As part of their ongoing drive for more blood donors NHS Blood & Transplant enlisted an army of knitters to raise awareness of the need for new blood donors (around 200,000 new donors are required each year just to keep numbers stable).
The goal of the ‘Blood Doesn’t Grow on Trees’ campaign was to raise awareness of the issues surrounding blood donation by yarnbombing various locations around the UK with thousands of red, woollen blood drops. The organisers supplied knitting patterns for small, medium and large 3D and 2D blood drops which you can still download from their website here.
The campaign has been a real success. They were expecting around 700 blood drops to be knitted and received more than 8000! Have a look at the photos of hundreds of knitted blood drops adoring trees here. It really is something special. I love it when yarnbombing is used to raise awareness for a worthwhile cause!
Even though the campaign has now come to an end you can of course still register to be a blood donor. Find out more about donating blood here.
I wonder what NHS Blood and Transplant have planned for the next awareness campaign? Hopefully whatever it is will include some crochet patterns. If knitters made a whopping 8,000 blood drops for a yarnbomb, just think what impact a nationwide yarnbomb by knitters and crocheters will have! Whether the next campaign is knitting and/or crochet, I want to be part of it.
If you want to get in on some yarnbombing action, why not crochet squares for Crochet Grenade‘s Rubiks Cube Park yarnbomb?
All the details are on the Facebook Event page here, or you can read it below. I copy & pasted it straight from the page:
“INTERNATIONAL YARNBOMB PROJECT: “RUBIKS CUBE PARK” DEADLINE FOR SQUARES: JULY 1ST. I will need 2,700 crocheted squares and ANYONE ANYWHERE can help by spreading the word, mailing in squares, coming to meet ups, or even installing. This yarn bomb installation will be on the weekend of Comic-Con San Diego. For those of you not familiar with Comic-Con, it is a four-day event held yearly in San Diego, CA celebrating comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television, pop culture, horror, animation, anim…e, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. It’s the ultimate geek event and this convention is the largest of its kind in the US with over 130,000 attendees. (http://www.comic-con.org/) In the park across the street from the convention center and the event, there are 60 cement cubes in Children’s Park. I will be joining all of your squares together to create Rubiks cubes. The plan is to install it “guerrilla style” across the street from the convention center, in the middle of downtown San Diego. Each Rubiks Cube will be a different pattern to create a visually abstract appearance. To create these Rubiks cubes I will need 45 sqaures per cube. Although you do not need to use Red Heart yarn, I ask that you try to match as closely as possible to the colors listed. ANY BRAND of worsted acrylic yarn can be used as long as the colors match to keep it all cohesive. I would love for people to volunteer to make a cube!! I will attach a business card with “DONATED BY ___” on the cube(s) that you make. There are 45 squares to a cube and the pattern is very simple!
I am making nine white squares for this great yarnbomb, thereby covering one side of one rubiks cube. I thought I’d do white as that’s the safest colour if you don’t have access to Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Did you see how many squares are needed? Two Thousand Seven Hundred!!! This is a huge project, so if you have a minute to spare please do get involved.
8 June 2013 is International Yarn Bombing Day. Were you aware? I wasn’t, until I read Christelle’s blogpost on Wednesday. Wednesday! IYBD is on Saturday! What to do? Well for one thing, I couldn’t in good conscious let the day go by without yarnbombing something. It’s the one day in the year when I’m not the only weird one for attaching yarny things to railings and benches!
Something had to be done.
Same as my last minute Genoa yarnbombing of Intrecci Urbani, I got out the squares from Rachel’s Crochet Along. I had 11 completed crochet squares, left over Stylecraft DK and a yarnbombing deadline. It was an easy decision to make.
My plan was to use the squares to add to my bench yarnbombing in Summer Road because it seems to be a hit with the local Thames Ditton residence. No-one has tried to remove the crochet or damage it. In fact, people play and interact with it! I think of it as a yarnbomber-friendly-zone*. The railing behind the bench has been calling my name for quite a while now. Just as a living room looks best with something on the wall behind the couch, so my crocheter mind thinks the railing behind the bench could do with a little yarn loving…
Behold, my contribution to International Yarnbombing Day 2013:
As you can see, I joined up the squares (all crocheted from patterns in 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton), and added an edging to the bottom.
The edging pattern is as follows:
Row 1: SC in purple
Row 2: DC in purple
Row 3: *2DC, 2 chain* repeat in deep red
Row 4: *2 chain, 2DC* repeat in bright blue
Row 5: SC in lavender
Row 6: *SC, skip 3 stitches, 9 DC in same stitch* repeat in yellow
John and I put up the yarnbomb on Friday evening so that the Thames Ditton residents would wake up with a yarny suprise on the morning of International Yarn Bombing Day 2013.
Here is a video of me putting up the yarnbomb.
*Unfortunately this video and blog post is the only evidence of my yarnbomb. When I returned to the park on Saturday afternoon, someone had already, probably during the course of Friday night, tried to remove it. Out of the more than 20 cable ties I used, only five remained. Not only did they try to remove it, but they damaged the border in the process.
My contribution to International Yarn Bombing Day 2013 was visible for less than 24 hours, but I did take part and I have a video to remind me. I was really heart broken when I had to take down my crochet work, but I guess it’s just the risk you take with these kind of things.
I need to go to Covent Garden!!!!! According to this website, the elephants will be in 17 Floral Street, Covent Garden from 21 May to 3 June.
Currently on display in London Covent Garden are two multi-coloured crocheted
elephants by NYC Street artist Olek.
The Elephant Family – an initiative that aims to protect Asian elephants and their
habitat – enlisted the help of a host of leading artists, designers, photographers and creatives like Christian Lacroix, Matthew Williamson, Mario Testino, Missoni,
Fabergé, Cartier to participate in their charity event named the Animal Ball at the Lancaster House.
Artists have been tasked to create a bespoke pair of masks that reflect their
interpretation of an endangered animal, as well as bespoke elephant sculptures that
will be auctioned for charity on 9 July. In addition, each of the 24 rooms of the
Lancaster House will be transformed into a magnificent indoor jungle, including a
crochet rainforest by Olek.
Whilst on holiday in Cape Town, I yarnbombed a tree branch in my mom’s back garden. Why? ‘Cause that what I do!
It was a very easy yarnbomb to make. Just a 4 m string of crocheted circles joined together in the join as you go method, and wrapped around the branch. I just had to sew a couple of circles together at the beginning and the end to secure the string, and that’s it!
It took only 10 minutes to put up (and about a 2 weeks to crochet all those circles).
I really love how it turned out so it was totally worth it. If I had a tree in my back garden I would cover the whole tree this way!
I think the pastel colours work well in the shady spot, and my Mom loves it. She looks out onto this tree from the dining room and the kitchen so she sees it every day.
If you have a tree and scraps of cotton yarn you should do it too! Wrapping a string of crocheted circles around a tree or a branch is a quick and easy way to start yarnbombing. The extra colour will also liven up a bare tree in Winter.
Mmmmm… I think I’ve just talked myself into planting a tree in my back garden. Only a yarnbombing crocheter will plant a tree so that she can decorate it with yarn. Man, I just LOVE this crochet obsession!
Here it is. My blue crochet top hooked from a Japanese pattern!
This is my second project from a Japanese pattern. The first one was the red variegated scarf which I blogged about here. The scarf was given away as a gift, so this is the first item I can wear.
I really, really, like it! It feels great walking around London in something I crocheted myself (that always feels good), but this time I add a swagger because I know that the pattern I followed didn’t have one single word in English to guide me!
Focus on the close-up of the crochet, not the tiramisu (if you can…)
The nitty-gritty is as follows:
Pattern: On Ravelry this pattern is called #4 2-way Top because that’s really what it is. You have two construction options. My way, and leaving the front open to make it into a cardigan. It’s from the Japanese book Easy Popular Knit and Crochet Wear which I bought from Pomadour24 on Etsy.
Crochet hook: 3 mm
Modifications: To make it the right length I had to add a few rows of the shell pattern before starting with the fan pattern at the bottom. If I could, I would have added extra squares but I had ready crocheted the shell rows on either side of the squares so couldn’t go back and add more squares to make it longer.
Yarn: I used Garnstudio Drops Delight in Shade 03. The yarn is a holiday momento from a weekend in Barcelona in January. I bought it at a shop called All You Knit Is Love. The sweetest little shop! Tucked away in a alley close to the Picasso museum. If you find yourself in Barcelona, be sure to pop in.
Japanese crochet really isn’t that difficult. Honestly. At the end of this blogpost I give a few pointers and links to helpful websites.In case you’re wondering, yes I’ve already bought the yarn to crochet my next Japanese top. I mean, I have a whole book filled with patterns. How can I not?!
*The setting for these photos is of course Genoa, Italy on the weekend of their citywide yarnbombing, Intrecci Urbani. I blogged about it here.
Her help was much appreciated, and it ended up being a brilliant team effort. John had the great idea to bring along packaging tape just in case we needed it to keep the stripes up on the lamp post (and we did!), Bobi suggested we attach the bunting lower down on the lamp post to prevent the wind from blowing the bunting into cyclist or cars, and when we realised our cable ties were too short to go around the bollards, I suggested we tie the bunting to the cable between the bollards. Three problems – three genius minds at work.
I think John was amazing. He sewed two of the granny squares onto the bollards (a very unmanly thing to do for, what felt like, the whole of Surbiton to see) and then took on the task of getting really, really high on the ladder to put up the bunting (thereby redeeming his manliness).
The end result of our hour on the traffic island, and my four weeks of crochet, is a brilliantly colourful work of yarn graffiti.
Bobi and I at the Surbiton roundabout yarnbomb.
I hope the yarnbomb will raise awareness for the upcoming Surbiton Food Festival. If you found this blogpost because you Googled “weird woolen stripes on Surbiton roundabout” please also visit the Surbiton Food Festival website here, and of course come to the festival in May, otherwise my hours of crochet would have been in vain.
Well, probably not totally in vain because even if people don’t realise a food festival is coming, at least they can appreciate a bit of stripey colour in the middle of Surbiton.
And as you can gather, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I’m kinda proud of myself. This is my biggest, most prominent yarnbomb yet. The other three (warm-up yarnbomb dare I say?) are herehere and here.
I hope you enjoy the new and improved traffic island. As far as I know the yarnbomb is staying up until the end of the Food Festival (19th of May) so you will have a lot of time to appreciate it in all it’s fruity glory.
Here’s a video giving you a 360 degree view of the yarnbomb.
Keep your eyes peeled around Surbiton, as Bobi and her Craft Inn pals will be adding more granny squares to the railings around the roundabout, and other crafty items will pop up around St. Andrews Square. You have been warned. The craft bombers are coming!
P.S. If you ever get the urge to crochet apples, pears, oranges or strawberries like I did for this yarnbomb, there is a link to the pdf pattern in this blogpost. The fruit were originally designed by Louise Howe. They make excellent coasters. Which is what she designed them to be…. until this yarnbomber got her hook into them.
Mo, a very sweet Blogworld friend, read my post about my trip to Genoa to see Intrecci Urbani and asked me whether I would take something crocheted along to put up on her behalf. I thought it was a great idea, so of course I agreed.
Mo sent me three hexagon crochet motifs and a dragonfly. The hexagons were leftovers from this blanket, done in a very soft luxurious naturallycaron yarn. The Dragonfly is the cutest little thing!
Her colours immediately reminded me of squares I had made for Rachel’s Crochet Along (which I had given up on….). I was planning to take one or two of my CAL blocks with me to Genoa anyway, so when Mo’s hexagons arrived I decided to combine our pieces into one! That way I could quickly attach our yarnbomb to wherever – thinking one big piece will be quicker to put up than six smaller pieces.
I used my Twin Stripes, Tiny Textures and Square Target squares from the CAL. I blogged about them, and others, here. Mo’s dragonfly was sewed onto the Tiny Textures block and I had a deep red Stylecraft DK in my stash that matched Mo’s hexagons perfectly, so I used that to crochet everything together.
I attached long pieces of yarn to 6 corners of the piece so that I could just tie it to wherever, without having to worry about doing any sewing.
On Friday I took our hexagons & squares yarnbomb piece with me when I went exploring in Genoa. John pointed out the bench below. It was one of only a few that hadn’t been yarnbombed. The perfect victim!
Hard at work, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible:
Sneaky, very sneaky:
Using simple bows to tie the piece to the bench worked really well.
And there you have it. Two Brits (Mo was there in spirit) yarnbombed the Intrecci Urbani Genoa yarnbomb. That’s how we roll 🙂
Intrecci Urbani, the big yarnbombing event in Genoa that I visited over the weekend, was so big I will have split up my photo posts into at least five posts! This is the final post, post six (I did say “at least”…). You will find post one here, post two here, post three here, post four here and post five here.
Readers, I can’t stress enough just how big Intrecci Urbani was. There were hundreds of individual pieces of crochet and knitted decorations, ranging from tree coverings, rectangles attached to railings, pieces covering lamp posts, coverings for benches, ornaments hanging from trees, even a spiderweb and a Rastafarian. Hours and hours, meter upon meter of yarn and millions of crochet stitches must have gone into this great project.
You can read more about the idea, and people behind, the project in this blogpost.
Below is a WordPress gallery of people interacting with the yarnbomb (and a statue of Ghandi. He is a person after all). John and I both noticed how dreary, dark, sometimes dirty and run down Genoa is. We could totally see why residence would want to do something to liven up the place. The yarnbomb made me very excited and I was smiling the whole time, but I was definitely in the minority. Everyone else just walked past, gloomy as ever. I can’t imagine that all that colour, softness and talent could be lost on anyone, so I’m choosing to think they were all smiling inside. Surely….
If you click on any of the photos it will open up a slideshow of full size photos that you can click through. I don’t think the slideshow function will work if you are reading this post on email, so I suggest visiting the “real” post if you want to see full size photos.