Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crafty goods, musings and WIPs (works in progress)

As I tweeted earlier today, last night I had a dream where I was standing near a railroad crossing about a mile from the house I grew up in, when the guard rails came down and a train rolled past at a slow speed. I saw on several of the cars obvious signs of yarnbombing: green, yellow and pink striped panels, beige and lavender squares hanging off the ladder rungs. I remember being so excited to see it, wondering where the yarnbombs originated from and how far they'd traveled... and I wanted to snatch one of the items off the train so I could analyze it!

Graffiti on trains has always been fascinating to me. I love the huge pictures and stylized letters done in several colors. Where did the artwork originate? How long did it take? I have been known to sit at train crossings where the train goes extremely slow *cough*Lodi*cough* and put my vehicle in park and watch the cars as they go by, to look for interesting artwork and colors and try to figure out how I could somehow copy the colors or shapes into something I can make. Yes, what they're doing is vandalism, but I wish shipping companies could incorporate that into their railcars somehow - leave the areas where the specs are printed alone, but have stylized logos and scenes done by artists. It surely would be a lot more colorful and appealing than the sides of the U-Haul trucks.

There used to be some kind of program in Stockton where convicted taggers were put to work (perhaps community service) creating murals on the sides of businesses. This was probably 1995 or 1996. I always wondered what happened to that - it seemed like a good idea.

I've been working on some items for our next yarnbombing. I'll take my workbag along with me to my job and pull out some scrap yarn and a hook and work on them during breaks, slow periods or when I'm on the phone. Co-workers will stare, or come ask what I'm working on. Some of the things I'm working on now are kind of cute, in a bizarre way. I need to bust out my Crochet Harmony Guide and try out more new stitch patterns. The one I was attempting today looks off, somehow. I shouldn't fuss about it - I realize it will either be cut off and thrown out, or someone might steal it, but I'm still a perfectionist.

Crochet has become so habitual to me that I can work patterns from memory, without looking at the project. Makes it handy in the movie theatre when I'm fidgeting over the smell of movie popcorn! I can work on a dishcloth or scarf or yarn-bomb and still focus on the movie. Knitting, not so much, yet. 

What seems to be common with a lot of knitters or crocheters is that's not all we do. Several of us do both, some spin their own yarn, some weave, some do cross-stitch, sew, make jewelry, paint, sculpt, bead, etc. I think it's a creative bug that we never really get over. It definitely can drain one's bank account, even with Internet specials, and 50% off coupons for JoAnn's and Michael's.

I just received some hairsticks I ordered, to work on some items I plan to sell at craft fairs or on I had made a custom item for another one of the our yarn-bombing "crew" that gets a lot of attention whenever she wears it. I also just splurged on a huge assortment of rhinestones, and an application tool (like a soldering tool, really) to work on other projects, after being inspired by a hair accessory I saw a woman wearing today. This in addition to my weekend purchase of some ruffle yarn and buttons that mimic the puffy friendship hearts from the 40's... I'm glad I use coupons and comparison-shop online as much as possible. Still, my craft room is full to bursting!

No, I swear, I'm not Leslie Hall (see video). I don't even own a gem sweater...

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