Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guerrillas Without Guns

If you haven't heard of yarn bombing, it's a sort of guerrilla knitting (or crochet)project--knitters/artists/troublemakers make knitted cosies for public objects--trees, statues, park benches, lampposts, stop signs--nothing is safe from Yarn Bombers.

The kind of yarn that's used is generally cheap, ugly acrylic yarn, mostly rescued from thrift shops, spiced up with some furry novelty yarn perhaps.

The goals are many fold--making personal the mostly arid public spaces in a city, subversion, appropriation, political statements of one sort or another, assertion of the craft of knitting/crocheting, also just the fun of putting something funny or pretty or odd in place to surprise passersby.

The interesting thing about knit bombing is that IT DOESNT DAMAGE ANYTHING- EVER! I love this--I think I probably could destroy a weapon of mass destruction, but anything less, I wouldn't.

Knitta, Please is the group of Houston TX knitters who are the first to practice this version of street art--they started in 2005. The group is down to one member, but did just complete a fabulous project for SXSW--a set of knitted stairs--it's beautiful--check it out--first photo above.


As wonderful as all yarn bombers are, I just discovered an even more spectacular practitioner--Juanita Canzoneri is an artist in Colorado Springs--her primary medium is glass mosaic. I'll let her words speak to her path to becoming VideoKnitter:

Confessions of a Video Knitter

Picture My problem: How to responsibly get rid of my video tapes.

Because the product is mixed plastics and metal, it doesn't recycle. If you only have a couple tapes I'm sure your conscience won't bother you about putting them out with the trash. However, if you're like me and have a couple hundred, that's another issue entirely. In 2008 I found a huge box of tapes my husband had relegated to the garage. He said to get rid of them when I asked why they were there. Confronted by this ethical dilemma, I did some research and found that the most reasonable way of doing this was to crack some open and see what could be done with them beyond filling up a landfill or two.

After playing with a variety of working styles, what I enjoy most is knitting/crocheting elements and assembling them into fiber art pieces.

She uses the video tape for yarn bombing, but also makes sculptures & jewelry and bags--they are not all black as you might imagine, but painted with a special paint for plastics--she's made some interesting stuff. She also includes a card that tells what was on the tape! I just love this. Unfortunately, I can't link to a picture from flickr, to show an example, but here's the link to her set.


and the link to her blog


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doesn't get much greener than this--

John Wells, a former Manhattenite & Upstate NYer has migrated to the desert in West Texas.

IN October 2007, Mr. Wells bought this land — a 40-acre parcel — for $8,000 in cash, adding a 20-acre tract for $5,000 a year and a half later. It took nine days and $1,600 to build the shell of his one-room house, the first structure in a compound that now includes four shipping containers under a soaring arched roof planted on a lacy framework of metal trusses, all of which he made himself. He gave it all a fancy moniker, the Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory, but you can call it the Field Lab for short.

He is truly living off the grid--makes me wish I could build things--a disadvantage in attempting this kind of life--I can cook, make soap, sew & knit--but building structures & systems is way out of my skill area. If you have to hire people to build your set-up you are spending big bucks, alas.

Anyway, check out his blog--he's an entertaining writer-


also, make sure you look at the slide show of the Field Lab in the NYT article--just gorgeous!