Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yarny things.

Brace yourselves. It's a post about knitting.

You can blame Kriss Morton, a.k.a. the Cabin Goddess, who wants me to post a photo of the mittens I made for her this summer. Kriss, here you go!

Yes, that's right -- I knitted a pair of mittens that say, "Cold as Fuck." As you might imagine, there's a story behind them.

Kriss lives in Alaska, and last winter she found the pattern for these mittens on Ravelry. She doesn't knit, so she asked me to make them for her. As it happened, my daughter Amy had the yarn that the pattern calls for. And I thought mittens would be a good summer project (mainly because they don't create a pile of knitted-up wool that pools in your lap). So Kriss has her mittens and I had my fill of knitting in two colors and reading a chart.

After the mittens, I thought I'd work on something easier. So I decided to knit myself a cowl. I bought some bulky yarn (because it knits up quick), and a pattern called "Grace." But of course I couldn't just knit the thing in one color, like the pattern calls for. No, I had to go all psycho and make each side of the cable a different color. Here, you can see what I've got so far. (The glasses are holding down the edges so you can get the full effect.)

You can't see it in this picture, but there are five strands of yarn coming off the top of the project. Five. How this is easier than the two strands I was using for the mittens, I have yet to figure out. I might finish this "quick" project in another month or so.

So that's been my knitting foolery this summer, except for the shawl project that I took with me to Albuquerque and never pulled out to work on, except on the plane. Here's a shot of the finished product. The yarn was awful -- it kept breaking on me -- but the finished product looks okay.

Yarn seems to be a theme this summer for us. The girls and I, along with my friend Kim, trekked to downtown DC yesterday to visit the Corcoran one last time before the National Gallery of Art takes over and closes it for renovations. As we were going to be down there anyway, Amy mentioned that the Smithsonian staff had yarn-bombed the Castle to promote a show at the Sackler next door. So of course we had to see it.

Our first clue was the gate to the Haupt Memorial Garden, which was covered in knitted fabric. The little tags hanging from the knitting are cards advertising the show at the Sackler.

A pillar outside the Sackler.
When we went into the garden, we discovered that the gate wasn't the only thing that had been yarn-bombed. The railings along the grass and the pillars leading into the Sackler were also wrapped in red knitting.

With a knitted effort like that, we had to go in to see the show.

The artist's name is Chiharu Shiota, and the installation, called "Over the Continents," is pictured on the right. It's made up of shoes, all tied together by red yarn to a central point on the wall.

The shoes were all donated by people in Japan. Shiota asked for shoes that the person didn't ever intend to wear again, but didn't want to throw away. The donors all filled out little cards with the stories behind their shoes, and the cards are tied to the shoes -- but they're all in Japanese. Thank goodness there's a computer terminal nearby with translations of some of the stories.

The artist apparently attracted quite a crowd while setting up the installation -- a bunch of kids gathered around to watch her.

The installation will be up through next June, if you're interested in seeing it. But the yarn bombing will only be up for another few days. 

These moments of yarny blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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