During November and December of 2014 you can see our most ambitious yarnbomb to date: a 1950 Chevy truck in Old Navy’s San Francisco flagship store on Market & 4th. We had such a blast yarnbombing this classic truck in a three-story shopping wonderland.
We are so proud of this project, since we pushed the limits of all our skills to make it perfect and amazing, as was the marketing team’s order. We took the Brother KH-270 computerized bulky knitting machine off our wish list for the project and Jill did all the construction while I lounged on my honeymoon, har har. The machine has 114 needles in the bed, so we were limited to panels 36-inches wide, which we hand seamed with the invisible mattress stitch. Elsewhere panels are joined vertically with the invisible kitchener stitch. Hook Velcro tape and a little hot glue hold each panel to the truck at the edges and in the crevices.
One of the most difficult parts was breaking down the piece into flat panels. While it seems straightforward enough, it took quite a bit of prototyping and testing to arrive at the correct gauge and adhesive methods.
Another difficult part was programming the color work into the machine. While the computerized knitting machine definitely constitutes an upgrade from the Ultimate Sweater Machine that was our previous workhorse, it’s a 1980’s machine with 1980’s technology. You enter the color work chart stitch by stitch on a keypad with directional arrows and an enter button, using a TV as a monitor. No fancy functions like copy and paste or scaling exist. So you can imagine us sitting for hours for entering those gigantic snowflakes, “boop boop booping” along across the 13,000 stitch grid for the large snowflake alone. Not to mention getting Gothic font right!
We are also tired! Take a look at these stats to see why: 35 hours on design, 45 hours on construction, and 60 hours on installation during 4 graveyard shifts; 250 ft Velcro, 30 skeins of Caron One Pound yarn.
But there’s no rest for the weary! Our next stop is another installation at Old Navy’s New York flagship store on 34th Street. It will go up on Nov 20, so stay tuned.