LR4: Yarn Bomb Update

New ArrivalsAs the yarn bomb approaches, boxes filled with swatches from contributing knitters around the world are appearing at my doorstep and still more are working to get theirs in under the wire. I am so appreciative of the support from all of you to help me pull this off. Friends, friends of friends and even complete strangers who share nothing but an interest in the whimsical and a willingness to help without asking anything in return have come through for me. I am blown away…

These swatches of awesome colors and patterns arrived today from Cathy in Pennsylvania. The skill it took to make these is on a whole other level from what I’m doing.

Cathy in Pennsylvania

These swatches, from Marti and Sandy in Virginia, look so professional and the yarn is so soft, I may connect them together to keep as a blanket when the bomb is defused.Marti and Sandy in Virginia

Constanza in Chile is working to get hers in under the wire.

Constanza in Chile

And lest you think I am sitting idly by while everyone else does the work for me, I’ve included a pic of me knitting while waiting for my flight at the LA Airport.LA Airport

It’s not too late to contribute swatches to the effort, but it’s getting close, so hurry! May 25 I start to map it out and connect the swatches to each other.

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LR4: Yarn Bomb Prep Work

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To take some measurements and get a feel for the task ahead, a volunteer and I climbed around the target. It’s huge!!!

Had to make another trip to the yarn store. This time I found the bright colors I’ve been seeking. Best part was a stop at the high end knitting shop, Knit and Pearl, where the salesperson asked if I was shopping for the yarn bomb. “THE yarn bomb?”, I asked. “Yes, I heard someone is planning on wrapping a tree on one of the trails.” Very cool!

Restocking

 

LR4: The Yarn Bomb Community is Growing

Dany Knitting in LondonThis is Dany, a recruit from London, England knitting swatches for the 12for2012 Yarn Bomb. (You watching Big Brother on your laptop?)

Here’s a swatch I received in the mail from 3 little girls, Maddie, Mackie and Alexia in Florida. Thanks Ladies!3 Little Girls

 

 

I used all 200 yards of yarn on this 4.5′ x 1.5′ swatch. My biggest yet.I used all 200 yards on this piece. 4.5' x 1.5'

 

A YB volunteer hiked with me up to the target yesterday so we could lay out a few swatches and get an idea how much work is still ahead of us. I was pleasantly surprised, but still lots more to go, so keep them coming.YB Target

 

Loaded up again at Michael’s with more yarn!

Restocking for the 12for2012 Yarn BombWe need more knitters so get to work. Also, we need to start recruiting people to help with the actual bombing, so if you’ll be in Santa Barbara the weekend of June 9th come out and be a part of the fun. Help knit or just hang out while we do the work. Details and maybe an FB page to come.

Finally, since we’re likely to get some attention for our efforts, why not make it an official attempt to “bring attention to” a worthy cause. Any suggestions?

LR4: Gift from Florida

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Just received a package in the mail from Mary Ann in Florida with this incredible array of swatches for our yarn bomb. How cool is that? Thank you!!!

LR4: Bump in the Yarn Bomb Road

This resolution is quickly becoming the most time consuming because of the addition of the Yarn Bomb. Ultimately the goal is to “Learn How to Knit” and if you subscribe to the 10,000 hours philosophy argued by Malcolm Gladwell and others, the yarn bomb project is the perfect instrument for helping me succeed. However, I have a limited time to accomplish this goal and set a very high bar for myself in choosing such a large target. I am doing my best to knit as fast as possible, but one of the great things about knitting, in that it forces you to focus on the here and now to the exclusion of everything else, makes it a poor addition to trying to satisfy 24 resolutions in a year because I can’t multitask.knitting with stones

When I set the Yarn Bombing goal I figured I had about 2 months of knitting, and while it would be tight, I thought it was “doable”. Unfortunately, my body is great at manufacturing kidney stones and 3 weeks ago it made 5 simultaneously. I’m not complaining and I’m perfectly fine again now, but it did mean much time in the hospital and most of it in too much pain to focus on knitting. It was a setback, but I’m not giving up. I’m doubling my own efforts and doubling my requests for help.

swatchesThank you so much to all of you who have sent me swatches. Every time I receive one in the mail, especially from people I’ve never met, it gives me a huge boost in energy, not just for this resolution, but for 12for2012 in general. I can’t thank you enough for your help. PLEASE keep them coming. I’ve been sent many photos of people working hard on very large pieces and it will be a huge relief when they arrive. For now, this photo shows what I have in hand so far. (The purple ruler in the center is 1 foot long for perspective.)

PS I have not posted my mailing address because I just don’t think it’s a good idea to have it out there like that on the internet, but if you comment below I will provide it to you privately in an email.

LR4: Yarn Bomb Taking Shape

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Thanks to my inexperience, I am by far the weakest link and already I have swatches that cover about 5’x3′. My guess is they could be stretched to cover close to 50% more if need be. With contributions coming in from another 17 or so volunteers, I’m liking our chances for success by the target date.
If you want to be a part of the SB Yarn Bomb, let me know. It’s not too late.

LR4: Yarn Bombers Wanted

While recruiting knitters to be a part of the Santa Barbara Yarn Bomb, the same questions keep popping up. This entry is going to provide all of the logistical details for the upcoming YB, answering those questions, making it easier to recruit more team members and helping assure that we are all on the same page in terms of what is expected and what we are working towards.

YB Target from 1.5 Miles

YB Target from 1.5 Miles Away

Where

There is a Eucalyptus Tree 2.6 miles from the trailhead on the Cold Spring Trail (East Fork) in Santa Barbara, CA. It stands approximately 2,500 feet above sea level and because it is at the edge and surrounded by low desert scrub brush, it can be seen from a distance.

For those who are concerned, only yarn is used so no damage will be done to the tree.

When

The plan is for our yarn bomb to be up and ready for viewing on Sunday, June 10th, International Yarn Bombing Day. In order to accomplish this, we will need to start bringing together all the contributed pieces about a month before that.

Artist's Rendering of the Yarn Bomb

Artist's Rendering of the Completed Yarn Bomb

How Can I Join In The Fun?

At the moment we have 17 contributing knitters from California, Georgia, Florida, England, France and Bulgaria, but we need many more. This tree is more than 30 feet high with many large branches and a trunk that is more than 9 feet around.

In keeping with the hippy California style and representative of the collaborative effort, this yarn bomb will have a patchwork look. We need knitted swatches of any size, color and pattern. They don’t have to be fancy or even perfect.

Swatch Examples

Swatch Examples

If you want to join the team, let us know by replying to this post. You can also help simply by bringing our project to the attention of knitters who you know. I will be happy to give full credit for your contributions and provide plenty of pics of the final result.

If you live in Santa Barbara or will be here in June, we could use your help bringing the swatches together, covering the tree or just to hang out while we do the work.

View from the Tree

View of Santa Barbara from the Tree

We need your help. Please share this post with as many people as possible. THANKS!

LR4: Knitting Update

Knitting in FlightIt’s been 9 days since I took up knitting and I’m happy to say, I’ve made some progress.

Couple of things I’ve learned along the way: Knitting tight stitches makes for a much nicer result, but it’s very hard to knit tightly with wooden needles. It was frustrating the hell out of me and I was developing a callous (keep your snide comments to yourself), so I recently switched to metal ones. Knitting needles are allowed on the airplane and it’s a great way to pass the time when flying. Unlike reading on an iPad or Kindle, you can start knitting when you board and go right on through to deplaning. Once you get your rhythm, it’s a meditative activity, allowing you to be productive while clearing your mind.

I’m amazed by the reaction I’ve gotten to this resolution, but mostly to this photo of me knitting in-flight. I mean, I’m a 44 year old man who has taken up unicycling, slacklining and jumping stilts prior to this resolution, but it wasn’t until I was photographed knitting in public that I was called “crazy” by several of my friends and relatives. (Would the reactions have been completely the opposite if I were a female?)

Knitting Totem PoleAs for my knitting skills, I’ve made a few mistakes, which I’ve highlighted in this photo. Some have suggested that I start over again (thanks for the support!), but I’ve decided instead to make this first piece a record of my progress. A sort of progressional totem pole of my knitting evolution. Hopefully, I’ll get better and the progress will be apparent for all to see.
Eucalyptus TreeNow for the fun part. I know I said that I wasn’t going to jump right into Yarn Bombing, but I’ve changed my mind. Making a scarf is fun, but to be honest, I don’t wear scarves and no one else would want to wear this debacle when I’m done. Instead, I am going to attempt a yarn bombing of this tree on the Cold Spring Trail in Santa Barbara. It’s marks roughly the halfway point to Montecito Peak and is a favorite destination for many hikers in the area. It’s nearly 30 feet high and right on the edge of the mountain, making it really stand out among the tiny desert shrubs surrounding it.
 You can see it from a great distance along the trail.

Yarn Bombed Tree

Yarn Bombed Tree

However, I won’t have a shot at covering the whole tree without some help. So, if you or anyone you know is a knitter, I’d like to enlist your help by asking you to knit a section(s) that I can connect to mine. I don’t care what color, what pattern or even how big you make it, so long as it is yarn and knitted. I simply need to cover surface area. If you help by knitting some swatches and mailing them to me, I’ll give you full credit for your efforts and send you pictures of the finished product for you to share with your friends.

Yarn Bombed Tree

Yarn Bombed Tree

Come on, it should be a blast to be part of a yarn bomb, so please help me by knitting a swatch AND passing this plea along to others. If you don’t know how to knit, now’s a great time to learn. Go to a local knitting shop and I guarantee they will be very happy to teach you. It’s easy and a great little project to do with your kids!

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Yarn Bomb Target

Yarn Bomb Target

LR4: Learn How to Knit

Yeah, I know, not very exciting. Let’s not forget the mandate for the learning resolution. “I’m looking for quirky, seemingly difficult things that most people marvel at, yet could be accomplished if you just make an effort and have the discipline and tenacity to stick with it.” Well, maybe you don’t marvel at it, but I do, especially when I see these yarn bombsgoing off all over the place lately.

Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing

I’m not jumping right into the yarn bombing (although I am secretly fantasizing about it), but instead I am attempting a simple, straightforward scarf with a single ball of yarn. I started last night with instruction from Barb. I figured it would be a way for me to relax, to find my inner zen. What I found, was frustration and anger. I restarted twice and never settled into a rhythm. I went to sleep exhausted and uptight.

I will not give up though. I’m hoping that with enough repetition I’ll find that rhythm and learn to enjoy it. If not, at least I’ll have a scarf to show for my effort.

PS: When I mentioned that I’d taken up knitting for my 4th resolution, a friend started sending me a bunch of links under the header, “Inspiration.” Apparently, knitting has become quite an underground phenomenon among some men.