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.
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.
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!
I’m looking forward to my first Chicago Yarn Crawl coming up next month!
As part of the crawl’s events, I’m going to be at Sifu Design Studio signing books from 10am to 1 pm.
Then in the afternoon, I’ll be teaching a tiny chicken class!
This pattern incorporates elements that I use in many of my designs (like I-cords and picking up stitches), so it’s a great starting point for those new to tiny knitting. You’ll be well on your way to having a mini flock by the end of class!
You can find all of the class details and sign up on the Sifu website.
I’m looking forward to seeing all the yarn crawlers next month!
Yesterday I spent a couple hours on my porch working on a new piece of the Wooly Woods. This one will be the biggest Twiggin home yet!
If you weren’t visiting this blog when I was preparing for my show last year, I gathered twigs and branches that had fallen near my home in Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy, and I used those as forms for sculptures, wrapping the twigs in colorful yarn and placing little characters (many of whom were a species I call Twiggins) on them.
It was one of my favorite projects ever, and it occurred to me after moving to Chicago that I could continue it here—Chicago is known for begin especially windy, after all, and that means more twigs for me to gather! (Yes, I know that the “windy” in “windy city” is referring to politicians, but I’ve found that it is also a windy city in the literal sense.)
So I’ve started gathering twigs in my new home, and it didn’t take long before I spotted the really big twig that had fallen in a storm. I love seeing it transform into something a bit more magical.
This piece may make its debut at VK LIVE in October, but I should also mention that I’m going to be leading a workshop with this same theme in Ann Arbor next month! If you’ll be in the area, please join me on July 12th at the city library for a fun session of knitting with nature. All are welcome to wrap twigs (much smaller than my big twig!) in colorful yarn, and those who knit will be supplied with patterns to make creatures to live in their twig. It should be fun for all ages and skill levels! Check out the Ann Arbor District Library website for more information.
Registration is now open for this October’s Vogue Knitting LIVE Chicago! Last year I got to experience VK Live Chicago as an artist in the gallery (and as a brand-new Chicago resident), and this year I’m slated to teach three classes PLUS have a presence in the art gallery again. It’s going to be quite a weekend!
Check out my class descriptions after the jump.
Going to Vogue Knitting LIVE in Seattle this weekend? Keep an eye out for mini footballs on Sunday!
Ten of these footballs (five in classic “pigskin” brown, five in Seahawks colors) will be hidden all around the marketplace, and the ten people who hunt them down will each receive a free copy of my book Huge & Huggable Mochimochi!
They can also keep the footballs.
If you’re not familiar with Vogue Knitting LIVE, it’s an incredible weekend of classes, talks, panels, tons of shopping, and knitted art like you’ve never seen before. I’m sorry to be missing it, even though my absence is for a good cause: I’m working on a new book! I’m happy that at least I’ll be there in spirit with the football hunt. And if you’re going to the Chicago show in October, I’ll see you there.
The tiny football pattern can be found in my Tiny Fall collection. (Winter may be just ending, but it’ll probably be football season again before we know it!)