Posts Tagged ‘yarn bomb’

Spruce Up the Neighborhood

June 27, 2019

The yarnbombed sign pole on our corner has been looking kind of ragged after two years exposed to the New England elements. As I cut it down, the underside was revealed, showing how much the colors had faded. Compare the bright orange and its outward-facing pale version near the top of this photo.

A few months ago, I began creating, collecting, assembling the pieces for a new “wrap.” Sometimes I used leftover bits from projects or just random yarns from my stash. Some I remembered fondly and others, like a small hank of bright colors, I had no recollection of buying. Maybe they were gifts or leftover bits from a knitting student?

Since the pole is across the street from a park where lots of dogs gather, the yarn along the base had received many “markings” over the past two years. I know this is a natural thing for dogs to do and don’t begrudge them the need to leave their mark. And I know that weathering of all kinds — weather, animals, winter road salt — is part of what happens to public art. But the ickiness factor of that bottom bit of the pole gave me the idea to try something different.

Who knew you could turn a plastic shopping bag into a knitting strip? And then knit with it? It even has a name: plarn. There are loads of how-to posts and videos available. Some are more fiddly than others and involve tying loops together. I used the “spiral” method, where you end up cutting the bag into one long strand.

Early yesterday morning, I pulled out a step stool, scissors, darning needle, four pieces knitted fabric, and started at the top. I’d selected a special piece for the top of the pole, the back of a sweater that Mom had started long ago and never finished. It’s got a lovely popcorn texture and the ribbing makes a lovely flag of sorts.

I love that there’s a piece of her just outside the house. Unbeknownst to her I also took and incorporated a lovely cabled rectangle in blue-green wool — maybe the start of a sleeve or scarf?

Stitching the entire length took more than an hour, in part because it’s a tall pole but also because I stopped to visit with neighbors as they walked to the field or to the subway or bus stop.

It just makes me happy. And I love knowing that it makes other people smile, too.

Yarn Bomb Redux

May 30, 2018

It’ll come as no surprise to long-time readers that I’m a fan of yarn bombs — or public fiber art (or is it fiber public art?). I don’t post every one that I see. I mean, who has the time? But every once in a while, I’ll find one that’s post-worthy, like the gorgeous bike outside Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA, or the amazing creations along the boardwalk in Saltburn-by-the-Sea in England. Sometimes I’ll share on Instagram.

And then there are the few yarn bombs that I’ve helped to create, especially the street sign outside our house that still makes me smile.

Some of you may recall last spring’s city-wide art initiative at a nearby lake when some young knitting students from a nearby after-school program and I  “wrapped” a bike rack.


The project continued this spring with some additions to the lake area. I didn’t contribute anything to this effort and am still holding out the hope that the cover I envision for one of the barriers may someday become a reality. Fortunately, several other Fearless Knitters already have. Aren’t these fun?



After the winter snows and rains, the bike rack is a bit worse for wear, faded in parts and coming apart at a few seams. But it still makes me smile.


If a yarn bomb catches your eye, please let me know — email or tag. I’d love to share.


Yarn Bomb in the Neighborhood

June 12, 2017

About a year ago, I decided that the street sign at the corner of our house was a good venue for a yarn bomb. Thanks to the city park across the street and our location near the town center, there’s lots of foot traffic — neighbors of all ages, dog walkers, commuters, soccer players and fans.

Some of my knitting students used extra yarn from their projects to create segments of what would become the knitted wrapping. If you look closely at the video, you can see “memories” of Rachel’s butterfly dishcloth and Monkey’s little sweater.

As I was stitching the pieces onto the pole, about 10 people stopped to comment and ask questions. “What happens when it rains?” was the most common question. I tried not to sound snarky or dismissive when I replied, “It’ll get wet.”

Later in the day, my friend Elyse called as she was walking her dog. “Your yarn bomb makes me happy,” she exclaimed. I couldn’t agree more.

Bike Rack Yarn Bomb

May 19, 2017

With all the rain we’ve been having this month, I’d been keeping my fingers crossed that nothing would be falling from the sky during my knitting girls’ field trip to install their yarn bomb. Fortunately, the bike rack that we wrapped was in a shady spot since Mother Nature gifted us a hot (93F, 34C) sunny day.

The first decision was what order to attach the 8 or 10 knitted segments, 7 inch wide rectangles of various lengths. Once each was pinned onto the rack, the installation began.



Each segment was stitched onto the rack, then the ends of the segments were connected so the rack was covered in one very long (about 23 feet, 7 meters) tube.


As always with 10- and 11-year old girls, the conversation was wide ranging and non-stop — mostly about the adventure at hand — and occasionally interspersed with outbreaks of singing!

  • “How long do you think this will stay here?”
  • “I really hope someone doesn’t cut this off or mess with it.”
  • “Is this art?”

The project is part of a city-wide Festival of the Arts, an annual event that usually includes some type of public art creation. This year’s public art is “Hooked on Newton,” a celebration of fiber via knitting, crochet, and (I’ve heard) tapestry that will be installed at a nearby lake. The first official installation is this coming Sunday, but we got permission from the organizers to decorate the bike rack on a week day, so the girls could participate.

They had a blast and were all justifiably proud of their creation.  Me, too.




Gearing Up for Yarn Bombing

March 20, 2017

You can imagine my delight when I learned that my city is organizing a yarn bombing as part of its annual, yearlong Festival of the Arts. Only they’re not calling it yarn bombing because, well, bombing is frowned upon.

With a much more PC tamer moniker, “Hooked On Newton” is a public art project, a collaboration of the Newton Arts Council and the Crystal Lake Conservancy. The lake — specifically, the picnic area and public beach — will be the palette for knit and crochet creations.

The best part is that anyone, even you, dear reader, can join in the fun. Send me something for the yarn bombing public yarn art, and I’ll be sure it gets “installed.” Heck, I’ll even take a photo and be sure you get due credit!

We’ve got a water theme — maritime and/or lake — but I don’t think anyone’s very picky about what’s included. Maybe some leaves? Or fish that could be stitched onto a fence or tree? How about this amazing duck? Speaking of trees, we’ll definitely be wrapping trees. Find me on Ravelry @saltwaterhill to see other patterns I’ve favorited or popped into my library.


Yarn Bomb Wrap a Bike Rack*

I’ve volunteered to lead the bike rack wrapping since it’s a great project for the 4th and 5th graders in my knitting classes. What do we need for a bike rack but a lot of scarf segments?

The lake has a wiggly bike rack like the one above although currently not wrapped and definitely covered by a fair bit of snow. We’ll collect all sections and install (by sewing) them sometime in May.

Here’s my bike rack wrap recipe:

“Scarves” that are 7 inches wide and any length. We need a total of 300 inches to cover one bike rack.

Knit with any colorful yarn (wool, acrylic, cotton). Change colors and/or yarns. Stripes are fun but not required.

Cast on enough stitches for 7 inch width. If you’re using:

  • Bulky/chunky yarn (approx 3-4 stitches/inch): cast on 21 or 22, use needle sz 10-11
  • Worsted/Aran yarn (approx 4-5 st/inch): cast on 28-35, use needle sz 7-9
  • DK/light worsted yarn (approx 5-6 st/inch): cast on 35-42, use needle sz 5-7

Use whatever stitch pattern you’d like. Bind off when you’ve knit as much as you want. Let me know when you’re done (via Ravelry, Twitter, or a comment here) and I’ll send the mailing address.

*try saying that 10 times fast!

Knitters Not Knitting (At Least, Not All the Time)

July 24, 2015

The Sheep Ahoy Knitter’s Cruise (and all the non-knitting Muggles) docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda for 2 1/2 days, giving us plenty of time to explore and work on our shawls.

Mom, Cathie, and I walked around the dockyard, a former military installation that’s been converted to highlight historic, artistic, and tourist offerings. We poked around a couple of galleries, including one that had some whimsical found-art creations.

found art sculptures in gallery Cruise_Glass_Gallery

We rediscovered the yarn-bombed shrub that we’d seen two years ago. A bit faded and tattered but still there!

faded yarn bombed branches

Around the corner, we found a newly “bombed” light post.

yarn bomb light pole

One of the former military buildings houses a glass blowing studio and shop, where we paused to watch an artist creating dozens of little bee sculptures, which would soon be sold in the shop. Those aren’t pencils or paintbrushes in the box in front of him; they’re rods (sticks?) of colored glass.

glass artist at work

Another building houses a pottery studio and shop. That’s Mom, in her beautiful pink hat, browsing on the other side of the work space.

pottery studio and shop

The next day, we took a three-hour tour in a glass-bottomed boat, passing over coral reefs and an old shipwreck. The tour guides explained the types of coral, varieties of fish, and just how long it took for this particular ship, HMS Vixen, to be wrecked – deliberately so it would block a channel – in this particular location. Apparently there were several attempts. The bow juts above the surface.

bow of shipwreck Vixen

Looking through the glass bottom was awesome. That’s Mom’s head. Since she sometimes refers to herself as “your white-headed mother,” this seems like a good shot.

looking through glass-bottom boat

The boat anchored in a cove, so that passengers could go overboard and snorkel. Since I don’t have a waterproof camera, an above-water photo will have to suffice.

snorkelers return to the boat

Back on the ship, after showers and dry clothes, we knit before dinner. Afterall, it is a knitting cruise.

knitters in cruise ship stateroom


Bermuda Knits

July 31, 2013

As promised, here’s a photo of Barb’s triangle scarf. She is one speedy and talented knitter.


Mom, Cathie, Barb, and I have spent the past 2 1/2 days enjoying Bermuda, someplace I’ve never been before.

After we arrived mid-day Sunday, we walked around the King’s Wharf Royal Dock area, a former military installation that’s been converted into an historic site combined with cruise and tourism services. That means the waterfront is deep enough to dock a huge cruise ship like ours.


Since it was Sunday when we arrived, many of the stores in Hamilton and St. George’s, the two major cities, were closed. So we walked about the dockyard, visiting a couple of local arts centers, a glass-blowing workshop, a clay and pottery studio, and a traditional rum cake bakery. It was beastly hot and humid, so we moved slowly and sat in the shade on a regular basis.


Although knitting doesn’t seem to be a popular pastime in Bermuda, we were delighted to find some yarnbombing in the area.


In the evening, the knitters gathered in an indoor bar on one of the upper decks and enjoyed an hour or so of drinks and conversation. A few of the significant others sat a table across the room and chatted amongst themselves, no doubt sharing tales of “just one more row” and the joys of having a partner who’s an obsessed committed and creative knitter.


On Monday the four of us took a terrific bus tour around the island, led by an informative, engaging, and funny guide. He shared lots of history of the island, most of which I was completely ignorant of. I didn’t realize that Bermuda was first settled by the English in the early 1600s nor that Bermudians dumped barrels of gunpowder, destined to be used against the American colonists, into the sea.

This lovely and sturdy chapel was built, using Bermuda cedar and limestone, around 1610.


The landscape, flora, and fauna (does that include birds?) are just spectacular.


In St. George’s, we watched an historical reenactment of a public punishment of a woman who was “sentenced” to 7 ocean dunks, public shaming, for the crime of nagging her husband. Chatting with the woman before the event, we learned that her “day job” the deputy speaker of the Parliament of Bermuda. She says this gig, which I believe she performs 6 or 7 days a week is the most fun she’s ever had!



Knits by the sea, by the beautiful sea

June 7, 2013

I love coming across yarnbombs, those surprise public works of knitted art. They’re usually colorful and often whimsical but occasionally political.

Which takes us to North Yorkshire, where Susanne, my friend and college roommate, and her family have been living in England since last fall while she and her husband are on sabbatical. She regularly sends updates of their travels, which recently included a trip to Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire, where a stealthy band of knitters had been at work.

The pier, the beach, the cliffs, and out of sight, a funicular railway.


Visitors on this sunny day discovered treasures along the railing.


Look closer…




Humans too!




Summertime themes:



SaltburnKelp SaltburnJellies

Just look at the details…




Here’s a local report on the fun.

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