Y from the Spinning Yarns crew had the idea to make some spring flowers and decorate a tree outside the Laing Art Gallery. Today was the day it launched! We’d had a nice drink and cake in the cafe on Thursday, and I had filched some of her pretty pink flowers to make an extra chain. When I arrived she’d already decorated one tree, which looked cute but in need of more. So after a sit in the kiddies’ play area, where I hurriedly put together a few of the spare flowers, we went out and did it – a very public get-up where it definitely felt better to have two of us working on it as it made it look kind of official! – we were almost on the art gallery property, looking artsy, but not quite!
We’d been having an interesting discussion about whether you feel attached to your work when you think about the prospect of leaving it behind. I have flashes of this, usually when I’m finishing something off, and when I start to walk away from it (so I make sure I give it a good pat before I leave!). I think the trick is to not get used to having it – the few things I’ve started to make use of I can’t now seem to use as tags – and (as a Buddhist) it’s also an exercise in watching my own attachment and being compassionate with myself about letting things go. But also seeing the piece up there, and taking the photos, and showing them to you, is an alternative source of ‘having’ and sharing.
These are the assorted flowers I made myself, trying out various patterns including a simple little one with a round of dcs and then some 3-ch loops, this slightly bigger one where the petals came out a bit square (orange flower in the middle), some adaptations of my own design (white frilly top flower and more hexagonal pale one top right), and the big ‘Hawaiian flowers’ on the right, where I was reassured you could use fantastically contrasting colours. The fancy layered one in the middle was adapted from Jan Eaton’s book 200 Crochet Blocks, but without the square 🙂 – you have to work one set of petals, break off, and then add chain loops across the back to start the next round.
I had been worrying slightly that my work tended towards the slightly garish 🙂 compared to Y’s work which is almost plausible as matching flowers growing out of the same tree! But in the event both found their natural home – at the last moment I decided to put mine round the railing, partly cos I like to do railings but also so that it will draw the eye of passers-by in the street and hopefully make them look up and around and see the trees. There’s something about railings that is pleasingly geometrical, but also something annoying that says ‘you shan’t’ (cross the street where it’s most convenient) and yarn-bombing them says ‘we shall’ (do something spontaneous and freely creative), with a softening and gently anarchic effect.
Here is where the whole installation stands – with a good view from down the busy New Bridge Street as well as from footfall in various directions. It is pleasingly to see we also have a plaque for excellence underneath 🙂 You can see more of the details on the flickr set: guerrilla crochet 2. Big shout out to Y and hope we can work together again before long! (though her serious afghan and my bro-in-laws gloves are also calling….)