This past year has been chaotic for me. Job searching, starting a new job, ultra long commutes, moving twice — between all of these new things, it’s been hard to take time to sit and make. Crafting feels like a luxury. Because it’s so enjoyable, when I have more pressing or “important” things to do, it’s the first thing to go. Super stressed out, my mind races. I don’t have the bandwidth to dream up creative projects: I feel guilty for taking the time to craft. I’m trying to change that, step by step, and work my way back into making things.
Next, I chose a low-pressure project to work on. Our new place has a support column right in the middle of our living space, which is absolutely perfect for yarnbombing.
In terms of the pattern, I decided to go with lions because they’re one of our favorite pre-existing punchcards from my machine. Super cute, definitely dated, a little weird — you can’t look at them and not smile. You might recognize them from one of my downtown Sunnyvale bike rack yarnbombs. 🙂
There were two features of this yarnbomb that combined to create a new challenge:
- The pattern we picked had a very large, meaningful repeat (i.e. the lion).
- Our support column is rectangular.
Because of these and the limitations of my machine, I had to carefully plan the design of this project more so than some of my more recent ones.
Yarnbombing is all about surface area. When you create a yarnbomb, you’re essentially making a cover for something. Because of that, you start off by picking objects that have simple surfaces. That’s why so many yarnbombs are on sign posts and bike racks: they’re essentially cylinders, and when you “unfold” the surface of a cylinder, you get a long rectangle which is super easy to knit.
A rectangular column is similar to a cylindrical column in that regard, except you have the addition of edges. These come into play when thinking about the design. This would be a non-issue for small or abstract geometric/repeats. However, since the lion looks great on a flat face and not stellar if it falls over an edge, I had to plan out the placement of the lions carefully.
My knitting machine has limited design-spacing capabilities. It transfers the information from the punchcard to the stitches in a very structured way. The punchcard design is “printed” in 5 distinct regions pre-labeled on the machine. I can tell the machine to print (or not-print) in any of the regions. I can’t, however, adjust the placement of the regions relative to one another. The region width didn’t line up with the width of the column faces, so I settled with alternating single lions on either side of an edge.