One of the best things about Netflix is its big selection of indie documentaries, which (when they’re not in a foreign language) are great for knitting while watching. Last week I found myself watching Beauty is Embarrassing: The Wayne White Story while working on a new design, and it was the perfect inspiration after a long day of knitting and ripping the same thing multiple times. Wayne White’s name may not be familiar to you, but probably his work is.
His first big break was as a designer and puppeteer on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, one of my favorite childhood TV shows and one of my earliest creative influences. The part of the documentary covering the Pee-Wee days made me want to watch an entire documentary on the making of that show, but I was also interested to find out what the person behind the show’s visuals went on to do. (I also loved seeing clips from the fake alternative kids’ show that White and his puppeteer colleagues made when they were waiting to be needed on the set.)
White’s work in television went beyond kids’ shows. He was also the art director for the Smashing Pumpkins video Tonight, Tonight, among many other animation projects. I’m sure I saw this video back in the ’90s, but now that I’ve taken the film history classes, the old-timey sci-fi movie theme strikes me as especially clever and charming.
After getting burned out by Hollywood, White has gone on to make a career in the fine art world with his kitschy, sometimes vulgar word paintings.
I’m less excited about these myself, but I admire his approach to art (and the message of the documentary) that emphasizes playfulness and experimentation without getting preoccupied by what others expect from you. Maybe this is standard artist talk, but it’s something I can’t be reminded of enough as I question the direction of my own work on a daily basis. And the sheer nuttiness and devotion to fun that comes through in White’s work is contagious—I’m finding myself daydreaming about epic projects that border on the impossible, which is probably something we should all do.
So tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day! Believe it or not, I rarely knit in public myself, but I think it’s a great way to show fiber pride, educate people about the awesomeness of the craft, and recruit new knitters.
If you’re looking for a project to knit in public tomorrow, I have just the thing! Tiny Perching Pigeons is a free pattern that I designed a few years ago, originally for the purpose of knitting in public with the awesome people of Stitch London.
These guys knit up really fast, and if you’re so inclined, they’re a really fun project to leave behind for others to discover.
Speaking of leaving knitted presents for strangers, did you know there was an entire Ravelry group devoted to knitting tiny bunnies and hiding them around the world? They have more than 600 members!
You can find the free pattern for Tiny Baby Bunnies here.
If you’ll be knitting mochis, please take pictures and share in our Flickr group!
What’s that up in the air? Is it a bird? Is a drone?
It’s a new free pattern come to save us all!
Knit Kid and Purl Girl are faster than a speeding yarn swift, more powerful than a knitting machine, and able to untangle knots with a single tug!
You can find the pattern in the new “Little Heroes” issue of Petite Purls.
Look who’s finally arrived in the shop!
The Zaru the Monkey pattern is finally here, and I hope you find him worth the wait. This guy wants to swing from your trees and make general mischief with his ridiculously long tail. Knit him for yourself and your monkey-loving friends!
He’s now available as a PDF download for $6 in the Mochimochi Shop.
It’s a really long tail!
See how I designed Zaru in this guest post that I did for Whipup last year.
New photos from my April solo show The Wooly Woods are now on my art website!
Most of the photos were taken by my sister-in-law Jenna, who was my awesome travel companion to Berlin for this show. (Check out her gorgeous website, especially if you live in the NYC or New England area.)
I’ve also just listed the remaining eight pieces from the show in my shop. Shipping is free within the US!
If you’d like to receive news about my artwork and other non-pattern projects, you can sign up for my occasional newsletter here on annahrachovec.com.
Is it really the last day of May? I guess that means we need to squeeze in a few more of your bird photos today to finish out the month!
From Salla Ahola, adorable tiny pigeons go on a spring boat trip.
I’m a little worried for the purple bird in the front of the boat, who doesn’t seem to be wearing a life vest! But I guess birds can fly, too, so maybe a spill wouldn’t be a big deal.
Two picnicking squirrels encounter a hummingbird in this sweet scene by Jennifer:
Actually, there’s something very pigeon-like about that hummingbird, although I can’t quite put my finger on it…
And last but not least, FatalsAttraction recreated a haunting scene from a classic Mochimochi horror flick…
Don’t mess around with ghost chickens, I guess!
Thanks again to all of you who entered our Fine Feathered Photo Contest! Whether or not you joined in this time, please keep adding your photos of Mochimochi toys to our Flickr group. They might appear here on the blog, and they’ll automatically be entered in our big annual photo contest in the fall!