Monday, August 19, 2013

Calling all Guerrillas

Despite the paramilitaristic connotations, it seems that people love to stick the word guerrilla in front of things these days. It is certainly doing wonders for the image of the crafting world. Guerrilla knitting, or yarn bombing, involves wool as creative intervention // decoration in cities, towns, anywhere outdoors or public I guess. You can check out one of myself and Clare's first attempts in this previous post.

This post is a call to arms, to take up your needle(s) and whip up a little something to contribute to an incredible space being created in the centre of Dublin's fair city. The project, called Granby Park, initiated by a group of designers, architects, planners and general creative thinkers and doers called Upstart Collective, has been in the works for two years now. This summer Upstart will transform a vacant site on Dominick Street, just off Parnell Street, into a pop-up park, creating a public pocket of space for play from August 23rd (this Thursday!!) till September 22nd. For those four weeks there will be free arts events and workshops, a pop-up cinema, art installations and a pop-up cafe for the public to enjoy. I have been involved as a volunteer for a grand total of one week and the (slightly stressful) buzz in the office is already over-exciting me. Thankfully I'm mostly sitting down when I'm in there.

Wool obviously plays an integral role in any temporary cultural haven, and that's where you come in. This is lazy crafting at it's best; no stitching, mistakes don't matter much, and you can use up the ends of those mad-coloured wools under your bed. Knit or crochet a patch or twenty, and you can send them into Upstart or, if you happen to know me, give them to me ( and I can deliver them. 

Here's a bit from Zita Spring, Upstart member and owner of the Dublin wool shop Spring Wools, about the plan to cover Granby Park's railings in woolen creations, along with guidelines, and photos of some of the submissions so far:

"We think that wrapping Granby Park in a handcrafted, collaborative and colourful installation fits beautifully with the spirit of the park, and that’s why we’re pleased to volunteer our time and talents to Granby Park, and hope that you will too."

* * * *
Use any leftover yarn you have (the more colourful the better) to knit or crochet a patch measuring approx. 14cm x 50cm (5.5 inches x 20 inches).
Include as many different colours, stripes or designs as you like in your patch. And submit as many different patches as you can!

If using DK yarn: With 4mm knitting needles, cast on 30 stitches. continue in your preferred knitting stitch until your knitting measures 50cm/20 inches in length. Cast off.

If using Aran yarn: With 5mm knitting needles cast on 26 stitches. Continue in your preferred knitting stitch until your knitting measures 50cm/20 inches in length. Cast off.

If using chunky yarn: With 6mm knitting needles cast on 19 stitches. Continue in your preferred knitting stitch until your knitting measures 50cm/20 inches in length. Cast off.

* * * *  
Please send or drop in any knit or crochet patches to Upstart Collective, Ashley House, 182-184 Parnell St, Dublin 1 (or give to a steward in the park once the park is open). We'll be accepting submissions until 22 September, but we'd like to receive plenty of submissions before the park's opening date of 22 August 2013. 

* * * *

to learn more about Upstart: 

to follow the progress of the park:

to learn more about vacant sites in Dublin:

...and ways to use them creatively:
the journal: vacant spaces could be used for the arts

Godspeed Crafters!

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