Author: Lorna Watt

News, Projects, Yarnbombs

Open Voting for Knitting the Commons


Throughout summer 2017 we’ll be knitting in the newly named Civic Center Commons in San Francisco, California. The Trust for Public Land is unveiling several new projects to make the three blocks it spans more lovable: Civic Center Plaza, Fulton Street, and UN Plaza. One of these projects is yarn bombing over 100 trees to visually connect the space with a tangible art installation that invites the community to connect with the space.

Knitting the Commons Knits for Life The Trust for Public Land

You can take part in a bunch of ways!

  • Lunchtime knitting machine demos: Come watch us demo the knitting machine we used to knit the commons on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June. Full schedule: June 13-14 on Fulton Street; June 20-21 in UN Plaza; June 27-28 in Civic Center Plaza.
  • Watch us install the first batch of yarn bombs throughout the Commons June 12-29, 11a-3p.
  • Design next batch of trees with us! The first batch literally knits the new Civic Center Commons logo colors through the trees to visually link the three plazas together. The second batch is up to you! Vote on 3 designs we’ve proposed or dream one up yourself.
  • Visit The Commons with your community group! If you haven’t been lately, there’s so much to see! Throughout the week there is so much else to see too: a pop-up playground, Off the Grid, farmer’s market, street market, Exploratorium pop-up exhibits, and cute tables and chairs with Tivoli lighting!

Knitting the Commons Knits for Life The Trust for Public Land

Be sure to tag us @KnitsForLife in your pics so we can enjoy them and use the hashtag #KnittingTheCommons.

xxxo,

Jill & Lorna

Knitting the Commons Knits for Life The Trust for Public Land

News, Yarnbombs

Knits for Life at Maker Faire Bay Area


We’ll be at Maker Faire again this year with our Machine Knit Street Art exhibit. Two pairs of hand made eyeballs will transform trees into bushy monsters spying down on all the fun you’re having at the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth! The Machine Knitting booth will also be there again, where you can meet our intern, Magine, and learn about the local groups that teach machine knitting. This is where we learned everything we know–there couldn’t be a better place to learn about machine knitting. Adrienne, our local Meetup host, will show off several machines with a variety of capabilities, including one that has been hacked with an Arduino microcomputer to turn photos into knitting. Check out some of the photos from previous years. Tweet at us @knitsforlife when you’ll be there and maybe we can meet up!

http://makerfaire.com/bay-area/

May 19-21, 2017, San Mateo, CA

Friday 1pm-5pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm

 

Knits for Life at Maker Faire Knits for Life at Maker Faire Knits for Life at Maker Faire

Projects

Filet Crochet Portraits


Grief can be a slow, quiet, solitary process. Needle arts can be as well. Perhaps that’s why we’ve used crochet to process the recent loss of three beloved grandparents. First, Lorna created two Day of the Dead filet crochet banners to celebrate our maternal grandfather’s life and passing. Now, the two of us collaborated on a pair of filet crochet portraits in honor of our paternal grandparents, Robert and Catherine Watt. Both portraits are on view as part of the exhibit Thread Around Holes at The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale, California until October 31, 2015, after which they will be available for private viewings at Claremont Art Studios.

Filet Crochet Portraits by Jill and Lorna Watt

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New Products

Yarn Bombed Monster Chairs


The question we most commonly got about our Buttmunches, the yarn bombed monster benches we did at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, was: Can I have one? So we said yes! Each meticulously handmade Buttmunch chair exhibited at Unleashed Art Gallery over the summer. The green chair is still available in the shop here. Contact us for a viewing at Claremont Art Studios or to discuss your idea for custom kids furniture or whimsical decor.

Yarn bombed monster chairs knit chairs knit bomb

Yarn bombed monster chairs knit chairs knit bomb

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Yarnbombs

GitHub Universe Yarn Bombed Benches


Despite much tension between art and tech in pricey Silicon Valley, an interesting symbiosis is also happening. Young professionals appreciate the art, especially street art, just as they appreciate good food, coffee, and barbering. The tech companies they build enact these values, engaging local artists to inspire their workforce.

“It’s a visual and a physical manifestation of what’s happening on the computers,” Bennett says. “You could just present your values on a piece of paper. But inviting a diverse group of independent artists to work alongside us is a more genuine expression of that creative process.” – Drew Bennett, artist.

We thrive on this symbiosis. As Bay Area natives, innovation and creation are inherent in us. Producing live installation art, knit props for events and advertising, and yarn bombed corporate art is our Silicon Valley version of Hollywood production. Ever since our childhood fantasies of conjuring characters in Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, we’ve always wanted to make new things with a team from one project to the next. What a ride!

Knit bench yarn bomb knit props GitHub1

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Projects, Yarnbombs

Oakland Coliseum String Art Yarn Bomb


How do you engage 25,000 people in one day? That was Visit Oakland‘s dilemma for the Oakland Raiders 2015 season opener at the Oakland Coliseum. Visit Oakland reached out to us to design a concept for both sides of the pedestrian bridge between the Coliseum and the BART rail station. Our guidelines: use this string art installation as our inspiration, maximize longevity, use Oakland’s team colors, use shapes that reference Oakland, add hashtags, and cover 150 feet over just two days.

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Yarnbombs

Rooty the Stilt-Walking Carrot Yarnbomb


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We love inspiring people to make the world a sillier place. Last week we saw so many monster benches and monster feet on Instagram that we decided it’s time to bring a fun, new transformative concept to life. To brainstorm, we headed to an auspicious place to get our gears spinning: the park directly adjacent to the home of the original Maker FaireBay Meadows Park. A new park in a windy spot, all the trees are young with support poles. At first glance, this could pose a problem to the imagination, without any grand shapes in which to envision giant squid and palm trees. Instead of being deterred we embraced those skinny little trios of poles dotting the field. Within minutes, one cute, leafy tree top in particular sparked our make-believe session with visions of vegetables traipsing across the field. A few measurements later, and off to the studio we went to bring him to life. As always, here we post a bit of our process to inform your own yarn bombs. You’ll notice we’ve begun documenting the process with Snapchat. Follow our story to see what we get up to and show us your work too! (more…)

Tutorials

How to Make Fabric Yarn All in One Piece


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So you want to repurpose some old sheets or fabric remnants, but all you can find on Pinterest are tutorials on how to make T-shirt yarn. You want to make yarn with no knots from a flat sheet of fabric, not a tube of fabric from a T-shirt. (The methods differ critically.) We had the same problem: for a recent installation of jumbo knit flags, we needed an efficient way to cut nearly a mile of fabric into 20 miles of yarn to knit on jumbo 1-inch diameter needles. We were surprised to find no best method. So, we improved on other techniques to get this efficient, knot-free technique that produces one continuous strand from extra large sheets of fabric. Let’s get started!  (more…)