Saturday, September 7, 2013

Knitting A Bike Stand

Ok, so I lie. I didn't knit an actual bike stand. I knit a bike-stand-cosy. Guerrilla knitting strikes again. It is possibly the mildest (and definitely the cosy-est) form of guerrilla urban intervention, and is a pretty effective way to add a bit of colour to a grey streetscape. Personally I also enjoy the humour generated by these kind of projects, because you are effectively putting a woolly jumper on a piece of metal infrastructure. Beautifully unnecessary, and unexpected.

I chose a bike stand because I figured the sleeve would rest nicely on that, rather than having to battle with gravity on a vertical signpost-pole. I cast on about 30 stitches, using 12mm needles, i.e. big chunky ones. They give you a bigger and looser stitch so you can knit greater volumes in a shorter time. Plus they are great fun to knit with, and you can poke the person sitting next to you on the couch to your heart's content.  I estimated the length I would need. Your best bet is simply to take whatever needles and wool you have, and then measure or estimate how much width and length you need to be able to sew the long length of knitting into a sleeve that fits the bike stand / rack / pole / whatever you're having yourself.

Myself and Clare sewed this on at nighttime, mostly just to avoid strange glances. I picked a bike stand in Harold's Cross, which is the closest village to me in the Dublin suburbs. There used to be a local cinema in Harold's Cross, but ever since that closed down, there hasn't been too much to smile about in the village itself. Unless you're into dog racing. Which I'm not really. So anyway, the knitting does stand out a bit, and still is standing, about 6 weeks later. 

This is a very lazy but satisfying genre of knitting, especially if you, like me, tend to get stressed out even looking at knitting patterns for lovely things you would like to wear. Oh, and the fantastic thing is, you don't really have to bother going back to fix your mistakes, so it's perfect for (k)novice-knitters!



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Presents From Japan

I got these amazing gifts from my friend Rosa who spent a month travelling in Japan. I thought I would share them here because they are so beautifully made and nice to look at! She got me mushroom stickers, sweets, a DVD and a an adorable little ornament. Everything was nicely wrapped with delightful attention to detail that you just don't see here in Ireland!

If you are a Hayao Miyazaki fan, you may recognise the sweets from "Spirited Away". Rosa and I have always been big fans of Miyazaki making them a very thoughtful gift! We spent many nights curled up under a duvet amidst an array of snacks, watching his films and then endlessly discussing which characters we were most like. Here's the soot sprites with the sweets:

Here are some close ups of the ornament. He's so lovely and is now standing proudly on my mantlepiece. I love how simple and how beautifully made he is.

Receiving such pretty things makes me really want to go to Japan and explore the craft culture over there! Alas, I think that adventure will have to wait as I am exponentially impoverished at the moment. But one can dream right?!

BrĂ­d x