Friday, 31 July 2015

7 Yarnbombing Tips and 4 Free Printable Tags for Your Yarnbomb.

These are free downloadable tags, both with space for a website or your name, or without.  Please feel free to use them on your yarn bomb and craftivism. 

1. The long and the short of it
If you’re covering an object get yourself some measurements, from there there’s two things you can do. You can make a swatch, a swatch is a test square to see how many stitches you’ll need to make your yarn bomb fit like a glove, this is affected by the size of your hook/needles, the thickness of your yarn and your own personal knitting/crochet tension. Or you can go the freeform route and cut out a template and sew patches or work outwards in various ways until it’s the right size and shape for your chosen naked object. if it’s an odd shape rather than a square or rectangle I usually go route two, If people are sending me pieces by post (from the whispering part before, remember?) I tend to swatch so I can tell people what size patches I am after so I don’t end up with an odd shaped yarn bomb. 

2. Knitting/crochet is a superpower, use it for good
I’m talking craftivism, craft activism, you can use your knitting and crochet to highlight a cause, advertise a boycott of a dodgy multinational in a friendly, often humorous and inclusive way, or adorn the doors of a local charity/ethical business like a charity shop or community centre (you know people will pop inside to ask about it, giving them some helpful extra exposure.)

3. Wet yarn damages tree trunks.
We’ve all seen those photos of streets lined with gorgeous, multicoloured tree trunks, they look like something out of a dr seus book, just magical. Unfortunately unless they were done somewhere very arid, those yarn bombs probably (hopefully) came down after a day or two and if not they could do irreparable damage to the tree. It’s not just the natural yarns known for holding on to moisture (we’ve all had those stories from older generations of sagging, heavy knitted swimming trunks) but acrylic yarns and plarn (plastic bag yarn) still trap moisture against the trunk that can rot it, leaving the more delicate flesh of the tree exposed to weathering and pests.

4. Get all up in everyone's face about it, or don't
You want to share it with the world and make everyone happy and enjoy their environment just a little bit more that day for seeing. but what environment do you want that to be? A lot of people tend to yarn bomb very public places, which stands to reason, if you worked your arse off to make it and it’s probably going to get rained on, taken down, or vandalised at some point, you want as many people as possible to enjoy it before that happens god damn it! But on the other side of the coin yarnbombing, or any types of guerrilla art/craft is an excelent way to bring beauty to spaces that are under appreciated and bring a free art movement to people that wouldn’t usually bother with galleries.

5. Make like Banksy and tag it
There are still a few people on the planet that haven’t heard of yarnbombing and some of them will presume it’s either vandalism that needs removing because it will harm whatever it’s attached to, or, more often, lost property. You can pop on a note, preferably laminated, with a little information about why you yarn bombed and what yarnbombing is (people like to be in on the secret) maybe your name or a pseudonym, if there’s a bunch of you make up a catchy group name, and that it’s not harming whatever it’s on.

6. Shout about it, whisper about it
I’ve discovered this week local news LOVE yarnbombing, once it’s up send all the local papers, tv and radio stations, you can send in an anonymous tip or offer interviews and photographs about them, you want people to see your hard work and enjoy interacting with it. but before you do you need to whisper about it, send out feelers to those who might want to make parts, help you in putting up your yarn bomb and possibly play lookout/getaway driver. Get yourself a gang or a yarn army but if it’s political, could cause offence (as is occasionally the case with craftivism, some people express some quite polarising opinions with it) or if you think it’ll get taken down straight away due to where it is ( remember, it is often technically illegal if you don’t have permission for it) keep what, when and who fairly secret to stop it being scuppered.

7. Attachment theory
ZIP TIES, ZIP TIES, ZIP TIES, those godly little strips of plastic are fast, don’t require pointy objects and super strong. Plus you know your piece isn’t going to fly off at the first sign on wind. Occasionally you might want to yarn bomb in a place of nature, in that case use a natural string or wool so they will break down easily and safely when they eventually fall off. Wherever you yarn bomb, make sure your yarn bomb is safely secure, doesn’t endanger anyone, and pop on a hi vis jacket, lanyard or carry a clipboard if you can, it’s rare someone questions your authority with a clipboard.

I hope this has been helpful and you now feel ready to go out and yarn bomb the world, or if you're already a seasoned guerrilla crafter I hope you've enjoyed reading how I go about it. Please leave any other tips you think me or my readers could use and if you use the free downloadable tags I'd love it if you'd show me what you've used them for on my Facebook ,  on my twitter or on my instagram.

Love and naughty knitting

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Still life photography tarot cards

A little while ago I was asked to make tarot cards for two of my favourite people, James and Blair. These were no ordinary tarot cards, they're getting married and to show what he'd do for Blair, James got all their creative friends to make two tarot cards each on the theme of a certain aspect of their relationship and things he'd happily do for blair in the future. I was given transformation and sacrifice.

As Blair's a fellow witch ( go check out his videos at WitchesMIX, it's full of interesting advice and tips about various aspects of paganism and witchcraft.) I thought I'd take inspiration from spells and mythology, there's salt, charcoal from the yule fire we all shared, egg, rosemary, oil, water, iron and some of my hair before and after I dyed it (for the transformation part.) oh and glitter, because there has to be glitter.

For Sacrifice I took my inspiration from James and his love of literature and his sharp wit (You can read some of his writing at his blog Palimpsest, I can definitely recommend it, it's beautiful.) This excerpt is from a copy of Doctor Haggards Disease I've had for years, every so often I'll read a few pages and make blackout poetry as I go.
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