I’ve been knitting for years, ever since I first made a Doctor Who scarf as a teenager. (Note: You should do a gauge swatch even if you don’t have a pattern to follow, or your scarf could wind up three feet wide. Ask me how I know.) I’ve been making socks since the 90s and have memorized the pattern I use. While I appreciate the advantages of brainless knitting, from time to time, I long for something more challenging.
Fortunately, the world is full of innovative knitters, and they are busy making weird and wonderful knitted objects.
I’ve already mentioned Hansi Singh, but I’m happy to report I discovered she has some patterns I didn’t know about, available via Ravelry. I keep going to the page and staring at the nautilus, which is amazing, but I’m also drawn to the chameleon and the frogs. All three patterns have the same attention to shaping and detail I associate with her captivating work.
Another source of inspiring if odd knitting ideas is this list of weird knitted gifts. While the brain hat is just disturbing, the dissected frog is actually pretty. The lobster sweater and the tortoise cozies both made me laugh.
But the really exciting knitting discovery I made recently is yarn bombing. Yarn bombing is a form of outdoor art installation: knitted or crocheted pieces are stitched onto things you don’t normally think of as having anything to do with yarn. Bike racks, hand rails, parking meters, sign poles, even cars, trees, and statues get encased in blankets of color.
Poking around online, I continue to be blown away by the installations as well as their creators. I’ve discovered Streetcolor, two artists who are covering Berkeley, CA, using yarn they’ve spun and dyed themselves, and Yarn Bomb Yukon, a Canadian group that takes on little projects like airplanes and woolly mammoths.
I’m not sure that I actually want to take up yarn bombing. I don’t think I have the nerves for that sort of public (and potentially illegal) activity. But I am grateful there are people out there doing it. All of these innovative knitters are giving me a gift: they help me to see how my knitting can interact with the world around me in new ways.
On Friday, I’ll show you my current knitting experiment which was inspired by yarn bombing.