If lately things have seemed a little quiet here on the blog, it’s because I’ve been working round the clock on pieces for my upcoming show in Berlin for the past several weeks. This is what the floor of my bedroom/studio is looking like these days.
Watch your step!
These twigs and branches are what I’m using as the bases for my pieces. I’ve been collecting them in various sizes and shapes, and I’m trying to let the forms of the wood inspire the scenes that play out on them.
I’m knitting my cast of characters at the same time, and most of them get off to a humble start, stashed away in this plastic bag until I need them.
Working on ideas for a piece is a little like playing with action figures. I experiment with using different characters in different colors, and see what I can make them do in the twigs.
(I’ve been leaving the loose ends on most of the creatures so that I can be really precise when attaching each arm and leg.)
Here’s a piece in progress that’s soon to be ready for assembly. It’s fun and challenging to see how many different ways I can make the monkeys interact with each other and their miniature environment.
Just stitching the little guys on each piece can take from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the size and detail. It feels like this show is taking all my time, patience, and creative energy these days, but I love a crazy big project and I hope the results will feel worth the work.
I’ll have the full information and more photos soon, but this show will be on exhibit at Smallspace gallery in Berlin April 10-14th, during the Pictoplasma character art festival. I’ll also be giving a talk (open to festival attendees) and leading a knitting workshop with local knitters. Time and place TBA!
I’m feeling almost not worthy of the beautiful poems you wrote about the humble butterfly I posted on Friday! Here’s a sneak preview of the reason I designed a butterfly in the first place.
This is a detail of a piece that will be in my upcoming show in Berlin, which I’ve been working on nonstop for the past several weeks. (More on that soon!)
Moving on: there were so many fantastic poems that I can’t pick a single favorite. I have FOUR favorites, and it was difficult to even narrow it down to that. I’m going to order them here from silliest to most serious.
This right here is Tiny Butterfly
She’ll eat any kind of food that comes by!
Whether it’s a slice of rhubarb pie
or a bowl of noodles from Shanghai
even soup which was really fluorescent pink dye!
Hmmmm… that’s probably most likely why…
She has such bright pink wings to fly!
There once was a little pink butterfly,
Who liked making scrapbooks on Shutterfly.
But one day she tripped…
All her captions were flipped!
That poor little pink “flutterby”.
From Zoe Lowinfell Cauvel :
Petite Lepidoptera, Butterfly.
Fluttering ‘round in my mind’s eye.
More magical than the fourth of July.
Diaphanous wings leave me tongue-tied.
Upon warm breezes glistered wings glide,
and awaken memories of summer time.
The wings of these, the butterflies,
wink their scarlet mist and I utter sighs.
Wisps of membrane, each fold
a fan, somehow hold
the fat forms in air.
I see them there
bobbing along flower
to flower, passing each hour
as though they could live beyond life. Pine
for what they cannot have: the distant buds, time.
Each petal falls and then, they swift of wing do fly
over far-off hills to birth their babes, to die.
I am so eager for spring right now! Because I can’t make myself choose a favorite, all four of these poets will get a set of tiny mochi pins!
(Winners, I’ll email you soon for your addresses.)
Thank you to everyone who contributed a poem!
Update: We had so many great entries that we chose four winners!
Happy March! This is maybe my favorite month transition of the year, because spring is coming. And spring brings lovely things like butterflies!
How about a tiny poetry contest for this little guy? Leave a comment on this post with a tiny poem about this tiny butterfly, and we’ll pick our favorite on Monday. The author of our favorite tiny butterfly poem will win…
A set of tiny mochis pinback buttons from the Mochimochi Shop!
Psst: Extra points will be given for unusual rhymes with the word “butterfly!”
I haven’t seen the new Les Misérables movie, but I’m nevertheless in love with this tiny Javert knitted by Gillian!
According to her description, Gillian (goblinqueen10 on Flickr) used the Tiny Pirate pattern as a base for creating her little uniformed Frenchman. It reminds me of Zephrbabe’s Tiny Napoleon, except taller and with a little more glitz!
If you’ve made a fun mod on a Mochimochi pattern, be sure to add your photos to our Flickr group! They’ll appear on our gallery page, and they’ll be automatically entered in our next big photo contest.
By the way, I’ve been thinking about holding another springtime-themed mini photo contest. Hopefully I’ll get that together soon and announce it in March!
I’m thrilled to make a small appearance in the Spring 2013 issue of Knitscene magazine!
Kim Werker wrote a great article about Maker Faire and the relationship between craft and tech, and she included a semi-coherent quote by yours truly on the subject, along with a couple photos of me knitting tiny gnomes at the NYC Maker Faire in September.
Maker Faire was maybe the most inspiring event that I took part in last year. Even though I mostly stayed in one place (at the BUST Craftacular), the people I met there were consistently curious and open to all things crafty in addition to electronics and other tech. So I’m happy that Kim is spreading the word to other knitters!
I also interviewed Kim last year after I met her at Maker Faire—check that out if you haven’t read it!
Thank you to Kim, and also to my mother-in-law Bonney for spotting the magazine!
I asked all of you to leave a comment on Monday’s post saying what your favorite NYC icon is, and I loved the variety of responses. Out of 127 comments, the randomly selected winner is…
Number 106, written by Venessa!
The subway. it’s always bustling with energy.
I have to agree with Venessa that the subway is one of my favorite parts of the city. Even when it’s slow and a little smelly and kind of screechy, I love that I can take public transportation everywhere from the station right outside my Brooklyn apartment. I don’t miss having a car at all!
So congratulations for Venessa, who will get Lauren’s new book!
Stitch NYC is available at bookstores everywhere, including Amazon. If you have a local yarn store, check to see if it’s there first!
Thanks to Lauren and her publisher David & Charles for letting me do this giveaway!
My projects have been getting twisted in the very best way lately. Anyone stepping into my bedroom/studio these days has to navigate this colorful mess!
This knotty bunch of yarn and wood will become a new solo show to open in Berlin for the Pictoplasma festival in April. It’s such a new and whirlwind project that I don’t even have a name for it yet!
More details and updates to come soon…
Update: Thank you for all the great comments about your favorite NYC icons! The randomly-selected winner has been chosen!
I have some big-city knitting cuteness to share today! Lauren O’Farrell, my fellow designer of strange knitted things, has a new book of patterns out! And it’s set in my favorite city…
I actually had an unexpected role in this book, when Lauren showed up at my Brooklyn apartment and asked me to model some unusual garments on my stoop…
Don’t worry—I have no ambitions of quitting my day job.
The adorable creature with me is Bandit, my sister-in-law Jenna’s dog who was a perfect model for a number of dog costumes (because New Yorkers dress up their dogs for all occasions).
How cute is he!?! It’s bittersweet to see this silly face, because Bandit sadly passed away on January 1st this year, about five months after these photos were taken. He is sorely missed! But it makes me happy that he could be immortalized in hilarious costumes.
Lauren’s publisher David & Charles was nice enough to send me a copy of Stitch New York to give away, so one of you will get a copy! (And I’m sure the rest of you will buy it!) Just leave a comment on this post telling us about your favorite NYC icon. Please leave only one comment per person, and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Friday!
And if you haven’t read it, check out the interview I did with Lauren a couple years back. She’s fascinating!