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Hey, it’s finally summer time! Everything blooms and it might be the right time to bring more flowers to our beautiful city.

This is a message from Alyson Dobrota from PBJ Design, the non-profit that works to revitalise public spaces.


Join PBJ Design & Assemblage

on July 16th from 10-4

for a yarn-bombing!

We will be putting crocheted pieces into a flower design on the fence that surrounds the parking lot at Granville, Hollis, and Sackville Streets downtown. We’re looking for any spare yarn, extra crochet hooks to borrow on July 16th, or any extra crocheted pieces we can incorporate into our design (ex. crocheted doilies). Most importantly, we’re looking for volunteers on July 16th to help us beautify the fence. Snacks and drinks will be provided for volunteers!

If you’re interested in helping out or have any questions, feel free to email Alyson at: alyson@pbjdesign.ca.


 

Volunteer Call Out (2) (1) (1)-1

Lovely, isn’t it? Here are a few links that Alyson sent me to share with you if you wish to make flowers before the event.

She wrote:

“The first two are for basic small flowers, which we could use in any size! If they are smaller, we could incorporate them into larger flowers together on the fence, and if they are larger, they can stand alone. The last link is for a doily, this could be another design that we use for flowers. We’re open to anything!

https://www.thespruce.com/flat-flower-applique-pattern-978604

https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/01/crochet-flower/

https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/03/free-crochet-doily-pattern/

We will be using some fabric strips and some yarn to make the grass and the leaves. We’re also opened to basic stems/crocheted chains for flower stems or grass. The pattern for the fence is very flexible and will depend on what we receive. I am very excited to see where it goes!”

If you feel like bringing more beauty to the public spaces while using your crafting skills and hanging out with other crafters… here is a great chance! 

IMG_20150921_190405

 

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Recently our local children’s hospital, the IWK, contacted me with an unusual request. The Family Newborn Unit was asking for a knitted breast to help demonstrate breastfeeding techniques to new moms. (Here is a printer-friendly Marianne Brophy’s Knitted Breast pattern.)

As a mother of two and a breastfeeding advocate, I loved this brilliant idea and was thrilled to get involved. Working on this project brought back the memories of challenges that I faced as a mother of a newborn.

Often breastfeeding comes naturally to a nursing couple, but not always. Sometimes new mothers need help. Because the stakes were high for me, I didn’t mind to learn the techniques using my own body that was looked at and touched by strangers of both genders. I  vividly remember the moment when I decided that I simply couldn’t be distracted by the uncomfortable feelings. My child’s needs came before my comfort. Also, I simply didn’t have a choice.

That’s why I want the families and the breastfeeding professionals to have a choice. They can use a realistic, pliable model to talk about the women’s anatomy and the breastfeeding process.  Both mothers and health professionals can feel and manipulate this knitted breast to make their learning experience most useful and comfortable.

knitted-breast

I have made a number of samples and brought them back to the hospital to test  (they passed). Please let me share some of the insights I gained while experimenting. First of all, you don’t have to use only pink yarn but skin tones are preferable. I made two different kinds to reflect differences in skin colours.

knitted-breast-1

The darker yarn was a bit thicker so I had to modify the pattern slightly. I cast on 60 instead of 66 stitches, and had 10 instead of 11 stitches in each decrease section.

knitted-breast-2

They turned out the same size but even if they were slightly bigger or smaller, it wouldn’t matter. Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. After stuffing the breasts with the filling material, I traced a yogurt lid to make a few cardboard circles for the flat bottom.

knitted-breast-bottom

If you follow the pattern exactly, you will notice that the top (the nipple part) is shaped like a hat. It provides a lot of flexibility. With the top pushed in, it can represent an inverted nipple that sometimes makes it more challenging for a baby to latch on. It can be used for demonstrating techniques of teasing the nipple out.

knitted-breast-inverted-nipple

If you knit more than one model, you could make a variety of shapes. Draw the yarn through stitches below the last ones (about three rounds down) to create a firm nipple or skip a few last stitches to create a flat nipple, like this one. You can also experiment with the different size areola by joining a contrast yarn sooner or later in the pattern.

knitted-breast-flat-nipple

Dear knitters, let’s knit some breasts for the new mothers and their babies to help make their breastfeeding journey as smooth as possible.

knitted-breast-3

You can drop off your knitted breast models at:

IWK Volunteer Resources
5850/5980 University Avenue
Halifax, NS  B3K 6R8

or mail them to:

Volunteer Resources
IWK Health Centre
PO BOX 9700
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Thank you and happy knitting!

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Do you bike or know somebody who does? With the chart below you can knit a little cozy bracelet that says “I Bike”. That’s how this idea started last summer. One knitter suggested that it can make a coffee cozy, too.

I bike bracelet chart
All you need to know is the desirable circumference and the gauge for your chosen yarn and needles.  I used sock yarn and 2 mm double-pointed needles, for example. For the white bracelet I eliminated the “bike tracks” and used two repeats, for the total of 54 stitches. The bracelet/cozy is knit in a round, the colourwork technique is Fair Isle, the yarn is carried over on the inside.

I bike knitted bracelet
The grey bracelet has two repeats and the bike tracks between them.

I Bike Whristband_002
Here is the chart based on 60 stitches and 42 rounds.

I Bike kniting chart
And if you wish to modify the chart, here is an Excel file that will allow you to do so.

Happy summer knitting!

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