Tuesday Needlework: Yarn Bombing

Obviously I knit and crochet. Obviously I love yarn and many things made from it. I think it is an art form that some master with skill. I find value in wool, cotton, and natural materials gathered, spun, dyed, and distributed. Obviously I think yarn bombing is the biggest waste of time, energy, talent, and yarn that ever existed. Yep, I said it. It’s a waste. I’m a huge fan of art, too. Creating it and distributing it and appreciating it. In a wide variety of forms. But to me, yarn bombing is a desperate cry for nothing better to do with one’s time than make tubes to tie on trees.

It looks terrible. Nature can never be improved in any way by knitting something to put on it. And defacing someone else’s art (statues, sculptures, etc.) by putting YOUR yarn on it is sacrilegious. It irritates me in ways I can’t even explain. Especially when I see these long works that took hours to make (and who knows how much wool and/or polluting acrylics) draped over some bush in the park, doing nothing more than interfering with natural beauty and wildlife. And why in the world would it make any kind of a statement to cover a bridge in yarn? The whole thing just grates on my nerves and I want to scream, “DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH YOUR TALENT! If you want to use up yarn and time, do it for a good cause!”

Then, I seen this:

My Facebook was blowing up with it! Not only was it being shared by every single knitting group that I like, but my friends were also sharing it. According to CTVNews this yarn bomber was leaving notes attached that said to “take the scarf it you need it!” Wow. I’m already impressed. No name was associated with it, just a good Samaritan. THIS was impressive. THIS was important. THIS was worthwhile. 
I run an organization called Warm up the Boro. I collect and make hats and scarves to donate to the needy in our community. I’ve been doing it for a little over a year now, and we just had our first distribution. It’s been difficult to get donations locally, so I have some plans to try and expand it. BUT! I wish you could’ve seen the faces of those that got their new hats this past weekend. Many were overjoyed and enormously thankful. 
Donation day. We had already given out a bunch of hats!
Part of our collection! 
No, I didn’t yarn bomb, but I can see the potential in this! Whoever did this doesn’t care what your circumstances are, here is a free scarf. This was done with intent and purpose and a great outcome. 
Now, before someone jumps down my throat about my OBVIOUS hatred of yarn bombing, let me say that I DO know that some of these other works are donated to shelters and such after the bombing. That’s great. I really can’t say anything bad about that. My distaste comes from those that just leave it. I’ve never met a fire hydrant that needed a scarf. Not. One. Although a dog could probably see some wiping value in it. 
Now about knitting and crocheting food…

Tuesday Needlework: The difference between crochet and knitting

Have you ever been quietly enjoying your coffee (tea, latte, frappe, insert beverage here) in your favorite coffee shop while working on your current crochet project, dressed in your awesome asymmetrical cardigan and slouchy hat (that YOU made, btw) only to have some person obviously uneducated in needle arts come up and ask you, “What are you knitting?”

As the hair on the back of your neck raises and you feel your blood start to boil, you ever-so-patiently take a sip of your beverage with the cozy on it that YOU crocheted, look up and say, “I’m not knitting. It’s crochet.” And inside your head you’re thinking, “If it was knitting I’d have two needles to jab you with.” Yeah, don’t act like you’ve never thought this a time or two.
I pursue both knitting and crochet because I find they have their purposes for different items. I don’t necessarily like to make clothing such as sweaters from crochet, but that it is great for scarves and hats.It is too bulky for my taste preferences.

Crochet stitches for a hat
Knit stitches for a hat

I have made cardigans and such, but as for sweaters, gloves, and socks I just think the stitches are too big and it looks too “homemade.” Before you string me up, remember, this is just what I feel about it and that I have nothing against homemade. I think knitting has a smoother look and the closer stitches make for a much more appealing fabric for clothing.

However, if you want something done faster, your best choice is crochet. I can work up a crochet piece in half the time it takes me to knit something. This is also because the stitches work up about twice the size of a knit stitch. I think it may have a lot to do with only using one hook as opposed to two needles, too.
So what is the major difference? Well, if you do one or the other you probably already know the answer to this. I’m hoping to reach out and educate those that may not know, and hopefully one day the world will be a much better place when the two are not confused, inciting violence in the mind of an otherwise peaceful needleworker.
If you take the time to notice, crochet is performed using a single needle with a hook on the end of it. The crocheter is usually in a very rhythmic trance with yarn in one hand and a hook in the other. Knitting uses TWO needles. These needles DO NOT have hooks on the end of them, but are rather sharp and pointy. The knitter will also have a rhythm down but it will not be the same as the crocheter’s.

 

 

Interrupting a crocheter usually means you will interrupt their counting. This is not a good thing. If they sigh audibly and visibly start counting stitches with a louder voice (not the voice inside their head) you had better back away slowly and never, ever speak to them again. To repeatedly ask questions is not wise.
The same could be said for a knitter, except that for some reason they have a tendency to use stitch markers more often and once they are sure of their stitch count, rarely have to repeat counting. This is not a guarantee, though. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to mess with or upset someone that can use sharp, pointy objects with obvious skill and grace and how much does she/he really value that yarn they are using? Would they mind a bit of blood?”
If you feel you MUST talk to the knitter or crocheter while they are working, it is best if you sit patiently and watch them work. You may pick up a thing or two in the process. When they stop their hand movements to take a sip of their beverage, it is probably safe to talk to them. Hopefully you are intelligently armed with the correct question of, “What are you knitting/crocheting?” If you get it right, the needleworker is usually more than happy to speak with you about their project.
I hope this has reached someone in time to avoid serious injury. If, however, you are sitting in a hospital bed with puncture wounds and reading this, I hope that at your next encounter you will be better informed. Cheers, and quick healing…

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