A few months ago I tried out my new Addi Express knitting machine on a few bike rack worm yarnbombs. The Very Hungry Caterpillar yarnbomb from the popular children’s book was so loved by patrons at the San Mateo Public Library, that when it recently got shaggy I knew I had to replace it. My sister Jill and our new intern, Magine, dreamed up a new installation to span all 6 bike racks with characters from kids books. That required we expand our search to include any tube-shaped character, and we found 5 more! So, pop quiz: how well do you know your kids lit? The answers are in the photo titles of this Flickr album. We used both knitting and crochet on each character, spending about a full week of work for 2-3 people. Yeah, call us crazy–it was for the kids! First, we machine knit a body on the Ultimate Sweater Machine. This machine has no electricity or pattern capabilities so it’s faster than hand knitting, but still quite a slog–kind of like churning out a novella on an old-timey type writer. Next we sketched out the elements of each character from images by breaking its main features down into basic shapes, just like in cartooning. We crocheted all the details and painstakingly sewed them together in the studio. This time we learned our lesson about working for hours in the sun and purchased some PVC pipes of the same diameter as the bike racks in order not to have to assemble all the details in the field. You don’t think about it at first, but the eyes for example must be placed where they’ll go on the tube when it’s fully stretched, and guesstimating that will quickly make you go either grey or bald. Pipe also works great for test swatches to calculate the number of rows and stitches in each body. Finally, we installed on a Friday evening after closing so the racks would be empty–which they almost never are. Yay for cyclists! Now comes the fun part! We can’t wait to see all the pictures of kids playing with the characters, and hope the library dreams up a fun contest for kids who guess them all or read all the books. The San Mateo Public Library is just off of 3rd Ave and El Camino in downtown San Mateo, California. I hope you get a chance to see them while they last. Be sure to tag your photos #knitsforlife so I can see your fun snapshots! xxxo, Lorna
Wow, these look absolutely fantastic!
A very cool yarnbomb installation indeed! Maybe the kids should know that being able to read allows knitters and crocheters to follow patterns to make knit and crochet items…reading opens doors to everything!
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