Saturday, March 19, 2011

'C'est la vie'

Yesterday while I was setting up the Car Antenna Cozy I drove past the Chapters Bookstore. 
It is my unfortunate responsibility to notify anyone who cares... that it has been taken down. 
While the yarn will decay, its spirit lingers on. 
It had a long, enduring experience this chilly winter season. It is only natural that since the blistery season is coming to an end so would the, now tattered, cozy. 
I guess all good things must come to an end, and now with a cleared canvas I am debating on what "Spring" inspired yarn-bomb I will unleash on that same fateful light-post. 

I guess this could also open up an opportunity for another tip. 
Always document and take pictures. You never know how long it will last. 
(I think I will start to bring my actual camera with me. The quality of a camera phone isn't exactly pristine.)

Car Antenna Cozy.

This is just a small little bomb I made while Jack was down for the night.
The next day we went for a drive, so I could 'dispose' of it. During the drive Jack fell asleep, which made it even better timing. Jack has a tendency for getting upset whenever he is left in the car alone; he does this even if we leave the car to scrape the windows of frost, and he can see the person standing outside the car.

I wasn't sure how long to make it, but I think it does the trick.
It even matched the color of the car. 
Anyways, here it is!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Digestive System (Not a yarn-bomb, but still equally cool!)

For those who already know, I am homebound for the next two weeks. 
Because I am stuck at home, I thought I would post some photos of some of my other yarn-creation milestones. 

I give you all... "The Digestive System''.

Before I show you probably the coolest knitted creation ever, I must solemnly say that I am not responsible for the idea, or the pattern. This idea was discovered on the the website 
In fact, I am sure if you google "Knitted Digestive system" you'll find the link for the pattern. 

...and now...the reveal. 

The start of the Anus, Rectum, and Large Intestine.

The tongue with the esophageal opening.

The finished project.
The End. 

Yes, I hung this in my Kitchen. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

House Arrest

It looks like it'll be a couple weeks before I can get out to do any more yarn-bombs.
I am technically on House Arrest, until my husband is home. Well, not really...but I am in the sense that I can not take my toddler on my excursions.

Steve, my husband, had to temporarily transfer to another city a couple hours away for work. This leaves me to run the house and tend to our kiddlet for the next two weeks.
I am trying to be optimistic, but am preparing for the worst.
I say this because, for those who don't have children, terrible two's are no joke. It makes me anxious to think that everything for the next two weeks falls back on my shoulders. In fact, with having a better understanding on the stresses involved being a single parent; I have found a new respect for those who do everything without help.
Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, I usually tackle the everyday things with Jack, as well as the mundane cleaning tasks. Usually, when I am having a tough day I could simply wait for Steve to be home from work, and take a break. With him gone that means the only breaks I have from Jack inner tantrum turmoil will be when he's sleeping.

Today,"sigh", has been a particularly tough day. For this reason, I decided I needed to do something other than the repetitive task of putting Jack in time-outs. Something that will calm me down, as I can feel the stress mounting. So I decided to blog.
With these next two weeks, I hope to get out at least once to set up the yarn bomb that I am near finished, but it seems unlikely. I have a couple that will require a ladder to set up, and possibly a more inconspicuous 'night setting'. Another hindrance would be the fact that I have no one who would watch Jack for an hour or two so I can have my fun. Bummer!

This is a picture of my next potential yarn bomb! I have a couple of  long loom knitted swatches that I am going to attach to a tree. They are loose enough to expand with a larger tree, and with luck, it will catch on the bark if it fits loose on the branch...
I didn't have a particular tree in mind so I am kinda working blind. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mothers can be arrested too

So yesterday I was talking with my older sister.
For those who do not know my family tree I have two sisters, an older and younger.
At one point in my life, I was really close with my older sister. When our parents marriage failed under sketchy, and rocky circumstances we relied on each other for support. This is when we really started to bond.
My sister and I both attended College for Design. She was a couple years ahead of me and chose Web Design, and when it was my turn, I eventually chose Illustration. We lived together for the first year of my college life.

It was the second year when I met husband. It was shortly into our relationship when I unexpectedly got pregnant with my little boy. It was something that seemingly threw a wrench into my relationship with my sister. It is difficult to talk to her now because of the directionality of being a parent took me, and the fact that I sacrificed my school to be a mother. We can not relate to each other any more because our lives are polar opposites.

I have been excited to talk to her about this new craft form because I figure if anyone I know would appreciate it, my artsy sister would.
I was rambling on about my Mall Bomb, and the surgical proceedings that followed at the Bookstore.
I was under the impression that my new craft had given me something else to talk about besides my adventures with Jack. Whenever I try to talk about my life with a child the subject is very dismissive. She just doesn't understand.

Anyways, when I was talking with her about my disappointments with the events of last few days she seemed to scoff a bit, and then proceeded to tell me that I need to be more careful when I do my drops.
She thinks mothers generally shouldn't get arrested for "knit graffiti".
I am not sure at that point if she were embarrassed by my enthusiasm for the craft. Apparently, being a mother I should be a little more mature, or something.

Being "Single Stitch", I am not in any hurry to voyage out in the dark of night alone to knit around random objects. I decided to compromise for todays Yarn-bomb.
I had scraps of a sleeve that I finished off, and had it ready for the drop. It was a circular knit so all I had to do was find something to slip it over, take a picture, and hit the road.
Unfortunately for my sister, that is as cautious as I am planning on getting.

Sorry for the crappy photos. 
For stealth reasons I dont want to be carrying my huge Nikon D40  around.
 I think my dinky camera phone helps get the point across. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

"One needle and thread, Stat!"

Today I experienced my first surgical procedure on one of my projects.
My "Chapters Bookstore" Yarn bomb is still a monument of my success. It has been up for roughly three weeks. I stay at home with my son, so whenever I get a chance to see daylight I have made it a habit of driving by to check on the status of my largest yarn-bomb to date. Unfortunately, the second largest was annihilated by the Mall security.

Back on subject!!
I was driving out to get some last minute groceries, and by groceries I mean pre-made food from the M&M Meats across the parking lot from my master-piece. Since I was in the area I thought it wouldn't hurt to take a closer look.
To my extreme surprise, and frustration, someone had tried to take down the Yarn-Bomb...very unsuccessfully too, I may add. They had started to cut at the bottom and cut about a foot up, and then for some reason thought to stop, and start cutting again smack in the middle.
Luckily for me, I always come equipped with a sewing needle, a small pair of scissors, and spare yarn.

With quick thinking on my part, I swerved into the Handicap parking, jumped out of my still running car, with the yarn and needle already clutched in my hands. It didn't take long to repair the damage, but it came at a bad time being so shortly after my unsuccessful attempt to Bomb the Mall.

I was starting to feel all sorry for myself, when an elderly man approached me and told me that he though it was fantastic, and told me that him and his friends talk about it all the time, apparently.
They think it is funny to consider that the winters are so bad in Canada that even the light-posts need a cozy.

It sparked a new kind of enthusiasm in me.
Just because some people don't appreciate the 'fun' in a crocheted/knitted installment, doesn't mean that applies to everyone.

Tip for today: Always be equipped with extra yarn, a needle, and scissors in case your medical expertise is necessary.

(Throughout the frantic event, I had forgotten to take 'before and after' pictures. )

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bomb Fail

Today was a disappointing day.
The yarn bomb that I had set up yesterday, with the help of my sidekick, was taken down in less than 24 hours. This is a blow to my ego as it was the first yarn-bomb that I set up that has been taken down. 
I must admit, it was a bigger gamble then the others because of the location. It was set up at an intersection upon entering the bustling Bower Mall.  

For those of you who read back, this is the same bomb that was ruthlessly pulled apart courtesy of my toddler. I will know better for next time. It was also disappointing because amidst the untangling of the scattered yarn, it still took me two days to complete. 

This also allows me to transitions to the next tip for my fellow crafters: 
Place your bombs in places that will appreciate them, thus will be less likely to be taken down. Some examples of these places would be bookstores, coffee shops, public parks, craft stores, ect. 

Mall yarn bomb = Fail. 
*Whomp Whomp*

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Zip-Tag Trial

Today I tried assembling my first yarn creation with zip-tags. It is usually recommended for larger graffiti bombs as a means to trim down the time spend setting it up.
Because I live in Canada, I thought that it would be convenient to use zip-tags not only for larger projects, but for winter as well.  To kill two birds with one stone, I had created a large crocheted swatch to be attached to a stop sign in front of a very busy mall, and had planned on swiftly set it up using zip-ties. 

It was unfortunate that this technique back-fired. I did not find it any more convenient to zip-tie my creation up. In the end, in fact, I thought it lost some of its *umph* as some may say.  I found they took away the natural-ness of the yarn when it was being tangled together with the plastic ties. 

Anyways, the zip-ties kept on busting whenever I tried to tighten it past a certain point. Now, I am not sure if this is because of the cold, or because I was just overly excited that I was pulling to hard, but in the end it took just as long as hand sewing. 

I think for the summer projects, even the larger ones, will be hand sewn. I like it a little better. 

I would also like to thank my wonderful sister for joining me for this yarn-bomb. It was her first venture out, and I think she liked it! I may have found a partner in crime. 

P.s) For those who are wondering, we clipped the ugly excess plastic and wove it under the yarn. It wasn't all gross and plastic. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Toddler+Yarn= Disaster

There are many reasons off the top of my head why having a project around little fingers can be dangerous. The most inconvenient occurrence I find myself facing with having a curious little toddler around would be the pulling, and unraveling of yarn, and projects.

I have tried crocheting while in the company of my little boy, and have logically decided to wait till after bed time. This restriction is based on the fact that Jack (my 2.5 year old) finds it amusing to take the ball of yarn I am working with, and will run around the room as it is unraveling around him while the newest addition to our little family, the cat, bounds after him.  
When he would do this, it would leave me frantically scrambling after him as he would weave around and under the table, up the stairs, giggling at my struggle to catch him.

With this lesson learned in the past I usually would know better than to take my yarn out during the day.  I thought I was 'in the clear' while Jack was sleeping and started to crochet another project. I was attempting to have a productive day, and decided to crocheting in between monitoring the fresh batch of cookies in the oven. 

It was not long after that Jack had awoken from his nap in a fowl mood.  As I was battling his tantrums in my attempt to ready him for the afternoon, the timer on the oven started beeping instinctively as a reminder that my perfect multi-tasking afternoon was crashing down around me.
In all the commotion, I forgot that I left my crocheting on the couch.

After getting Jack changed, and rushed downstairs to free the blackening cookies from their scorching domain. My project was the last thing on my mind. 
I placed the cookies on the wire rack, and realized the house was suspiciously quiet. It was then I remembered my project. I rushed to the living room to find what was not unexpected, but still disappointing. Jack has pulled apart the entire 6oz ball of yarn, and left it scattered across the couch. 

I guess my lesson is learned. 
Toddler+Yarn= Disaster

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Did someone call?

My phone bomb!

Yarn bombing is not a winter craft!

For those of you who read this, I live in Canada.
Canada is friggin' cold! I think I picked the wrong time of year to decide this is something I wanted to do.
What is worse is that I always undoubtedly decide at the wrong times to voyage outside to set my little diddles up.
For some insane reason I never consider checking something as inconvenient as the weather channel to predict if my fingers will turn blue in my desperate attempt to hold my sewing needle still.
So far this winter season I have set up five tags, and each time I negate the fact that it is winter.

This also brings me to another tip for the Canadian (or winter) tagger.

First, always bring fingered gloves. Mittens will not help in the least when fingers need to be available. If this is the case, it may be more helpful to try attaching a tag with feet or teeth.

Secondly, for larger projects most yarn bombers use zip-ties to attach projects quickly and swiftly. It would have been something to consider if I had properly researched effective methods for attaching tags quickly.  Zip-tags are now on my list of groceries to help me for the rest of the blistery season.
They would also be convenient for winter projects as well.

These two tip I am taking forward for the rest of my knitting/crocheting graffiti endeavors.
It will help to avoid a lot of unnecessary fumbling of needles, numb fingers, and the unfortunate realization that I had dropped the yarn I was using to stitch to begin with. Trying to get yarn back through a needle when you cant feel the needle being held is a very difficult feat.

Bomb Voyage!

I am very happy to update that my very first, very time consuming, yarn bomb is officially a success.
I couldn't stop myself from driving by the Chapters bookstore to see if my 4ft yarn creation is still mounted on the lamp post.

One rule of thumb for yarn bombing would be to never invest an unnecessary amount of time in a project.
It must be considered that there is a gamble to be made for projects that become personal.
In my case, after all the time and energy that was put into my craft, it would be greatly disappointing to realize that it was taken down in a short time.

I was very ecstatic to realize that my gamble payed off!
It has been two weeks since I had stood outside in the blistering cold to sew my humongous creation to the light. When I say blistering cold, I mean it. The weather was a chilly -38 degrees Celsius the day I recklessly decided would be the appropriate day to pursue my creative itch.
This reminds me of another tip for any interest crafters wishing to pursue yarn bombing; always bring gloves!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Bumblebee Bomb

For my next big yarn bomb I am preparing crocheted, over sized, bumblebees to hang from a tree.
I have already completed one bee, and have about five more to make. I have an inkling that this Yarn Bomb will take a little more stealth, and possibly a step ladder.

I will update when all the bumblebees are made, and it has been successfully set up.

Tag number 2

Just some pictures of a little tag I set up.

Single Stitch

From what I've read on Yarn Bombing it is essential for a crafter to have some sort of alias.
No one I know is interested in taking up this exciting hobby with me thus I have decided that I will be known as Single Stitch. Single as in alone in my endeavors.
It is unfortunate that no one I know is awesome enough to come with me on this journey.
Luckily, working alone isn't something I am horrible heart broken over. No one I know has the coolness capacity to sustain the amount of awesome it would take to be a true 'Yarn Bomber'.

Along with having an Alias comes with tagging your work. I am unfortunately on a fixed budget, so I have pathetically attempted to create my own little labels to be hung with my little yarn creations. For the sake of being new at this, I am not overly concerned with how the tags look. 

My Journey Begins.

I wanted to make a blog about Yarn-bombing since it is my most recently discovered craft form. 

For those of you who don't know what Yarn-bombing is, the concept is fairly easy. This is perfect for any crafter with extra scraps or for the ever looming, half finished, long forgotten project haunting you from your closet. 
Basically what Yarn Bombing is is you take swatches of knit and 'graffiti' random, boring, everyday items in society; ex) light posts, bus stop rails, chain fences, doorknobs.
The affect transforms something that is usually ordinary and adds some individuality to it. 

I came across the concept while I was visiting a bookstore and was intrigued by the cover of a book. The book was called "Yarn Bombing" by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. 
From that moment on it was decided that this new "rebellious" hobby was just what a stifled housewife needed.  

As this wave of  inspiration started at Chapters I decided to Yarn-bomb them first.