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.
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 Faire: Bay 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…)
How do you yarnbomb a gorgeous event without detracting from either the existing interior design or exhibited art… in one week? When Gensler Architecture and Design asked us to yarnbomb their San Francisco headquarters to accentuate a quarterly workplace art show, in this case a fiber art exhibition, this was our dilemma.
We love trying new things with yarn! How exciting when the new restaurant Seed + Salt in the San Francisco’s Marina district asked us to create a geometric string art wall for the dining room. (They also commissioned us to yarnbomb a tree out front, which we wrote about here.) The piece is 9 x 8 feet and took about a day to design and a couple full days to install. We planned this design on paper first, carefully mapping the main elements to exact measurements and sketching some repeating elements to draw from on site. After installing the main elements, we filled in with our sketched repeating elements to make sure the colors and shapes filled the space in a clean but dynamic balance. We used Caron Simply Soft yarn and about 1500 escutcheon pins hammered at careful one- and six-inch intervals. What a crazy load of nails to hammer! A beam level and scaffold are essential tools for a job of this scale and height–we were glad the construction crew loaned us theirs. (more…)
Our yarnbombs tend to become rain dances. Ever since our first yarnbomb, it has rained on our installations. That first was to be expected, as it was December. But it continued with a freak September downpour in 2013 on the Squid Tree, and has continued ever since. Perhaps a less auspicious explanation exists, like that similarly to everyone else, we like to knit in fall and winter. But I’m sticking with rain dance. (In which case we should yarnbomb in California more often!)
And so we’ve been waiting to install this yarnbomb since Black Friday 2014, over five weeks of drought-piercing rain, and so are overjoyed to see it born. It was commissioned by the beautiful new grab-n-go vegan restaurant Seed + Salt in the Marina district of San Francisco. This place is stellar, you’ve got to go. It’s the brainchild of owner Mo Clancy and chef Ariel Nadelberg, with creative direction from Lauren Godfrey, who’s worked on SF all-stars Bar Tartine and Tacolicious. As one Instagrammer said, go for the yarn and stay for the food. (Try the beet burger!) (more…)
You’ve seen our epic yarnbomb of a 1950’s Chevy truck in Old Navy‘s San Francisco Flagship store (up til January 2015). Now get ready for the second epic yarnbomb: three yarnbombed bumper cars in Old Navy’s New York 34th St Flagship store.
How awesome is Old Navy to choose yarnbombing to celebrate #OldNavyStyle in a season full of fashionable knitwear for the people! We were so stoked that they asked us to do this second project on the same block with the Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s our little Miracle on 34th Street. Forget Santa’s lap–go snuggle your derrier into one of these vintage babies this Christmas. (And I know you want to but sorry, they don’t move around.) Be sure to tag us in your pics (@knitsforlife @thedappertoad @oldnavy) so we can see you!
For those of you who are interested in learning to step up your work to more ambitious yarnbombing projects, get your scroll on and I’ll tell you a bit about our process. It’s basically three steps: design, construction, and installation. But first, the pics! (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
One of these days Jill and I will learn to do small-scale.
But not this day! A Bay Area volunteer group commissioned us to yarnbomb their community health and fitness festival at a San Mateo elementary school, so we had to pull out the big guns for the kids. The festival had a bumping DJ, an obstacle course, healthy snacks, free blood pressure and cholesterol testing, tile painting for a school mural, and a free photo booth. It was so rad!
We helped celebrate healthy eating with a sneaky monkey in a wildly botanically incorrect banana tree. (more…)