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Home Sweet Home

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Buzz Feed posted an article the other day:  34 Adorable Things to Do With Leftover Yarn.  Of course I had to read it.  Number 24 on the list was “Make Wall Art” and showed the above photo.  Completely intrigued, I wanted to learn more.

With a little research, I found that the piece “Home Sweet Home” was done by UK artist Debbie Smyth.  According to her agent, “Smyth’s playful, yet sophisticated folio is created by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins. Her work beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery. The execution of her line literally lifts the image off the page, in a series of ‘pin and thread’ clusters.”

I hope you enjoy her work as much as I did.

A Call for Granny Squares

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see a whole museum covered in granny squares?  Get your hooks out, YARN-A-HOLICS:  you can help!

The group known as Yarn Bombing Los Angeles  has put out a call for granny squares. From now until March, they are collecting 5×5 inch crocheted squares in orange, green, cyan, and white.  These squares will be used to yarn bomb the Craft & Folk Art Museum on Wilshire Boulevard for a May exhibit opening.

According to their website, the Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) has been a longtime sponsor of Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, hosting monthly stitch ‘n bitches, showcasing work in their window, and serving as the site of several yarnbombings. The group wanted to give back by creating an installation that would draw attention to the museum. CAFAM is located on Museum Row in the heart of Los Angeles, but the building is dwarfed by the gigantic structures nearby. They want to comment on this idea of scale in a museum by installing large scale patterns, visually making CAFAM into a dollhouse and thus “shrinking” it even more, while raising its public profile.

If you’d like to get involved, you can find more information on making granny squares and shipping locations by visiting the Yarn Bombing Los Angeles Call for Entry page.

10,000 Hours of Knitting

A Kansas City artist decided to test the theory that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to master something. Laura Isaac, thirty-four, challenged herself to take up knitting.

In February 2011, Laura took her first knitting lession. She logs all of her knitting time and project details in a computer spreadsheet. At the end of September, she had logged about 1,800 hours, and said she now considers herself an advanced intermediate knitter.

Isaac recently brought her 10,000 hours project to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for this year’s ArtPrize competition. She was invited by a venue curator hired by the city of Grand Rapids to create an installation that would interplay with the city’s most prominent artistic symbol, La Grande Vitesse — the steel sculpture created in 1969 by Alexander Calder.  To complete her entry, Isaac knit 10 i-cord ropes (on size-17 needles), and a series of colored panels, that she used to create a temporary web over the sculpture. 

Initially, Isaac worried that dedicating large blocks of time to knitting i-cord would not challenge her enough. But then, she decided to use the opportunity to work on increasing her speed.  “At the beginning, it took me three and a half hours to get through one full skein,” she said. “At the end, I was knitting it in just under two.”

Altogether, creating the soft web took 120 skeins of acrylic yarn, and 150 hours. Isaac used tennis balls to throw 10 brightly colored ropes over The Calder.  Each measured between 75 and 90 feet, and was loosely anchored to the ground on two sides of the sculpture. Slack left in the ropes allowed them to move in the wind and cast dancing shadows on the ground below the sculpture.  The final installation landed Isaac on this year’s ArtPrize Best Urban Space short list.

Congrats to another great YARN-A-HOLIC.  Best wishes in you remaining 8,000 hours.  I can’t wait to see your next work of art!