum in San Francisco. These images were used in my residency application.

Yarnbombing – A New Beginning

15 Oct

tree 3” Have you seen my tie dyed trees ? ” I asked my friend Tony as I dragged him out the door of the store to see them . ” I made a bunch of theses big pieces of felt and then I tiedyed them . I made a lot of them so I could put up several at once ‘

Then I thought about what I said and I wanted to be more truthful ” Actually I made a lot of them first because they are really fun to make and I get nervous about standing out on the street and sewing them up. Even though I’ve only been stopped by police twice I still get nervous ” This is more true. Tony agreed that he too prefers sitting at his dining room table and doing his work more than  having to present it .

‘I tell myself ” This will be fun ! “Tony said ” I really try to believe it “

Sewing up these big trees is a little fun especially when small children come by and reach over and give the tree a hug. The plan is to put these tie dyed trees up all over Berkeley really quick before it rains. This is the first Berkeley tree.

tree 4Tiedyed tree 1a

Some Beautiful International Yarnbombs

31 Aug

998706_420986534684591_1011980083_nThis sublime yarnbomb was crocheted by File Tag File for Le Lot +la Laine Garden festival at Musee de Cuzal in South Western France. Yarnbombing has inspired so many knitters and crocheters do think on a bigger and freer scale. Image source.

601931_497568256965173_1150489422_nThis is The Basel Stadt ferry boat project- Rhine river ferry boats were yarnbombed by baselfarbARTigverstriggt on Sat June 9 in Basel Switzerland. The boats were designed by Kathrin Stalder , Ute Lembeck, Miriam Schaffer and Madeleine Hunziker . Image source

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Yarnbombing And A Little Fun, Yarnbombing The Mendocino Art Center

31 Aug

IMG_0883I thought it would be fun to yarnbomb a 25 ft tree at The Mendocino Art Center. I thought maybe I should apply for a residency there so I could yarnbomb the whole art center but the residencies are for 9 months. I wrote the art center and inquired if they would like to be yarnbombed and after a long time and many e-mails to many different nice employees and a couple of meetings they agreed.

There are a lot of kinds of fun for me, I like to read, eat salted chocolate, knit , make felt, make botanical drawings in a sketchbook, go to Greece and eat . I always have always enjoyed a little fear in my fun and I think that has been why yarnbombing was particularly fun. I had sort of lost the fear in putting knitting on bike racks and I wanted to yarnbomb trees.  But I didn’t want to knit for a year to cover one tree . Then have someone steal it. So I decided to make handmade felt panels and put them up on trees.

When I went up to measure things at The Mendocino Art Center I saw this tree and was very attracted to it. I wanted to make something extremely big, spectacular and new so I decided to make a 25 ft yarnbomb. I went home and felted 3 8x 5 ft panels.

IMG_1145This was a lot of fun – there is nothing like a clear defined art project that needs to be made in a short sustained amount of time . I had 9 days to make the felt bombs for the tree , the Mendocino Art Gallery , a sign and the Mendocino Theater. I felted very fast. After 9 days I drove up from Berkeley to Mendocino. It was 108 degrees. I poured liters of water all over myself.

I got to The Art Center. and borrowed a broken 25 ft ladder. My goal was to not fall off. After much contemplation I decided to tie the ladder to the tree before I climbed it. I had cam straps in my car from my white water kayaking days and I used those. I pinned 2 panels to the tree and then I got scared to climb any higher. The tree did not look thrilling or right with out all 3 panels so I repinned  the first 2 panels sewed them and climbed up to the very top of the ladder, you know – the part where it says ” Do Not Stand Here !!” I realized I could wrap my arm all the way around the tree and sew the  3rd panel with one hand. I felt very close to that tree.

When I was finished the tree really did look right and very excellent. People stopped and said ” Fantastic ! ” I felt like I had done something that hadn’t been made before.

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Yarnbombing: A Yarnbombed Tank and The Destruction of Dresden

12 Mar

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This Leopard 1 tank was yarnbombed at The Military Museum in Dresden on the anniversary of the destruction of Dresden in World War 11. Feb 13 2013

The Story

This yarnbombed tank was created by Kristina Kromer and Barbara Niklas working with the studio group ” Louise Combined seam eV “. There were 60 people knitting and crocheting for 6 months , from Sept 2012 to Feb 2013, meeting every Tuesday and Wednesday. They eventually produced 36 kg of material. The group included survivors of the firebombing and young people. Originally the plan was to cover a Russian tank but this met with protest so it was decided to yarnbomb The Leopard 1 . It will be up indefinitely.

We humans try to manage catastrophe and suffering in many ways. Artists use their imaginations to try and bring meaning and healing to experiences that injure us.  I mostly know about the destruction of Dresden from Kurt Vonneget’s experience  in his book ” Slaughterhouse 5 “

I’m trying to imagine a survivor of the bombing sitting with a group of knitters making this tank yarnbomb . I think it is affirmation of our constant efforts to bring comfort, creation and love to the flow of life and time.

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Yarnbombing Merry Christmas

25 Dec

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A yarnbombed house made by Michelle Schwengale in Mililani , Hawaii  , Dec 10 2012 .  It’s Michelle Schwengale ‘s own house and her secret is her Ultimate Sweater machine .

This will be a new trend in yarnbombing in  2013  I predict .  We will all start yarnbombing our own houses . The whole house .  Art always wants to get bigger and create a surprise and we aren’t really surprised any more by knitted stop lights .

2012-12-22-14-20-39A yarnbombed Christmas tree in The Plaza del Pilar in Zaragoza , Spain .  Dec 22 2012 made by the great Urban Knitting Zaragoza .

This is not crocheting over a tree – this is a tree made of crocheting sewn over a metal frame . The City Council of Zaragoza asked Urban Knitting Zaragoza to do a project with them , the collective got right on it and made this tree in 10 weeks starting in Oct 2012 . They held 2 children’s yarnbombing workshops to assist in the crocheting .  This is a great idea , children are totally capable of knitting and crocheting elements of big installations and why should grown ups get all the attention ?

I believe the ornaments will be given away at the end .

Knitting and crocheting have always been a big part of gift giving at Christmas and they are very warm , relaxing and unpretentious .  To take something so connected to family and home and comfort and make a huge outdoor tree sculpture with it , this is the joy and trickiness of yarnbombing .  It’s very wonderful that city governments all over the world are commissioning yarnbombing to embrace their cities .

The Plaza del Pilar has had a Christmas tradition of being decorated with ornaments and a creche and now it has a new tradion. I like this , put up your creche , your garland and lights and your yarnbombs ! more here

398683_545251025486687_1310944902_nYarnbombed Christmas tree in Plaza del Pilar , Zaragoza , Spain by Urban Knitting Zaragoza , Dec 22 2012 . Photo by Pasaje del Ciclon .  more here

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