Monday 30 June 2014

What's the Knit a Bike Installation made of?

The Knit a Bike Installation in Rowntree Park

Sugar & spice and all things nice - no, nothing like that - well, maybe the all things nice bit!  The other day, I was writing a letter detailing what went into the Knit a Bike Installation & afterwards, I thought other people might like to know too.  So here goes:

The mini jersey bunting:
79 mini tour jerseys
37 metres of knitted bunting cord 

The big jerseys:
4 large tour jerseys made from 4 wool blankets cut up into yarn
20 red felt polka dots stitched in place

The writing:
13 metres of finger knitting

The bike:
12 metres of arm knitting
10 metres of finger knitting
1.9 metres of crochet 

Not to mention:
3 decorated wheels
54 pompoms
1 information sign

All made by lots of lovely people :

at two workshops
84 person hours

and the Fairfax Court Yarnbombers
100 person hours

And that doesn't include all the additional time people spent at home making things for us.  

And finally:
Time Taken to Put up the Installation
18 person hours

So once again thanks to everyone who helped to #bepartofit!  And thanks to the Friends of Rowntree Park for sponsoring us and to Rowntree Park Reading Cafe and Your Bike Shed Bicycle Cafe for letting us hold out workshops there.

Monday 23 June 2014

York City Walls "Dress to Impress" for the Grand Départ - Banner by Nest of Makers

Who we are
Part of the welcome for the Grand Départ in York will be a series of five-metre long banners hung from the City Walls.  They have been created by residents & community groups as part of a partnership project between City of York Council and the Quilt Museum.  It's called Dress to Impress and is part of the York: Be part of it programme.  

Nest of Makers, a textile group which I belong to, has made a banner for Dress to Impress.  You can see it here.  Although the pictures show different sections you'll get the general idea.

What we do

Within the group we all have different skills and expertise and the banner uses quite a selection.  There's patchwork, quilting, applique, machine embroidery, tucks and textures, constructed fabrics, hand dyed fabrics, fabric flower making, knitting & upcycling.  

Those involved have been Heather Chalkley, Gill Cooper, Bryony Downing, Fiona Hirst (Grace & Jacob), Jo Leigh, Nadine Paver (York School of Sewing), Stefanie Stead & me.

Where we live
We can't wait to see it hanging on the City Walls along with all the other banners. Altogether there will be about 60 banners. The idea is that they should catch the eye of residents, visitors and add to the visual impact of the city when the aerial TV cameras take to the skies on 6 July.  That means that they will be seen by millions of viewers from over 150 countries who are all watching the Tour de France as it leaves York.  Fame at last? 

(By the way in case you were wondering - we don't actually live in Clifford's Tower - that's just meant to represent York) 

All the banners were laid out in the Guildhall today and looked fantastic.  Hop over to the Dress to Impress Facebook page and take a look at them all

Monday 16 June 2014

World Wide Knit in Public Day & Knit to Gather Project

Knitting in public with plastic bag yarn

Sunday 15 June was a World Wide Knit in Public Day.  So, I thought I'd go out and take part.  I chose one of my favourite venues - Rowntree Park Cafe in York and off I went.  My project was quite specific.  I am knitting some squares from used plastic carrier bags for the community knitting project "Knit to gather".  The aim of this project is to make a large scale dress from these knitted plastic squares.  And it will be exhibited at the June Art Markets in Holmfirth on Sunday 22 June & Sunday 29 June 2014.  The project is being co-ordinated by Rebecca Fairley & Emma Kirkby-Geddes.

However there was a little yarn preparation involved before I started.  I chose a couple of suitable plastic bags (one very large and one standard size).  I opened them out, cut off any handle bits, cut up the side and along the bottom until I had a flat rectangular shape.  Then I cut in a spiral with the width varying (quite wildly and widely from about 1cm to 5cm) until all the bags were cut up.  I ended up with 2 balls of yarn.  One largeish and one small.  Here's the bigger of the two.  

plastic bag yarn

It weighed in at 85g.  I don't know what the smaller one weighed as I cut that one up when I was out.

more plastic bag yarn

The aim was to knit some 20cm squares for the project.  My first square used 15mm needles, 12 stitches and what I call Grandma stitch as it was a stitch my Grandma taught me when I was little.  It looked like this ... 

Grandma stitch square

Using the same needles and number of stitches I then knitted a stocking stitch square ...

stocking stitch square

and then using 9mm needles and 18 stitches I knitted a garter stitch square which also needed my second ball of plastic bag yarn ...

garter stitch square incorporating most of the second smaller ball of yarn

When you look at them altogether you can see that the Grandma stitch square is somewhat larger.  Anyway I hope they will be some use to the "Knit to gather" project.
all three squares - rather varying sizes!

Here's an article from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner about the project: 
Holmfirth is knitting plastic bags together on this arty 're-cycling' project 
and I can't wait to see the finished dress!

Thursday 12 June 2014

New @Hippystitch

With an event coming up this Friday 13 June 2014 I thought I'd just let you see a few new things that will be available.  Let's begin with everything bike - well it's not long till Le Tour Yorkshire leaves York (6 July 2014).  First for the bike mad Dads - because it is Father's Day on Sunday we have ...

Father's Day Bike Cards
or if you want a souvenir card for Le Tour Yorkshire then there's ...

Le Tour Yorkshire 2014 Cards
or maybe you don't need a card but you would like a bike bag to put your stuff in.  And there's even a choice of bike colours ...

Bike bags in blue, black or pink
If you were involved in making the Knit a Bike Yarnstormed Installation now up in Rowntree Park, York, then you may want a souvenir badge (although there aren't many left!) ...

Knit a Bike Badges

and if bikes are really not your thing then there's still the lovely Liberty print fabric necklaces in lots of new prints 

Liberty print fabric necklaces

or People & Places brooches ...

People & Places Brooches - there is a bike option but only if it's your choice!

button brooches ...
Button Brooches

button bracelets ...
Button Bracelets
geology map notebooks ...

Vintage Geology Map Notebooks

plus lots of other cards and jewellery.  So why not come along & join us for tea & cake & see what takes your fancy on Friday 13 June 2014.  Full details on the Hippystitch Events page.

Nicola's Cards will also be there and we're raising money for Candlelighters

Saturday 7 June 2014

Knit a Bike Yarnstormed Installation for Le Tour Yorkshire - Rowntree Park, York

Friday 6 June 2014 was the day that we put up the Knit a Bike Yarnstormed Installation in Rowntree Park, York in celebration of the Tour de France Grand Depart which leaves York on 6 July 2014.  It was a beautiful sunny day - thank goodness!

First of all we had to lay out our equipment & plans ... 

wheels and whatnot
ladder & plans
Then up went the mini bunting ...

mini bunting on display

followed by the big jerseys ...

Deborah & Helen hard at work
Meanwhile I got to work on the bike ...

bike in progress

 and the text ...

le tour ?
Deborah working on a wheel

and eventually the writing was complete together with wheels & pompoms!

le tour yorkshire in finger knitting

Le Tour wheel
crochet wheel

So were the jerseys ...

big knitting tour jerseys on display

and finally the bike ...

the bike - created from arm & finger knitting & a bit of crochet

et voila ...

We started at 10am and foolishly thought we would be done by lunchtime.  In fact it was about 4pm when we finally finished.  We think it was worth it though and we hope you do too.  Thanks to everyone who came along to help create this installation either at Workshop #1 or Workshop #2 to #bepartofit or sent us mini jerseys (especially the Fairfax Court Yarnbombers who made 33!).  Extra thank yous go to Deborah New who helped me organise and run this project and to Helen Hodge who helped us install it.

This project was sponsored by ...

was part of York: Be part of it ...

and the Yorkshire Festival 2014 ...

The first workshop took place during Voluntary Arts Week and both were in Craft & Design Month 2014.

And now I think I'll go and put my feet up for a bit!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Fairfax Court Yarnbombers Strike Again!

Fairfax Court Yarnbombers with all their mini yellow jerseys -
Dot, Edna, Doris, Doreen & Pauline

You may remember the productivity of the Fairfax Court Yarnbombers from our Yarnbombing Event in Rowntree Park last year.  Well - they've come up trumps again! 

Jose, from the Fairfax Court Knit & Natter Group, was in touch to see what was going on this year.  So, I went along at the end of April.  We talked about the Yorkshire Festival 2014, and York: Be part of it. Both are celebrating the Grand Départ of the Tour de France with 100 days of art & culture from 27 March to 6 July 2014 when Le Tour leaves York.  I also told them about our part in it - the Knit a Bike yarnstorming project. And in no time at all they'd knitted loads of mini yellow tour jerseys for our Knit a Bike Installation.

A very big thank you to Jose, Dot, Edna, Doris, Doreen & Pauline - great work ladies!  

The Knit a Bike Installation goes up in Rowntree Park on 6 June 2014 & will be in place for International Yarnbombing Day on Saturday 7 June 2014.