Chris Columbus "discovered" the hammock just as he "discovered" the Americas, being the first European to kick off the flood of "new world" explorers, a number of whom commented on the hanging woven net beds they saw. They brought the design back to Europe, as they took cotton, canvas and other cloths to the Americas, where they were quickly adopted by sailors and navies, with some innovative designs. Today there are a myriad of variations (slideshow) on the simple little sling that has survived for more than 1,000 years, used as a bed, birthing table, cradle, sofa -- even as a final resting place. [more inside]
The stop-motion animation video for James' "Moving On" is the story of a life passing, told in yellow yarn. BAFTA award winning Scottish animator Ainslie Henderson explains what inspired him: It’s 2014, and I’m on the phone to Tim [Booth, lead singer of James]. He is describing how the band came to write MOVING ON, and what the words mean to him. The story he tells me is deeply moving; one thing that stayed with me is his describing death as a birth. Days later this conversation echoes around my mind while I’m listening to the song as I walk past a typical Scottish woollen knitwear shop. My eyes flit over a ball of wool in the window while the word “unwinding” is sung....
Yarn Bombs: In the '70s, Knitting Was Totally Far Out is a fun and frightening collection of knitting patterns from the 70s.
Channeling Elizabeth: Recreating a Family Heirloom: The sweater was threadbare and holey, but it had clearly been much loved - and, as it turned out, it had been knit by one of the greatest knitters of all time. Elizabeth Zimmermann (1999 NY Times Obituary) popularized knitting in the round, re-introduced the continental method of knitting to the US, and was dedicated to greater clarity in knitting instructions. She also came up with a much-used formula for sizing proportions (EPS), the I-cord, and encouraged knitters to experiment and be creative. [more inside]
"We use these nests primarily for the song birds," said Alison Hermance, WildCare's communications manager, as she gestured toward a blue knitted nest carrying baby finches and a gray and white nest full of tiny and eager chestnut-backed chickadees, their beaks wide open in anticipation of a feeding. [more inside]
For 37 years, Bothwell, a small town in Tasmania, has hosted an international competition to determine who can hand spin the longest 2-ply thread using 10 grams of wool. [more inside]
In June 2013, the Allegheny County Council approved the yarn bombing of the Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, in celebration of Warhol's 85th birthday [previously mentioned on MeFi]. On 11 August, 1800 volunteers blanketed (heh) the bridge in 3000 feet of hand-knitted panels. More photos and behind the scenes. [more inside]
Olek is a crochet artist that is furiously crocheting anything that enters or leaves her life. She's crocheted the Wall Street Bull, a Pedi Cab Rickshaw(piloted by an acrobat), a billboard, text messages, automobiles, bikes, shopping carts, and people. When she's not crocheting the streets she is probably weaving her next art exhibit. This woman has made crocheting her life.
"[...] in the next scene, she is wearing a pair of crocheted leggings, which allow her deformed limbs to slide smoothly across the wood floor. She moves easily, as though she doesn't know there's anything wrong with her legs at all."
A Yarn of Olympic Proportions "Residents of Saltburn, in North Yorkshire, are scratching their heads today after a mysterious 'yarnbomber' wrapped the town's pier with a 50-yard scarf stretching out along the railings. The impressive garment features woollen athletes competing in various Olympic events, from synchronised swimmers to rowers and cyclists, and has delighted young and old alike as the town discusses the good yarn." [more inside]
Skeinz is a yarn store. Their current newsletter is sending out a request for penguin sweaters due to the oil spill off New Zealand. Surprisingly, knitted wear for penguins is not a new thing.
Urban knitting, guerilla knitting, textile street art, yarn bombing. Whatever you choose to call it, this artform takes everyday objects of the city — such as trees, lampposts, street signs, bike racks — and wraps them up in colorful knit cozies. You'll find these wonderful oddities all over the world, from Manhattan to Sydney to Edinburgh to Philadelphia to Oakland to Chicago to Bisbane and back to Manhattan again. People have written books about it. It has inspired an Irish cellphone commercial. Metafilter's own ErikaB made a tree sweater that was featured on Metafilter and on the front cover of Seattle's The Stranger. Magda Sayeg's blog Knitta Please is a showcase for some of her delightful projects, including a Smart car, coffee shop sign, and crutches. (Also, previously.) [more inside]
In alpine Europe, Perchta the Belly-Slitter (a.k.a Berta/Berchta/Frau Percht) roams during the Twelve Days of Christmas, and if you piss her off, she'll cut out your entrails and stuff you full of straw and garbage. And you thought Krampus was all you had to dodge to get through the holidays! [more inside]
Do you love your dog? So much that you want to make a sweater out of her fur? Know first that this may be illegal in New Jersey. Also, take into account that Chiengora is 80% warmer than wool... so you'd better make it a bikini instead. Need to accessorize? There's always the cat! [ previously | Beware the Sweater Curse! ]
Yarn Bombing. I guess it had to happen eventually. Graffiti with yarn some say. Keeping trees, benches and what have you warm and fuzzy.
Perhaps in your non-Metafilter time or during the occasional power outtage you indulge in that charmingly antiquated past-time of reading a newspaper made out of actual paper. But, once you've read it, you're left with blackened hands and the necessity for putting that fragment of a dead tree somewhere or other. Aside from putting it in the recycling bin, which is responsible but kind of obvious (and therefore would not necessitate a MeFi FPP) what can you do? One option is to make handmade paper. If you're an outdoors type, you could make organic flower pots, some kites, or a dory. If you're more of a fashionista or home decorator, you could make a purse or a bead necklace, weave a basket or placemats, or make a bird. If you're a spinster, you could make some newspaper yarn as student Greetje van Tiem did for her Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show. The yarn can be woven into carpets, curtains and upholstery. Here's a tutorial on how to make the yarn. Then there's always papier maché. [more inside]
Dyeing with Kool-Aid basic how-to. The best thing is the color chart. A good idea for a party, maybe? As usual, the folks at Flickr have got the goods: Kool-Aid dyed yarns in the Hand-dyed pool , , and the Yarn Porn pool, , . And if you're one of those people who just hates to do things the easy way? Multi-colored custom yarn with Kool-Aid tutorial part 1 and part 2.
Timothy Klein gets art. I mean, he really gets it. And he likes cars. So when he decided to become an artist, he covered a 1967 Chrysler Imperial Crown luxury car with yarn. Correct, yarn. Then, Tim didn't just show his car off to the local cruzers at the Dairy Queen. No. Tim took it to Artscape at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore in 2002, where he met other famous automotive artists like Harrod Blank and Chris Hubbard. He took it to the Outsider Art Fair in New York in 2003. Wherever he takes the Yarn Car, he documents the trips on his site. He got featured in Reader's Digest and "made Diane Sawyer giggle". Tim will be in Houston on May 10 for the 2008 Art Car Parade. Don't miss the yarn phone in the car.
Up here in the Northern Hemisphere, it's time to break out the sweaters. Wool too itchy for you? (It is for poor Simon Cowell.) Cashmere and alpaca are easier to wear; a surface comparison shows why. But you can also steer clear of animal fibers altogether and opt for fabric made from wheat. For that matter, while you're at the greengrocer, also pick up some bamboo (1, 2), soy (1, 2), bananas, corn (1, 2), pineapple, milk (1, 2, 3) and rice. (Vegan yarns previously in AskMe.)
Chiengora is the fancy term for dog hair used to make mittens, hats, sweaters, and more. This site will teach you all about chiengora and how to hand spin it into yarn. If you'd rather just brush your dog and send the fur to someone else to knit, check out Rover's Comb.