Tag Archives: Art in Oakland

Yarnbombing And Sugar

29 Aug

I often dream I am at a bakery and I am having every different chocolate cake , scone , cream cake , strawberry short cake , custard pie , chocolate truffle and lemon cream pie that they have in their glass case . On Sunday I met The Russian at Sweet Adelaine ‘ s  Bakery in Berkeley and that bakery is like my dream. The counter top and glass case is crammed with cookies , scones ,  fruit buckle cake , blondies , chocolate pave ,  everything I dream about . Unbelievably -I had a chicken curry sandwich , a piece of quiche and just one chocolate chip cookie . I knew I had hours and hours of yarnbombing to do and I didn’t want to get delirious.

I really liked that bakery and there was a good 3 loop bike rack outside . I considered ditching my plan to yarnbomb The Lakeshore library and  spend the day eating cookies and yarnbombing Sweet Adelaine’ s  instead but The Russian sweetly reminded me that I care  deeply about yarnbombing all the libraries of Oakland . So I went my way .

People often ask me about my assistant The Russian . Well she is going off to art school in San Francisco today and I am very proud .  And jealous.

So I drove over to Lakeshore which is very pretty and confusing to drive around . I drove around and around and finally parked my car . I yarnbombed The Lakeshore Library – I’ll tell you about that later – and then I went over to the big Gazebo by Lake Merritt and contemplated 3 lovely little bike racks .  ” They aren’t really a library ” I rationalized  ” But they are very near one and they would look exceptionally nice yarnbombed . ” So I yarnbombed them .

5 bike racks is a lot of sewing so I tried hard to stay relaxed .I’m always nervous at first , sewing and watching police cars drive by and wondering how the police are feeling today in Oakland . Eventually the sun and the shining like soothed me and I began to enjoy the beautiful and totally absurd act of yarnbombing.

The colors are very sugary on this installation . This made it very appealing to small children . A very little girl came and swung on a loop while I sewed . She came very close to me and fingered my pink sewing yarn . Then she wrapped my strip of knitting around her hand in a businesslike sort of way and tried to walk off with it . Sadly , I had to take it away . Later an older woman with a plastic badge around her neck came to watch me and she couldn’t stop giggling at what I was doing . She said she was from Hong Kong and she told me many things in Chinese . She wanted to help me so she held my knitting as I sewed. She held it very tight and crooked so it was only slightly helpful .

More people came by marching for peace . They have been marching for many years and may never get done . They knew all about my yarnbombing on College Ave . A woman and her photographer showed up next and said ” Can we photograph out shoes on your yarnbomb ?”

‘Ok ” I said in confusion . The woman sat down on a bike loop and promptly started to fall off as the knitting spun around . I devotedly hoped if she fell off that she wouldn’t sue me .

I sewed and sewed and worked on a little meditation exercise . Doing . Not doing . Feeling the Not Doing in my body .

At this point I realized that I had no idea where I had parked my car.

When this piece was all done it really looked like something . I couldn’t stop taking pictures . Sometimes yarnbombing looks like another world coming through this one . 2 woman stopped big smiles .” ‘This is your best one ever ” they said .

“I’ll quote you ” I said.

Then I went off to try and find my car .

Yarnbombing and Winston Churchill : The Temescal Library , Oakland , Ca.

13 Aug

When I’m not thinking about The Civil War I sometimes think about Winston Churchill. I like his quote “Never , never , never , never give in ” And to the French he declared ; ” Whatever you may do , we shall fight on forever and ever and ever. “

This may seem an extreme motto for a yarnbomber but it’s more about going on and making art every day under all circumstances. I know Churchill was probably racist and anti Semitic but he was so wonderfully undefeatable. He invented the tank and he was a tank .

I love this quote too” Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule , we shall not flag or fail . We shall go on to the end . We shall fight in France , we shall fight on the seas and oceans , we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air , we shall defend our island , whatever the cost may be , we shall fight on the beaches , we shall fight on the landing grounds , we shall fight on the fields and in the streets , we shall fight in the hills ; we shall never surrender . “

Ok I hope you’re feeling strengthened

I was really worn out on Wednesday and I accidently slept until 12 . I wanted to yarnbomb the Temescal library in Oakland as part of my Oakland Library series so I shoved my clothes on , ate some dark chocolate with cherries and stomped off to the Temescal Library .

The library is actually pretty fine , it’s a graceful old brick building on Broadway and 52 . There’s a bus stop right in front of it with a bench and a pretty little lawn . I stood in front of the Library and looked for things to yarnbomb . The railings were shapely and alluring but I was not in the mood to do any thing nerve racking or questionable . I wanted to make a gift to the library not vandalize it . I decided to yarnbomb the 3 loop bike rack on the left . It took a long time to sew it up by myself but it was an enjoyable self contained task.

When I was done the manager of the library came out and was wildly enthusiastic . That’s always nice . And the thing was – the knitting did change the whole street . It looked like their was art present . It made the street and the library look interesting , colorful , disconcerting and new.

Yarnbombing works !

I have a friend Maria Mortati who has a mobile museum . I want a mobile museum . She has a blog here with a bit about yarnbombing.

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