Guerilla crafters dress Brisbane in winter woollies

If you’ve been in the Brisbane city heart this week, you may have noticed that it is a bit more colourful than usual.

Pompoms are hanging from trees, green hearts and mushrooms have sprung up in the quirkiest of places, and the statues have put on their woollies to ward off  the winter chill – like this little fella in King George Square, who’s sporting a very nice stripey scarf (in Biggan yarn, of course!):

© Stephen Jaensch. Used with permission.

They are all part of I Knit Brisbane, a community knitting and crochet project that brought together crafters from all over Brisbane – school students, artists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, seniors groups, knitting/crochet groups and associations, and the craft businesses that service them.

Hundreds of hours of knitting, crocheting and assembly went on behind the scenes, culminating in a massive effort on the night of 31 May, when the guerilla crafters took to the streets of Brisbane to ensure the city heart was warm and cosy for the first day of winter. I wish I could have seen the faces of the city workers when they came across their first piece of woollen sculpture that morning – I hope it made them smile!!

Biggan and I were awed and inspired by the army of fantastically creative guerilla crafters who put their hearts and hands into making Brisbane a warmer place this winter. We were honoured to be a small part of this amazing community by providing some of the wool for the installations.

Channel 9’s news story about the project can be viewed here (and yes, that is Biggan being interviewed behind Sebastian di Mauro’s hand sculpture)

If you’re in Brisbane and want to check out I Knit Brisbane, this map will point you in the right direction…

Part of the art

So what do knitters get up to on a lazy afternoon in the River City?

Well, yesterday a group of us became part of the art at the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6) at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art.

One of the exhibits is Untitled 9, a gigantic plinth which dominates the gallery’s River Room. The plinth is topped with a circle of chairs, where various groups have been invited to meet during the exhibition. Yesterday, Biggan and I joined other members of the Brisbane SnB group for a spot of public knitting as art.

From the top of the plinth, we knitters had a fabulous view of the river and the new Kurilpa Bridge, a pedestrian and cyclist bridge which links the city heart to the art gallery precinct. It’s an interesting structure, and a very apt view for our group, as people often liken it to knitting needles!

If you would like to read more about the concept behind Untitled 9, have a peek at the blog of its creators, the art collective DAMP.

Rainbow ruffles take home the prize

Congratulations to Christine Jones, who is the first winner of our monthly competition with her self-designed Arwen rainbow ruffle skirt.

© Christine Jones. Used with permission.

A resident of Australia’s Northern Rivers region and a knitter for almost 30 years, Christine has recently turned her hand to designing patterns. Her first published pattern, Flamenco, is featured on the cover of the current issue of Australian knitting magazine, Yarn.

“I’ve always loved colour and that’s what I really like about Biggan yarn,” Christine says. “I bought a few different colours from Biggan at a craft fair in Brisbane earlier this year, and did a couple of samples for the course I’m doing.

“I’m not sure where the actual inspiration for the skirt came from. I guess it was having all those single balls in different colours. The materials influenced the design…and I also love frills,” Christine said.

Christine is currently working on grading Arwen, so keep an eye out for this exciting new pattern.

Christine has won two 50g balls of Biggan DK/8 ply yarn in Emerald, and we hope this provides her with inspiration to design more fabulous things!

And remember, if you’re on Ravelry, why not enter our monthly competition? All you have to do is knit or crochet a project using Biggan yarn, and then share it with the Biggan Designs group so that it shows up in the “Recently Completed Projects” from group members.

We will be announcing our second winner on 1 January, so don’t forget to post your projects to the group by 31 December!

Stitches and song at the Swedish Church in London

On Tuesday afternoon, I popped in to the newly started Stick- och Syjunta (Knit and Knatter) at the Swedish Church here in London.  I had a wonderful time with the loveliest people, all talented knitters and very interested to be working with our yarn. One of the pastors, Björn, even came down to join us for a bit — he is a charismatic young guy and a keen knitter!!! I’ve been invited to show our yarns and knitwear at their next meeting in February.

During the evening I do not know how many people came up and complimented me on my red Saya wrap and my pumpkin Mary skirt and Georgia sweater. So many were interested in knitting the Saya wrap, which is great! It is a most useful garment for any occasion, be it travelling, out on the town, on the sofa with a book, or to a concert at night!

I stayed on for a fabulous Advent Concert that evening, held first at the church with traditional Christmas music, and later down in the refectory for a more frivolous performance. The quality of the performers was superb. Swedish mezzo soprano Catrin Johnsson and soprano Linda Johnsson, accompanied by Rachel Fuller at the piano, filled the church with beautiful Christmas carols, and later Johan Hugosson performed an almighty piano sonata by Frans Schubert. The world-renowned a capella quartet Cantabile sang a wonderful rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas, with such hilarity and cheek that they had us all in awe and stitches! I’m definitely a fan, and will be following very closely where they will be performing again. They are extraordinary in their musical range and acting skills within the musical context.