Gradient Yarnbomb

posted in: Machine Knitting, Yarnbombing | 2

I have a new yarnbomb up at the Central Park Library in Santa Clara, California! I chose this location because it’s a beautiful library, and it’s right next to an active park. I set out on a scouting mission to find a suitable spot. The one location that really stood out to me was an angular/spiral bike rack on the backside of the library facing the park. The library has several of these racks, but this was the only one that was fully up off the ground, making it possible to cover the whole rack.

My last yarnbomb was complicated and I ran into a bunch of challenges as I was constructing it, which really influenced the design of this one. For this piece, I decided to:

  • pick a design that went with the strengths of my knitting machine. My Bond does really well with single colored stripes. I played around with some configurations, and thought this gradient pattern was the most interesting.
  • limit the length of the individual components. Knitting machines use a weight attached to your knitting to create uniform tension and keep the knitting on the hooks. For my machine, the weight is stitched into the first row of the piece. This creates a challenge when the knitting gets so long that the weight hits the floor and is therefore no longer providing tension. Each of my components was less than the height of the machine off the floor to eliminate that problem.
  • attach a label to my piece, so that people would know who the artist was and give them the opportunity to find me. I did this both for self-promotional reasons, but also, and more importantly, I wanted to attach some accountability to the work. I don’t just jettison my pieces into the world and forget about them. I monitor the pieces and plan to remove them when they become shabby or if the site requests it.

The finished piece ended up being over 24 feet long. It required several fittings and I made 21 distinct components just to make sure I got the fit right so the pattern would line up in all the right places. I tried to make the piece a little tighter to eliminate some of the stretch in my Murakami yarnbomb, so we’ll see how this one fares over time.

I installed it bright and early last Saturday morning – took me about 75 minutes to stitch up the whole piece, which felt like an eternity! I like installing early because typically there’s less people around — and in this case I wanted to ensure there would be no bikes on the rack to ease the installation. I underestimated the popularity of that spot, though! There happened to be a Masters National swim meet taking place at the pool right next to the library, and tons of early morning walkers exercising, and even a woman who arrived twenty minutes into my installation and proceeded to sit on the bench facing the bike rack to conduct a business meeting on her laptop/phone, presumably to use the library’s free wifi. But everyone left me alone. 🙂

2 Responses

  1. […] of the interesting works that have come out of Greenwalt's crafting circles include "yarnbomb" projects by her old roommate, Ally […]

  2. […] of the interesting works that have come out of Greenwalt’s crafting circles include “yarnbomb” projects by her old roommate, Ally […]

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