Ann Arbor Wrap Up

I don’t have a ton of photos to show for it, but my Wooly Woods crafting event in Ann Arbor earlier this month was so much fun!

Around 40 people of all ages came to the district library for fun with wrapping twigs with yarn. It’s such a simple project that I think it lets you get creative in unexpected ways—as soon as we got started I saw people making swings and I-cords and using the yarn in other ways that I wouldn’t have thought to do myself. Many of the participants were knitters and embellished with their own details or with the patterns that I brought to hand out, but many were new to yarn crafting entirely. (I was surprised at the number of people who were eager to learn to knit right on the spot!)

These two cuties showed up a bit late, but still managed to make some colorful sculptures to take home.

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I asked Erin the librarian if one really big branch could be supplied as a group project, and she came through with the perfect thing. Various people worked on it throughout the workshop, and we finished it just in time. It’s now hanging about the reference desk in the youth department.

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It’s hard to tell in this photo, but this branch is around six feet long!

One of the neat things about this workshop was the way that I picked up a couple of handy techniques when I was preparing for it. (Nothing like the challenge of teaching someone to get you to learn new stuff yourself!) First, it occurred to me that I should finally learn to make a proper yarn bobbin so that wrapping twigs didn’t also involve constantly chasing unraveling balls of yarn around the room.

Here’s the video I used to learn the technique:

These kinds of bobbins are also really handy for instarsia knitting.

I also thought pompoms would be a neat element to add to the wrapped twigs, but somehow I’d gone 33 years on this planet without ever making one myself! So I turned to Vickie Howell, who showed me the most basic way with this video:

I was impressed by the great results you can get just by using your hand. (A friend to help you tie a tight knot really does help too.) While I’m on the topic, I’ll mention that while I was researching pompom making I also stumbled across this technique for making mini pompoms using a fork.

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I foresee lots of tiny pompoms growing in my future Wooly Woods sculptures.

Thank you to the Ann Arbor District Library and to everyone who came out to the event!

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7 thoughts on “Ann Arbor Wrap Up

  1. I love the collaborative project! Thanks for sharing the yarn bobbin technique. I’d been doing the figure-eight wrapping, but had never learned the neat tying off trick.

  2. YOU LIVE IN ANN ARBOR?!!! I live two cities over. I follow your blog and admire you, and I can’t believe you live so close to me!!! Or where you just visiting. I would LOVE to come out to your next event. I can’t travel to Chicago, but if you do A2 again, PLEASE email me!! I’m saving this video so I can get some yarn and figure out what to do. I’m a sewer/quilter, but it’s all the same in the end. We make cute stuff (yours cuter than most!) that we love. I swear I’m not a weirdo.
    -karrie

  3. I was at this workshop and it ROCKED! People from 5 to 85 (I swear) were happily wrapping away. I don’t knit. but I was totally proud of the little branch I wrapped. Thanks, Anna, for giving us background on your twigs project and guiding us in this fun exercise!

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