It began last winter with me knitting a scarf for my youngest daughter. A friend had knit a scarf with pomp-a-doodle yarn and said it wasn’t that difficult to do and it actually didn’t even take that long to knit with this particular type of yarn. Fast and economical fashion – count me in. And so it began – it started with that scarf, then two more pom pom scarves this holiday season for my other daughter and her college room mate, then a cowl for myself (again with the pom pom yarn), then creating a scarf with the pom pom yarn mixed with a fringe yarn, and the latest, a scarf with a “ruffle” yarn. I can’t seem to stop and I have only created neck attire!
I posted the images of my creations on Facebook and inquired if there was a way to somehow connect my new hobby with my blog postings. Several friends weighed in with interesting thoughts-
Kate: Are you working with eco-friendly yarns (non-toxic dyes, natural fibers, etc), which would give you a link to “green” material choices for interiors — or maybe there’s a fun way to use knitted pieces as a design element? Or maybe there’s a metaphor in the whole process of knitting — you untangle a mess of yarn, and turn a single strand of wool into a unified piece (like working with disparate design elements and turning them into a pleasing and unified room design)?
Donna: Have you seen Norah Gaughan’s book Knitting Nature? Very “green” and fascinating way to design- reminds me of Bachelard’s book The Poetics of Space on home design.
I liked both of these suggestions, but it was Leah’s reply that captured my attention: Check this out- I just saw an article on it recently. I’m not entirely sure as to how it would tie in, but it did pop in to my mind… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn_bombing.
According to Wikipedia: Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk.
How cool. Yarn bombers target anything they find from sleeves on parking meters, trees, statues, to cars and buses. Like most graffiti artists, this group of knitters often tag in the middle of the night. Some troupes wear crocheted masks while they work, and although it is technically illegal, the police have yet to make any knitter arrests.
I am not sure if I connected urban knitting with green interior design, (other than showing some interiors covered in knit and crochet slipcovers), but I did share an art form that is gaining in popularity and world recognition. Hopefully, you have seen something unique and inspiring and find it as interesting as I have. If you have any knitting/crocheting queries, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I will try my best to be of assistance.
There are a few catalogues that I look forward to receiving. Mostly they are related to home, decorating or objects of interest. Every once in a while I receive a catalogue that stands out. The first time I got one from Sundance, I had so many pages dogged eared, I might as well have said – I want everything and anything in this! Anthropologie is another one that I love to thumb through over and over again. This season I received one from uncommon goods. Talk about some unique and cool items. Since I have been shopping for the holidays these last several weeks, I thought I would share some the items I found interesting. Perhaps some that might be appropriate for your home. I have limited my selections to home goods, they offer so much more! I have kept the product descriptions as quoted from the catalogue because I thought they were appropriate. Please go to their website to view the following as well as many more items. www.uncommongoods.com
“Old wine barrels can be used for lots of things, like these sturdy Vintner’s benches, which are made from reclaimed wine barrel staves (the bent planks that make up the barrel’s sides). Perfect for the mud room, porch, or back-door entrance, each bench is handcrafted and uniquely aged and patinaed. No two are alike. Handmade in Texas.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Add a kick of street style to your home with this sturdy, compact seat that features a creative reuse of of roughed-up skateboards. Broken boards are byproducts of skate culture and decks are usually destined for the landfill once they’re cracked. Inspired by the consistent way many skateboards were busted, artist Jason Podlaski collects shattered skateboards from skateshops and skateparks in the US and Canada and turns both deck and truck into a hybrid, high-quality piece of furniture that’s built tough. The scrapes and scars on the decks create a beautiful veneer of use over the original graphics. Every deckstool is meticulously built, reinforced and finished by skilled craftsmen in Pennsylvania.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Lovingly reclaimed and refurbished by hand, this Adirondack-style chair was once an industrial storage pallet. Each sturdy, one-of-a-kind piece is handmade from repurposed pine and oak with rare earth neodymium magnets that transform its design into a functional modular piece.
Embedded magnets allow the chair to collapse back into an easy-to-store pallet shape. Naturally endowed with a gorgeous patina, each piece is made to play elegant host to backyard soirees for years to come. Handmade in Ventura, CA of reclaimed wood, glue, neodymium magnets, paint, VOC compliant exterior varnish & sealant.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“You won’t have to tread lightly around storage with this industrial tote, hand-sculpted from scraps of recycled tires in Milwaukee. Ideal for multi-purpose storage, its tough and roomy road rubber frame was born to haul it all–from firewood to fresh-picked fruit. A natural bin for your home or garden, this basket goes the extra mile: All one-of-a-kind pieces are handmade in a job skill workshop by people with disabilities or limiting conditions. Handmade in Wisconsin.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Whether or not the wine born from this wine barrel had an earthy flavor, this side table has an earthly quality. Made from recycled white oak wine barrels – they’re usually discarded after a few years – the side table has a shelf and splendid iron accents. Handmade in Georgia.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Add a burst of life to your table setting with this curvaceous candlestick. Designer Paul Loebach gives his creation its unique twist by using state-of-the-art technology: from computer design to special 3D printers to the final result, these whimsical candelabras are the embodiment of delight, pure and simple.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Each candle takes the shape of a bold, nearly two-dimensional shape with a textured surface, and rests in a brushed aluminum stand. But in spite of their futuristic aesthetic, the process of making them is decidedly old fashioned. They are entirely handcrafted, from the forming of the molds, to the trimming of each wick, and every detail in between. The candles are made from 100% triple-pressed palm wax, an environmentally friendly, renewable material. Palm wax melts with little or no dripping, and its high melting temperature ensures they will maintain their shape as they burn. The candles are unscented, so you can enjoy them at dinner without overpowering your meal. Handmade in Bloomington, IN.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Celebrate those dearest to you with elegant 100% recycled glass globes, featuring an interior glass trunk that branches out to support vibrant splashes of color. Handmade in Canada by artist Stephen Kitras. To make these pretty globes, artist Stephen Kitras first has to receive a shipment of broken glass from a supplier in Seattle that makes windows for cars, homes and offices. They send their broken shards to Kitras, who then melts them down in a furnace for 12 hours before creating his signature pieces. Globes come with a plastic hang tag that is designed to be used for hanging the globe, either on the display stand specifically designed for the globe or from a different location.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“This embroidered pillow piles the whole family onto the couch without cramping your style. The ultimate creature comfort, featuring customized figures for all the characters under your roof. Handmade of cotton and flax by Mary and Shelly Klein in Grand Rapids, MI.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Your guests are sure to be impressed with this eye-catching glass sushi or cheese tray. Artist Orfeo Quagliata designed this vivid colored tray using his own handcrafted opaque glass that he creates in his glass studio in Mexico. Striking, sturdy and versatile, this tray can be used as a modern centerpiece or to showcase your scrumptious hors d’oeuvres or sushi.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Since he was a kid, Graham Bergh has been making things out of found objects. After getting his Master’s in Economics and Environmental Policy, he wanted to become an innovative recycling professional when he got a flat tire on his bike and said, “Hmmm…interesting material…” So he got to building creations by hand out of recycled bicycle parts, and soon gathered a team of artists to come up with new ideas and assemble the ideas they had. The results are distinctive accents like this bike chain bowl, which is perfect for keys, change and more. Handmade in Oregon.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Show me your ways… teach me your paths… guide me in your truth.”
~ Psalm 25 (engraved on bottom of bowl)
“Symbolic of a spiritual journey and personal discovery, this beautiful labyrinth bowl encourages you to contemplate your own path through life. For a calming and contemplative practice, hold the cool pewter in your palm and gently run your finger tip down the path from the outer edge, trace the path to the center and then back out again. Handmade in California by Cynthia Webb. Lead-free pewter.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Made from dried Mexican papaya, this parchment bowl is a stunning centerpiece and guaranteed conversation piece. Artisan Margaret Dorfman hand builds each fragile bowl out of parchment made from slices of papaya through a 12-day process that includes curing, pressing and aging each piece. Place a glass votive candle inside the bowl for a warm orange glow or fill it with fragrant potpourri. Handmade in California. Each is one of a kind and will vary.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“More flip for your flop, these colorful doormats are made of scrap foam rubber from sandal factories in the Philippines that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Float-ropes are used by lobstermen to tether their lobster traps. Unfortunately, float-rope entangles Northern Right Whales (an endangered species) which swim in the same waters. In order to protect these whales, lobstermen are now required to turn in their old float-ropes and switch to sink-ropes instead. 300,000 pounds of float-rope was destined to go to landfills and burning facilities in Massachusetts before it was re-purposed for projects such as this.
Extremely durable, these doormats can handle the toughest weather conditions and are resistant to mold, mildew, salt water and sun. They do not absorb water or harbor insects. To clean, just give it a good shake. Handmade in Maine of 100% recycled materials. Includes card about the project.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“This multicolor hand blown recycled glass is so gorgeous, you may decide to display it au naturel. Of course, it also looks great filled. Try your hand at a centerpiece of daffodils, colored marbles or even jelly beans. The possibilities are endless thanks to the generous splashes of color. A unique gift since no two vases are exactly alike. Handmade by Canadian artist Stephen Kitras.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Enjoy a moment of Zen with the handmade Buddha Bowl. Nestled naturally in your palm, this bowl allows you to enjoy rice, soup, cereal and hot cocoa with ease. Its comforting shape washed in soothing color, this dish brings a touch of tranquility to your daily routine. Who knows-maybe you’ll find enlightenment in your morning latte. Available in many colors: olive, pacific, aubergine, black bean, tofu, and butter. Created by Flavour Design. Sold individually. Handmade in southern California.” (uncommon goods, 2011)
“Bring nature and relaxation to your life with this engaging bonsai garden kit. More than just a potted plant, this is a grove of miniature trees that you foster along, from seedling to sprout to bonsai forest.
These tiny trees are actually ancestors of the giant California redwood. Called Dawn redwood, they were thought to be extinct until the 1940s when one was discovered growing in a rice field in central China. And even though its towering relative is an evergreen tree, the Dawn redwood is one of only two known deciduous conifers. In the fall its leafy needles turn from green, to yellow, to copper, bringing the pageant of the changing seasons to your desk or kitchen window.
Kit includes: tree and moss seed, recycled steel seedling training pots, seed starting wafers, growing medium, bonsai scissors, rake with spade, river stone, and directions. Handmade in the USA” (uncommon goods, 2011)
All of the above items can be found at uncommon goods. www.uncommongoods.com
Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season – here’s to a Happy and Prosperous 2012! As always, if you have any design queries, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978.335.1140.