Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quiet but busy July...

This has been a busy month for several of us. Fortunately one of the members of our group decided to have a quick and impromptu yarn-bombing in Lodi on Friday night. Three of us went out after preparing butterflies, bees and flowers and strolled down School Street to leave our mark.

It was her first yarn-bombing, and I think she had wanted to do it at a park originally, but the two of us who had done it before said School Street would be better.

The first time you yarn-bomb, it can be a bit anxiety-filled. You worry about drawing attention to yourself, you worry about some authority figure coming around and arresting you... it feels like you've got a spotlight on you. It can be hard to act natural.

We did pretty good last night, walking in a group with "bombs" in-hand; we would occasionally stop and "chat" or "make a cell phone call" while one of us quickly tied something on. Benches were good; we could sit and attach something. There are a LOT of security cameras on this street; while "window-shopping", we would try and scope out cameras to determine if we could put something outside without being caught. I'm sure we were, but we did try and minimize our film time.

Also, downtown Lodi has police officers riding by on bicycles. While our first-time bomber attached her striped wrap around one of the bicycle poles outside the Chinese restaurant, we stood in a group (well, she was hunched over, crocheting) and were acting like we were just standing around, using our cell phones as the cop pedaled by. He said something like "you ladies doing okay?" and we said "fine, thanks" and he didn't even slow down, just kept on going!

We are making plans for a larger-scale bombing in August sometime. If you're interested in participating, let us know. We're going to be having a planning meeting next weekend.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Holiday crafting...

The Knitorious 209 had a planning session again this weekend - some of our tags were compared, we brainstormed, we've laughed and we're eager for our next event!

I've received word that the flagpole wrap is still up at MLK Jr. Plaza. Hooray! I guess the red/white/blue & gold star "patriotic" theme has kept people from stealing it. Or maybe they think it's ugly? (I can say this - I'm the one who made that item.)

I spent today at a relative's house for a birthday party for a couple of family members. I pulled out my crocheting and instantly I had four of my nephews at my feet, mesmerized. I was working on a simple, baby pink flower, and they took turns guessing what it could be. (Hints like, "what kinds of things could be pink?" produced some hilarious guesses, like shoes, backpacks, a dinosaur... these are BOYS, mind you. One said "Pigs are pink!")

Finally finished it up (oohs and aahs) and one of the boys asked if he could give it to his mom, so I obliged. Another one asked me for crochet supplies for his birthday, then wanted to know when I could come back for another "sewing lesson". I wound up showing two of the boys and one of my nieces how to do foundation chains, and got a request for a pterodactyl. That's going to be a fun one to figure out - any patterns out there?

Needless to say, there's an inner part of me cackling with glee that boys are wanting to learn this. They SHOULD know how. My father knew how to knit and do needlepoint; he's the one who got me started with spool knitting and every thing I ever made him (including the scarf I gave him for Christmas, four months before he passed suddenly) was treasured. That last scarf, a soft hazel-blue wool that I thought complimented his gray hair and hazel eyes, was only worn to lodge meetings with his suits; in his mind, it was too good to be his "everyday" scarf. He was eagerly awaiting my learning how to knit socks, so I could make him some - he still had a pair of wool socks that his grandmother had made for him in his late teens, some 50 years ago.

To this day, I haven't had the emotional strength to get interested in sock knitting, because the feelings are still too raw, that I won't be able to make a pair of socks for him.

But I fervently believe that crafting should be gender-neutral. Boys have knit, made lace, crocheted, sewn and mended over the decades: read more here and here and here. There are a few men who are in the Knitorious 209's social circle and we are thrilled to have them.