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New Patterns, Yarnbombs, Tutorials

MFYBAL Week 4


Quick links: MFYBAL overview, weeks 1, 23, 4, 5, 6.

 

Welcome to Week 4 of the Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Along!

This week we crochet the Leg section of the pattern. It’s pretty quick work, so we’ll spend some of this post sharing your stories from the past three weeks. Next week we’ll add optional claws or toenails.

Remember, it’s never too late to join inGo at your own pace, fast or slow. All the resources will remain on the web! Each week is listed at the top and bottom of each post for quick reference.

Our forum is full of amazing crocheters!

Wow, we’re amazed at what a phenomenally experienced group of yarn bombers and crocheters are hanging out in the MFYBAL forum! We wanted to point this out because the forum is poised to be an excellent resource. If you have a favorite yarn bomb, there’s a good chance the person who made it is in the forum. So go wild and ask all those questions you’ve always wondered about. What are your fears about the upcoming installation? Do you have any tips for people who are doing their first yarn bomb? Nothing is off topic!

Here’s some past work by the talented members of our forum.

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

Installations are happening!

As we are starting to see monster feet in the wild, we wanted to give some shout outs to the interesting locations and stories you shared in the forums and on social media so far. Remember you are not behind! The purpose of our sharing these is not to stress you out or make you feel behind. Rather, it’s to provide you with some interesting tips and stories to mull over as we approach the final week’s installation. Go at your own pace and keep sharing your stories!

Pyganies found the world’s funniest bench for a pair of Monster Feet on her school campus. Someone was sitting on it waiting for the bus, but she wasn’t deterred. We are giving Pyganies a virtual Ounce of Preparation badge (ʘ‿ʘ)ノ for putting a separate needle and thread on each foot so she could install as fast as possible!

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern
Pyganies came prepared for a flash installation on the worlds best bench for feet.

A Green Toe badge (ʘ‿ʘ)ノ goes out to rckh2o in rural Nebraska for getting her feet wet with yarn bombing. Because her small town lacks anonymity, she’s starting her journey toward becoming the crazy yarn bomb lady with monster feet in her own back yard garden. We think this is a great idea! Like we’ve said, Lorna over here is secretly a selfish yarn bomber and loves to put pieces near home.

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern
rckh2o seems to be continuing a tradition of stashing monsters around the house…

If you’re still on the fence about where to put your monster feet, take a tip from Naomi. “I’m nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone… and attempt FEET aarrgh. But I know the local kids will LOVE them.” What did Naomi do with her nerves and monster feet? She secretly installed her first pair outside a friend’s office as a surprise! One is Silver and the Other’s Gold badge (ʘ‿ʘ)ノ for Naomi. Now she says she’s hooked and is already hooking up some jumbo feet by holding the yarn double and using a jumbo hook. Can’t wait to see how they come out!

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern
Naomi dealt with her nerves by planting the feet near a friend’s place as a surprise.

We love this “screech” of the record needle Lorri did upon seeing a sad bench in need of some love. “These monster feet were originally going to grace a USPS mailbox but the… bus stop looked so sad, that it got covered first. A regular rider waiting for his ride proclaimed them ‘Dope!'” Toes on Fleek badge (ʘ‿ʘ)ノ for the custom tag! It looks like this was a difficult spot to sew in and we also are dying to know if the feet stretched to fit or did you adjust them for the bench?

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern
Lorri went rogue and repurposed feet she made for a mailbox after seeing this sad-looking bench.

Alex has a warning for us all: double check your bag and checklist before heading out to yarn bomb. On his way home from work he planned to install his first pair of feet, only to realize one was missing. Gah! He had to wait all night to see if he left it at work or dropped it and lost it forever. Fortunately it was hiding under a table at work, yay! Gonna hand Alex’s this chocolatey Butterfingers badge (ʘ‿ʘ)ノ.

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern
Alex’s three-toed variation in East Harlem.

Ok, last fun story. Jen has yarn bombed lots, but told us it’s with growing trepidation since several of her pieces have gone missing. For MFYBAL she asked the library if she could do the bike rack. Great idea! The more work you put into something, the more you risk by installing it guerrilla style. Getting permission not only can help your nerves but provide some reassurance it won’t go missing. In our experience, yarn bombing overwhelmingly leads to more positive things. And it did! “Amazing news. Library loves the idea. So much so they want to do a program around it!! I’m so excited. Thanks for the support guys.” Jen is saving the library for a bigger project since the risk is reduced. Smart Cookie badge (ʘ‿ʘ)ノ right there. We can’t wait to see where she puts her monster feet.

Hop on over to the MFYBAL forum and let us know how it’s going for you.

Week 3 recap

Before we get crocheting, we wanted to give a shout out to all the people who shared their week 3 progress. You guys are killing us with how much fun you’re having over on Instagram with these #mfybal posts and stories. Keep them coming, and remember to follow each other too!

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

Week 4: the Leg Section

OK let’s get down to business with this week’s crocheting.

If you’ve always made crochet stitches in the top of the row below, you’re about to go crazy and try something new! Crocheting is so sculptural and permissive. You can put the next stitch anywhere you want, really. So let’s do it! Check out the video tutorial above or follow along here with the photos.

Notice how your flaps from last week are splayed out to the sides to wrap around the pole. Now we need to build height with rows parallel to the ground. We’re just going to pretend our work so far is one big rectangle and keep going. Yep, we can totally do this: crochet lets you do whatever you want!

How many stitches are in this new row? It depends on how big around your pole is and how big your stitches are, so the pattern can’t say. Typically you’d make a swatch to determine your stitches per inch. But that’s a waste of time because we have two swatches right here in our flaps! If you get lost with swatching, the pattern has distilled it to the essentials for you. Just plug in the numbers and you get the number of stitches in the leg rows.

Number of stitches in leg row = (circumference of the pole / width of the flap row) x 12. We got 20.

Notice in the photo below that one row is worked across the top of entire piece. To evenly space the stitches, it helps to mentally divide your work into quarters. Put one quarter of the stitches in half of one flap, and so on.

Knits for Life Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

What if my pole isn’t straight?

Beth had this question in the forum because she’s doing a tapered chair leg. Since this is a small project and we don’t need to worry about wasting yarn, just make the flaps and leg to the largest circumference. When you install you can overlap the narrow areas to get a tailored fit.

So, keep crocheting until you reach your measured height and this project is almost done!

Next week we’ll be back for the toenails and claws. We look forward to seeing what you’re up to this week!

 

xxxo,

Lorna & Jill

@KnitsForLife

 

Quick links: MFYBAL overview, weeks 1, 23, 4, 5, 6.

Tutorials, Yarnbombs

MFYBAL Week 2


Quick links: MFYBAL overview, weeks 1, 23, 4, 5, 6.

Welcome to Week Two!

We hope you’ve been able to introduce yourself in the group forum and are ready with your pattern, materials, and measurements. It’s great to read your introductions and chats–keep them coming! We had fun following you back and checking out your social media feeds. Some of you’ve done some pretty sweet yarn bombing.

Remember, you can do everything in this yarn-bomb-along at your own pace. Simply follow along with the weekly posts as you come to the next step (linked at the top and bottom of every week’s page for reference). If you are ready to start the pattern but aren’t quite sure where you’ll put your monster feet yet, you can still crochet the toes this week. Next week we will use the measurements.

Beginners, did you get a chance to brush up on your skills? We posted a thread in the group forum for beginners’ resources. Feel free to check out the resources there and post anything else you find useful. Since the monster feet pattern is for advanced beginners, we’ll jump right into it this week and assume you know the basics of crochet.

Crochet warmup

It’s always a good idea to read through a pattern from the beginning. At the very least, be sure to read over the stitches and techniques used. Check that you’re familiar with the standard US terms and abbreviations we’re using at the end of the pattern.

The Craft Yarn Council is a great resource for needle arts at all levels. Here are some helpful resources:

As we work through the toes in our video below, we’ll show you how to half double crochet (hdc), then how to increase (inc) and decrease (dec) using hdc. Remember to use the internet! Anytime you need help with a term, search YouTube with the term plus the word crochet and look for a video that works for you. Or, post your question in the forum and we’ll help you out.

Making the toes

Each toe is a partial sphere that’s crocheted in the round as a spiral. You can find many ways to begin crocheting in the round and a million tutorials on YouTube. We like to start crocheting in the round with a magic ring (also called a magic loop, magic circle, adjustable loop). Use your preferred method; the important thing is to use a method that creates a tight ring so there’s no hole where stuffing can poke out. Here is a simple magic ring photo-tutorial Jill made for her favorite way to do it.

Once you’ve got your magic ring, follow along with this week’s video tutorial below. After a short recap of week 1, we crochet a toe together, explaining all the stitches involved along with a few pointers. Both newbies and experts can sit back and make a toe along with us.

See you online!

Remember to post your projects and questions in the forum and online using #MFYBAL. We’d love to hear, why do you like to yarn bomb? If this is your first one, what made you interested?

 

xxxo,

Lorna & Jill

@KnitsForLife

 

 

Quick links: MFYBAL overview, weeks 1, 23, 4, 5, 6.

New Patterns, News, Tutorials, Yarnbombs

New Crochet Pattern and Yarn-Bomb-Along


Quick links: MFYBAL overview, weeks 1, 23, 4, 5, 6.

 

New yarn bomb crochet pattern out today!

You’ve seen our Monster Feet Slippers crochet pattern, but did you know it all started with yarn bombing? Back in 2013, we snuck monster feet on our local mailbox and the requests for a slipper pattern came pouring in. But we never published exactly how to crochet them as a yarn bomb until now. The best part is, we’re kicking it off with a virtual yarn-bomb-along, starting today!

Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

Our new Monster Feet Yarn Bomb crochet pattern includes three silly versions and teaches you how to crochet an attached leg for any size pole. It’s chock full of process photos, was professionally tested and edited, and uses just one typical ball of worsted weight acrylic yarn. Use it to make a monster in your neighborhood, or sneak a pair on some furniture in your home.

Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

Buy the pattern on Etsy or Ravelry, then join in the fun with the Monster Feet Yarn-Bomb-Along. Don’t worry, you can jump in at any time and catch up on all the details here.

Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

Monster Feet Yarn-Bomb-Along Week 1

Welcome to our first ever Yarn-Bomb-Along! It’s week 1 and we are most excited about meeting you all. This week we do everything short of crocheting. If you’re a beginner and want to read through the pattern and brush up on your skills, now’s the time to do it. Here’s what we’ll do this week:

  • Introduce yourself in the Ravlery group
  • Get the pattern and materials
  • Pick a location and measure

Introductions

We are Lorna and Jill Watt. We are sisters who yarn bomb and design patterns for a living. Lorna likes bright, crazy things and Jill likes whimsy and cats. Basically, this is us. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and work in our art studio. People think we’re twins, but you can tell us apart because Jill is usually wearing a cat shirt.

Tell us about you! Join the Monster Feet Yarn-Bomb-Along Ravlery group and introduce yourself in the Introductions thread. The Ravlery group is where we will host our internet forum: essentially our cozy circle of virtual armchairs and yarn baskets. Bring your cats and your beverages–and all your questions and photos too. Ravelry.com is a free database for knitters and crocheters. If you don’t have an account, getting set up is free and easy. Once you’re logged in, navigate to groups and search for Monster Feet Yarn-Bomb-Along.

Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

Our hashtag around the web is #MFYBAL.

Pattern and Materials

Our new Monster Feet Yarn Bomb crochet pattern is now on Etsy and Ravelry. Purchase it and these other materials this week. Remember to check stores’ websites and apps for coupons!

200 yd worsted weight acrylic yarn

  • We like worsted weight because it’s widely available and makes a yarn bomb that’s a good size for most objects. That said, you can go as small or big as you like with your creation. The pattern will work with any weight yarn (and the appropriate hook).
  • We like acrylic yarn because the fiber and color stand up to the elements (they’re even flame retardant). Natural fibers age and deteriorate much faster. That said, we advocate for removing acrylic yarn bombs from the environment before they become pollutants.
  • Pictured is Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Flamingo, Blue, Coffee, Gold, and White.
  • One ball of Super Saver Yarn leaves enough extra to make very tall or thick legs. If you use yarn with a smaller ball, you may find yourself going over so make sure you get enough yarn.

optional 20 yd worsted weight acrylic yarn for claws or toenails

  • We like to use a high-contrast color so the details stand out.
  • Pictured is Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Delft Blue, Cafe Latte, Grenadine, and Flame.

crochet hook H/8 5 mm – J/10 6 mm

  • Gauge is not important, so use whatever size hook you have on hand or prefer.
  • If you use a different weight yarn, remember to use an appropriate size hook.

tapestry needle

You’ll need this to sew closed the gaps between toes, sew on any toenails or claws, weave in your ends, and to sew the yarn bomb in place.

removable stitch marker

We actually never use those fancy ones. Jill likes to use a bobby pin and Lorna uses the beginning yarn tail as a stitch marker.

fiberfill

Lorna has been known to use toilet paper and plastic bags to stuff yarn bombs.

soft measuring tape

This is our favorite yarn bombing tool!

Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet Pattern

What colors did you pick? What yarn are you using? Post your materials in the Ravelry group!

Choose a Location and Measure

In the video above, we talk more about what makes a good yarn bomb location and how to measure. So make sure to watch it! Where are you thinking of putting your Monster Feet? Do you have any questions or concerns? How else can we help? Post your questions in the Ravelry group where we can all give you feedback and discuss it in our upcoming live video.

This week you will take 2 measurements: the height and circumference of the object you want to yarn bomb. Easy!

Monster Feet Yarn Bomb Crochet PatternBecause gauge is not important, you don’t need to make a swatch. Instead, you’ll use your work as your swatch at the end of week 3. At that point, the pattern text tells you how to use these two measurements to determine the size of the leg. So you can forget all about gauges and swatching and just focus on getting some fun materials and these two measurements. If you are feeling indecisive and need more time, get your measurements by week 3 at the latest.

Ok, that’s a wrap for week 1. Chat at us in the Ravelry group and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @knitsforlife and #MFYBAL!

We’ll see you there!

 

xxxo,

Lorna & Jill

@KnitsForLife

 

Quick links: MFYBAL overview, weeks 1, 23, 4, 5, 6.

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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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…)

Yarnbombs

String Art Wall at SF’s new Seed + Salt


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…)

Yarnbombs

Yarnbomb at SF’s new Seed + Salt


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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…)