Completion of a Mobile Art Installation- Yarn Mobile

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It is complete. Two months, 1000 m of yarn, and very sore fingers!

But I am immensely happy with the result. I will be taking it out in the public eye tomorrow at the Function Junction Block Party, so please feel free to come and say hi and check out the work.

Copied below is more information about my work from the press release and some extra pictures for all you followers!.

HAND KNIT ART INSTALATION UNVIELED IN WHISTLER, BC

Tomorrow will be the unveiling of an exciting new art installation from creator Anna Lynch.

The “yarn mobile” as it has been affectionately coined by Lynch, will be shown in public tomorrow evening at the Function Junction Block Party, in Whistler BC.

The mobile art installation, is a depiction of Whistler’s ecosystem, hand knit on to a bicycle frame. But why a bicycle? Lynch says “There is no better way of depicting the beauty of this area, and the feeling of this town, than on something that residents here can really relate to. If you think of Whistler in the summertime you think bicycle. Whats more the art work itself shows the cycle of our ecosystem, and so I found it fitting to mirror this idea in the display”.

Every element of the piece was hand knit by Lynch, from left over yarn. “ I didn’t buy any new yarn to make this project. I simply used an array of left over strands from previous projects. Whatever the colour, or fibre, none of the yarn was ever chosen with this in mind. I worked with what I had”.

For those who are familiar with the trend of “yarn bombing”, knitting around a bicycle may not be a new concept. However, unlike any bicycle that has been detailed in this way previously, Lynch’s piece branches out from the frame.

When the idea came to me to make this depiction, I knew it could not be constrained by the frame of the bike. The nature, and the wilds of BC, its mountain range, wild flowers and relentless weather cycles, would not be given justice if made to fit the frame like a picture. I wanted the overwhelming impact and beauty of the nature here to really jump out”.

When asked how much planning went into the piece Lynch says “After the initial idea, there was actually very little forward planning. I knew I would make the river and the mountains, but that was it. I had not thought of how I would make these pieces and what would come next. As these pieces became complete the bicycle began to take shape organically”.

The piece took two months to come to fruition, and used approximately 1093yds/1000m of scrap yarn.

Whistler Ecosystem Cycle”, or “yarn mobile” as it has come to be known is for sale on Lynch’s website.

This piece is one of a kind. It was challenging and exciting to make, but will certainly be the only bicycle I create. I don’t know what my next project will be right now, but that’s what I love about creating art, you never know what form your next inspiration will take!”.

If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Anna Lynch, please email knittygrittywhistler@gmail.com.

Farm to Fashion: A series of Fibre Art workshops

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This summer we are offering a series of workshops here at Knitty Gritty, called Farm to Fashion.

“The farm to fashion workshop series has been designed to inspire and encourage a greater connection between local artisans and the nature that envelopes the sea to sky corridor by teaching sustainable, ecological practices within the fibre arts. Combine new skills from all three workshops to progress a project from beast to boutique”.

The first workshop is SPINNING FOR BEGINNERS.

and as a bonus we will be conducting this workshop at an alpaca farm in Mt Currie!

Join the Knitty Gritty for a guided tour of Rainbow Forest Acres Alpaca Farm followed by a half day spinning workshop on the farms grounds.

Learn about the qualities of alpaca fleece, the processes taken to ready it for spinning and meet the alpaca’s themselves on a guided tour from farm owner Barbara Eslake. Then sit down with Renate Bareham and learn to spin using both the drop spindle method and spinning wheel, taking away with you a skein of hand spun yarn.

Register Now at:   http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/262631

Details:

Monday August 20th

Spinning for Beginners 

11am-4.30pm

Rainbow Forest Acres Alpaca Farm, Mt Currie

$75

The cost includes:

All spinning wheel and spindle rental

Spinning Workshop with Renate Bareham

Farm Tour

Transfer to/frm Whistler Village to Rainbow Forest Acres.

*Lunch is not included.

Why pick the Knitty Gritty Workshop series?

This is a really fantastic and unique opportunity, which will enable you to better understand yarn qualities and how they can make or break a project. This trip is at least $25 less than the cheapest beginners spinning lessons in Vancouver and half the price of most! Plus you get to meet the animals.

Registration closes at 4pm August 18th 2012.

Yarn Mobile- Part 4

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So in a bid to get the yarn mobile completed a little faster and keep you all in suspense, I have not posted some of my recent progress on the blog.

Recent updates include;

  • Covering all the frame in striped covers which took a total of 12 hours.
  • A rainbow which took 4 hours.
  • A whole host of maple leaves which took 8 hours.
  • And this little gem below. This took 5 hours.

 

 

This is a knitted and stuffed Inukshuk. For those of you that don’t know Whistler has several Inukshuks (if you have read the blog you will know we gave one a big scarf).

An Inukshuk, is a stone landmark used by the first nations of North America. It is often found in places with sparse land markings, and is used as a navigation tool or to mark a settlement.

The reason for the abundance of these in Whistler is that it was the symbol for the 2010 winter Olympics, and Whistler hosted several of the Olympic events.

We use our Inukshuk’s as a welcome.

I have been wanted to make a knitted version since last year, but never found the time. But the yarn mobile presented the perfect opportunity to make one.

I made it by knitting a number of rectangle boxes. Each was knit flat, like a net, then sewn together and stuffed. I will post a pattern to make this in the near future!

As for the project, I only have a few pieces left to knit now, so you may see the yarn  mobile on the streets of Whistler very soon!

 

 

 

Knitting E-book Releases – The Summer Knitting Initiative

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July is just around the corner and here at KnittyG HQ, we are gearing up for a summer of knitting.

With the launch of “Knit by the Lake”, our bonus knitting group session (3pm @ Lost Lake every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month), and the near completion of the yarn mobile,  we in Whistler certainly have summer knit fever!

Now Open roads Intergrated Media has teamed with Abrams for a “Summer Knitting Initiative”. Together they are releasing a host of popular knitting books in a digital format for e-readers, making transporting your project with you on vacation ,or down to the lake, a breeze!

Also keep an eye on their blog (Click here) next week, as to kick off the initiative, Open Roads will be releasing free patterns from two of the books below,  publishing recipes for iced drinks and making a playlist of summer songs to compliment your summer knitting bliss! And  if that isn’t enough from July 3rd-10th these e-books will be available at a special promotion price from $4.99 and up!

The available books are

Knitalong by STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

One More Skein by Leigh Radford

Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick                                                                     

Knitspeak by Andrea Berman Price

Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen

A Knitter’s Home Companion by Michelle Edwards

Watch this space for reviews of three of the books above in the follow week!

Yarn Mobile-Part 3

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I worked hard on the yarn mobile over the weekend, and so I have quite a few bits to post today. I have also started attaching the work to the frame. The bike is evolving into a depiction the Whistler Eco System. I have started to place items into seasons

These are the new parts.

Second Mountain

The second mountain to go on top of the frame. I decided to make this one more pointed.  Again I used color work to show gradient.

Time Taken: 4 hours

Second mountain, made from acrylic & wool

Vine & Leaves background motif.

This section will serve as a background for the swamp lilies below. It will be part of the main frame. The stitch was taken from the Vogue stitchionary.

Time Taken: 3 hours

Leaves motif- Knit in wool in embossed vine & leaves stitch

Swamp Lilies

The first batch of many. These were fun to make. I made these on double pointed needles and then used short rows to create the shape. A nice quick knit too

Time Taken : 10 minutes per flower

Collection of Trees

The first trees. I have made two representations of fir trees and one cedar so far. All were knit free form with no pattern. I used both stockinette and moss stitch. The  brown patches I have knit serve as the ground that the tree stands on.

Time Taken:

Ground- 1 Hour , Small Fir- 1 hour, Large Fir 1 hour, Cedar 1.5 hours

This tree is a fir representation made from wool & acrylic

Cedar Tree made from cotton and acrylic yarn

Large fir from cotton and acrylic

Made from camel yarn!

You will be able to get a small preview of the work on the frame on Thursday 🙂

Bowling over the competition- The quest to find the perfect yarn bowl

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As long as there has been knitting, there have been tangles. And so it is clear to see why a yarn dispenser is key to a knit-wits artillery.

Dispensers come in many shapes and sizes, from old mason jars, to plastic pouches, and each knitter has their preference. But all designs have two common attributes; A holder for the ball & a dispenser for the yarn to pass through. However when you take a closer look, one dispenser in particular casts a shadows over the competition. The yarn bowl.

It seems to have sprung up in the last few years, as if from nowhere and taken the knitting world by storm. Made from either wood or more commonly ceramic, each yarn bowl is as different as the next. And with endless possibilities for design, you can see why this ancillary tool has become so popular. Whats more the tool seems to be exclusive to the maker and artisan industry with no large companies within the ceramic or knitting industries producing any.

But with such choice, how do you make sure that you make the right purchase? consider the following features:

1. Size

If you regularly knit with large balls of yarn then make sure that the bowl you choose can fit these bigger skeins inside. If you have less room, or you knit with small thin yarn, then a smaller bowl may fit your needs better.

2. Weight

You need to look at the base of the bowl to judge it’s weight. A good yarn bowl will have a heavy base to keep it in place when you pull at your yarn. If the bowl is too light it will slide across your table and likely be more hassle than help.

3. Material

If you are looking for something portable, or you are a little clumsy then maybe consider a wooden or plastic bowl over ceramic.

4. Feed

If you move your project  from place to place then find a bowl with an open slot yarn feed that the yarn can be lifted out of. If you choose a bowl with a loop to you may be committed to leaving your project in the bowl until the yarn runs out.

5. Pets and Children

Hollywood experts say never work with pets and children. I suggest you work around them. If you have a cat or another little terror in the house, then consider a yarn bowl that sits like a lid over the ball (as opposed to a traditional bowl).

6. Design

There are a lot of designers to choose from. Take time to find something beautiful to fit your personality.

I am a fan of ceramic, and have recently had the pleasure to work with the Chickadee Yarn Bowl, from Aaron Harrison AKA aaharrison.

It’s large size, allows for chunky yarns, and bigger balls to be placed inside, which I found to be a great attribute. The high sides keep the yarn inside the bowl even when it is moving at a rapid pace.

The bowl also has a curved “cut out” to place the yarn through, which has been smoothed and glazed to prevent “snagging”. I personally like this style of yarn feeder, due to my tendency to move my knitting project from home to work on a regular basis. The bowl is nicely weighted to keep it’s place on a table allowing all effort to be concentrated on complicated lace work.

The elegant aesthetics are the real draw for this bowl. It is clear at a glance that great care has been taken in shaping the bowl and chickadee that sits on top. The glaze inside is reminiscent of  the inside of a sea shell, and the earthy color of the outside means this tool would not look out of place as an ornament on a shelf.

If this has got you hankering for a yarn bowl, you can find Aaron Harrison’s designs here.

Need more inspiration? Check out my pinterest board.

http://pinterest.com/annaknitty/yarn-bowls/

Have a product you would like to see reviewed? Email knittygrittywhistler@gmail.com

Yarn Mobile part 2

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Update to the yarn mobile.

This piece is a mountain.

Time Taken: 5 hours actually work , 2 hours of planning

Size: 5 in x 3.5 in

This piece uses color work rather than texture, and created a few design challenges also.

The mountain is to go on the top tube of the frame.  But as I did not want to limit the mountain to the few inches of space available on the frame itself I needed to find a way to extend it from the bar that would be as practical as possible, stable and most of all aesthetically pleasing.

Two solutions came to mind. I could either knit the mountain in two flat pieces (one for either side) or  I could knit in the round making it 3-D.

I decided that by making it 3D, the piece would have more depth and better stability.

Made from acrylic, cotton and wool

As you can see the piece does split into two tabs at the bottom. These pieces split off to allow the mountain to wrap around the top tube of the frame.

But enough writing I must get back to knitting. One mountain down, but I still have a way to go.

The “Yarn Mobile” – A mobile,yarn bomb,art installation

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My latest project is something a little different.

A combination of art and yarn bombing, the bicycle project that I’m naming the “yarn mobile”  will be made by combining scraps of yarn left over from previous projects.

The plan is to use color, texture and shape to create a motif that encapsulates the joy of Whistler life. The motif will not be constrained to simply covering the frame of the bike, but instead will be free to develop out from the frame. I will be using known patterns to create texture, but the shape and color of each piece will be knit free form. I am creating the piece so that the bike is still fully functional, as I will be using it to commute!

Here is the bike in question. Sat outside on my porch with the odds and ends yarn that I have to create the motif.

I have spent the last week creating the first sections of the bike.

This first section is grass.

Time Taken: 4 hours

I decided to use a stitch called daisy chain to created the texture to look like grass blades. I also used varying shades of green to give the piece some depth. Although it may look large in this picture this section is only 5 in x 14 in in size.

Knit in Daisy Chain stitch. combining yarn from acrylic, cotton, pure wool and mohair.

A closer look at the stitch.

The second piece is a representation of the rivers.

Time Taken: 10 hours

For this piece I used a cable stitch (woven) to show the undulating movement of the water. Again I used varying shades of blue with white tips to represent the crest of the river.

This piece is doubled so that when wrapped around frame of the bike the same pattern will be reflected either side. It is knit in a “woven cable” from acrylic, Peruvian wool and hand dyed and spun wool.

close up

I will be posting updates as I progress with the project, so stay tuned.

If you are interested in commissioning a knitted art installation or yarn bomb for your upcoming event, advertising campaign or for your personal collection please send an email to knittygrittywhistler@gmail.com.

A week of Photoshop

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I’ve been working on my poster campaign this week, meaning I have been stuck to my laptop for a few sold days. Here is a sneak preview!

Here is the three piece campaign. All posters are created as a variation on a single theme, which runs through the overall design, fonts and layout.

Royal Knittania- The Crown Jewels of UK knit culture

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This year marks the 60th anniversary of British Monach, Queen Elizabeth II.

To celebrate, every magazine, newspaper, merchandiser and advertiser in the country seem to have donned their rose, white ,and blue tinted glasses. So, I have decided to write something a little different. Rather than a hot list, laced with union jacks,bunting and crowns, I bring to you Royal Knittania- The crown jewels of UK knit culture, which have dominated the country over the last 60 years.

Stitchcraft Magazine- 1930s-1980s

A popular knitters magazine through the decades, particularly through the 50s and 60s. This magazine was a go to for the latest fashions and designs.

Twiggy in Artesia- 1960’s- present

Twiggy was a prominent British teenage model of swinging sixties London. Often photographed in iconic, bright artesia knitwear. In the last decade she has become a designer for M&S.

Fashion: Gansey Sweaters 1980- present day

The Gansey sweater. A traditional sweater that has held it’s place in fashion throughout the decades.

Great Britain 1980 Knitted wool From V&A museum collection

Vogue Knitting’s Anniversary Issue Cover 2007.

The fishermen’s garment of choice was a thick sweater which was close-fitting for warmth and tightly knitted to repel water. The traditional color of the gansey is navy and this one is worked in the round in a pattern of vertical panels with alternate cable and double moss stitch. The name ‘gansey’ comes from Guernsey, one of the islands from which these jumpers originated.  By the 20th century workwear like ganseys and aran jumpers was an established type of leisure dress for the middle classes.

V&A Museum

Patricia Roberts- 1976- Present day

An innovative hand knit women & children’s wear designer, who’s work won The Duke of Edinburgh’s Designer’s Prize.Design Council Awards in 1986She has published 17 books and still continues to run a London store.

Rowan Yarns- 1978- present day

Established in 1978 Rowan became a household name across the world, known for it’s quality yarns & variety of natural fibers.

Some of the Rowan Collection

Nottingham Trent University Offers a knit specific Bachelor of Arts Degree – 1980’s to present day

Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles. Three years of knitting for school. Sounds like bliss.

Water Aid Knit a River Petition 2006-2007

Knitters from all over the country submitted blue patches to make this giant blue river that was spread across London to promote a campaign by water aid to stop water poverty in 2006.

The river’s finest hour came in May 2007 when, just ahead of the G8 summit in Germany, over 200 knitters, WaterAid staff and supporters carried a swathe of the knitted river along Albert Embankment, across Lambeth Bridge and into Parliament Square and Whitehall, the home of the British government. Afterwards a small section of the ‘petition’ was handed over to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, calling for pressure on the G8 to end water poverty

I Knit.org

 Vivienne Westwood- 1970s – present day

My all time favorite designer, known best for her punk inspired wears. Her knitwear, both for the catwalk and the high street is always as beautiful and unique as her other pieces.

Westwood explained: ‘I started making mohair jumpers for the girls – you couldn’t even buy mohair then. I loved the beatnik idea of wearing a man’s sweater with tights.’ This type of garment set the punk fashion for torn and unravelling sweaters

 V & A Museum

Fair Isle – 1920s- present day

Fair isle is a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, that forms part of the Shetland islands. Fair Isle knitting gained a considerable popularity when the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII) wore Fair Isle tank tops in public in 1921. Traditional Fair Isle patterns have a limited palette of five or so colours, use only two colours per row, are worked in the round, and limit the length of a run of any particular colour.”

Still one of the most fashionable and sought after style of knitwear around the globe, a goal to reach for every passionate knitter and the reason I began knitting.