Detonating the Yarn Bomb

I know I’m over a month late with this, but better late than never, right? I have a ton of yarnbombing photos to share!

For my contribution I made sure to do much of the work ahead of time so that the actual installation would be as quick and painless as possible. It only took me about 10 minutes to get this up! I just pinned the top middle and bottom together on the light post with safety pins to hold it in place and then I climbed up onto the railing and quickly whip stitched the seam together.

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I was going for a vague Welcome to Night Vale theme, so I included the purple eye logo on the front.

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I made a tentacle too. There aren’t really any tentacles in Welcome to Night Vale that I can recall, but it seems to be the universal symbol for “creepy and/or weird” so it seemed appropriate. I also included a handful of red dots for Dot Day. I thought about including a few blue dots as well, but I don’t really know what the consequences might be for such a subversive action. I figured the yarnbombing organizers might be upset if it resulted in an explosion or a black hole or something, so I decided against it.

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That pale yellowish pink thing is my pathetic attempt at a Glow Cloud. There’s silver thread woven through it and I used lots of bobbles to make it look cloud-like. It didn’t turn out as glowy or cloudy as I had hoped. Oh well. I tried.

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The whole time I was making this and thinking up ways to incorporate the Night Vale fandom I was pretty much resigned to the fact that no one would get it. I mean, I know the fandom seems to have completely taken over the internet and any pictures I might post on the internet would probably get some love (and there was indeed a huge spike in views on my Tumblr page), but I wasn’t making this for the internet I was making it for a bridge. Well, someone DID get it! There was a poster board set up to allow people to leave comments about the project and it appears a city council representative stopped by to inspect the yarn bomb.

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I was able to help put together a second lamp post cover on installation day. There was a really cool looking panel of black knitting with a gold spikey detail, but it was just a small section and needed a lot more added to it to fit around a post. I crocheted enough extra black fabric onto it to wrap around the post and added a small panel of knitted black eyelash yarn and gold-ish stuff at the bottom. Then I sewed on a woven piece that was donated and some black feather boas and tied it all onto a post in the dead of night. The next time I saw it someone had added a spiderweb to it which I think really ties the whole thing together.

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Since mine was so quick to go up I was able to help install some of the other pieces. I helped out a woman named Amber with a few of hers.

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There was a person stationed at the bridge most of the day to help out and give directions, but most of the time everyone was too busy to sit down.

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Someone from the local TV station came by to check things out.

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It was amazing how quickly we were able to fill the bridge.

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After all was said and done Spectral Spiders managed to cover every single lamp post on the bridge – 30 in all! I’ve already shown you a few, but here are the rest:

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Apparently we couldn’t stop at just the lamp posts. A few other yarn bombs were found at the bridge.

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It was all up in time for Arts Walk! Unfortunately some of the pieces didn’t last beyond that night. Vandalism is something that happens frequently with yarn bombings, and this time was no exception. By the next day several of the pieces were gone, including Yoda which was a beloved traveling yarn bomb that had graced the streets outside the creator’s house for years.

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The giant octopus was cut down as well, and was doubly painful due the fact that it was made by the same artist who made Yoda.

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It sucks to have art vandalized like that, but that’s a risk one takes when making street art. There was one uninvited guest I found who seemed to really understand what we were trying to do. A tiny spider showed up on one of the spider-themed pieces in honor of the Spectral Spiders.

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All in all it was a great experience! I’m definitely going to participate in more yarn bombings in the future!

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Last Days of the Photocalypse

I’ve got five days of photos to catch up on!

1 – Coins

Staging and lighting: I set out some of my sister’s foreign currency (no idea where she got any of it) on the windowsill in my room. I turned off all the lights so the only light came from the window. It was early afternoon and very cloudy.

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Instagram edits: Lo-Fi filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased definition to the maximum, increased exposure

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

This is another photo that sort of had a faux tilt-shift effect because of the angle of photography. I usually don’t mess with the definition so much because my subjects usually have soft edges (yarn, knitted things) and it just makes the edges look grainy and weird, but with hard-edged things like coins it works great! It makes it look like I could pluck those coins right off the computer screen! Both photos are great, but I think I prefer the crisp realism of the computer edited version.

2 – Stripes

Staging and lighting: I took these right after the coin photos, so the lighting is the same. I learned from the last time I took photos in my room and paid a bit more attention to the background this time. I moved my comforter down so it hung almost to the floor to cover up my bed. I moved the rolling cart completely out of the way and the cat scratching slope off to the side.

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Instagram edits: Sierra filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased blue

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Since this is a PROJECT! photo I donned my “serious business” hat while editing. The computer version is better, hands down. It shows the true colors of the yarn and the texture of the stitches. The Instagram version was as good as I could find, but it doesn’t compare to the full control I get when editing on the computer. I was really surprised at how good the lighting was considering it was dark and dreary out and further limited by the thick trees and tiny window! Having only a single light source had another benefit that I had not considered – the far background is completely in shadow, so I only had to worry about making the near background nice and neat (you can see how that worked out in the photos below).

Once again, I could not help myself and edited all of the photos from that session and picked out a few more cool shots. For the curious, the pattern is Color Affection.

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3 – Needles

Staging and lighting: Since my focus this past week has been on the yarnbomb it was only fitting that I should use it for one of my photos. For the knitted portions I’ve mostly been using my short Addi Turbo circular needles, so I draped the yarnbomb over the back of my computer chair, stuck the needles in it and shoved the chair up against the back window. Once again it was stormy and gray outside and the photos were taken in the late afternoon.

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Instagram edits: tilt shift horizontally, Mayfair filter and border

Computer edits: cropped and enhanced

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

I like the softness of the Instagram photo a bit better than the computer version. The tilt-shift also helps draw my eye towards the needles and not stay stuck on the busy yarnbomb at the bottom of the photo.

4 – Relax

The obvious choice for this photo prompt would have been to photograph knitting in progress. When I really thought about it though, I realized knitting isn’t actually that relaxing for me, it’s too exciting! When I really need to wind down and stop thinking for a while I go to bed and read a book. I just finished A Game of Thrones last night, so tonight I will start on A Clash of Kings!

Staging and lighting: I put the book on my pillow and pulled up the covers. I used my bedtime lighting for this one, which is the reading lamp attachment on the standing lamp next to my bed.

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Instagram edits: tilt shift horizontally, lux, Sierra filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased blue, decreased exposure, decreased saturation, decreased contrast, and increased red

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Looking at both of these photos side-by-side, the Instagram version looks more relaxing. I think it’s the combination of the tilt-shift blurring out parts of the photo and the soft glow added by the Sierra filter.

5 – Leaves

Staging and lighting: It’s been storming like crazy this week and it was cloudy out (though thankfully not raining) when I took these photos in the late afternoon.

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Instagram edits: Lux, Inkwell filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, black and white effect, increased exposure, increased highlights to the max

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

The leaves on the trees in my backyard haven’t changed color yet, so I focused more on the shape of the leaves than the color when taking the photographs. Then when I went to do the editing they looked almost black and white anyway, so I decided to go all the way with it and use one of the black and white filters in Instagram. I like the way the Instagram turned out better than the computer edited photo. The differences are subtle, but the Instagram looks like it has more of a glow to it while the other one looks more flat. I may be crazy, but it looks like the Instagram version is a photograph and the computer version is a still from a movie. Not sure why.

I’ll do a full analysis on my month of Instagramming after I’ve had a chance to look over the data and sleep on it!

 

Radio Silence

I have been taking pictures I just have barely touched my computer in the past few days so they are sitting on my phone unedited and unexamined. I have until Wednesday to finish putting together my yarnbomb and then we’ll be installing it on Thursday so I’ve been frantically knitting crocheting and sewing this thing together. Until I’m finished with it I won’t really have much computer time. When I come back though I’ll have lots of pictures to show you! Stay tuned!

 

WIP-Cracking Wednesday: Zooming, Bombing, and Sculpting

WARNING: This post contains a ridiculous number of pictures.

Part 1: Zooming

The photo prompt today was “extreme close up,” which is what I frequently seem to do anyway. This time I decided to see just how close I could get.

Staging and lighting: While I was out and about I decided to zoom in on an art installation. It was about 3 pm and partly cloudy. I took the photo about an inch away from the surface of the piece.

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Just for fun, I Instagrammed the full photo of the art piece too. I like it better than the reference photo.

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Anyway, back to the actual challenge photo…

Instagram edits: Lux, Mayfair filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased definition and sharpness to the max

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

It’s hard to go wrong with something this abstract, but for the Instagram version I went with the filter that gave the biggest range of colors without darkening the photo. For the computer edit I wanted to bring out all the cool bubble shapes in the glass, so that’s why I pumped up the definition and sharpness. They both turned out awesome!

Part 2: Bombing

You may have noticed that for once my challenge photo is not in my house or my backyard. The reason I was lured out of my cave in the first place was because I needed to do a fitting for my yarnbombing. I have a whole section seamed together at this point, and many more pieces pinned together, but I needed to actually put those pieces up on the light pole to see how they all might fit together and how much more I need to do.

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The main section I have seamed together fits on the lower part of the base quite nicely. I just need to smooth out the edges.

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I purposefully did not seam together enough pieces to fit all the way around the pole yet. I needed to figure out where I would stitch up the piece when installation day comes. I think I will stitch it up along the corner to the right of the tentacle.

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So now I just need to add about 7 inches worth of pieces to the other end of this section so it can reach the tentacle corner.

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This strip of swatches should help pull the bottom section in tight around the middle of the base and prevent it from slipping down.

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I had another strip of swatches that I wanted to use for the top of the piece to hold the whole thing up, but it didn’t quite fit around the rounded section I had initially intended it for.

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It fits perfectly above the rounded section though, and it should help hold the piece up even better with that lip in the way!

Part 3: Sculpting

I made a LOT of progress on Ducky this week! I worked on filling in the holes around the left cheek.

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Then I smoothed out the shape of the cheek.

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I filled out the head shape some more and started building the brow ridges.

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Then I attached the brow ridges and filled in the eyeballs. And with that, the sculpting of Ducky’s head was FINISHED!!!

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I started coloring the nose and the brow ridges.

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Ducky is really starting to look like Ducky!

Multiple WIPs Are Cracked and a Confession

Let’s start with the confession just so we can get it out of the way and hopefully you’ll have forgotten about it by the end of this post. Today’s photo prompt was “guilty pleasure.” I could have thought of some BS guilty pleasure to show everyone, but I was just too lazy for lies. I actually photographed something that makes me feel a little bit dirty every time I do it.  So, since that’s what I used for my Instagram photo I guess I have to fess up here on the blog too.

I’m a rubbernecker. There are all kinds of rubberneckers, the most well-known being those who gawk at car-accidents, but I’m a very specific breed of rubbernecker. I LOVE reading drama on the Ravelry forums. People behave badly on the internet all the time, and Ravelry is no exception, so when a throwdown starts in a thread I want to read every juicy second of it. It’s like watching a slap-fight on Jerry Springer. I’m not alone in this. There’s a whole group dedicated to locating drama and poking fun at the sheer spectacle of it, so I took a photo of the group page on my computer screen for the Instagram challenge. I’m not going to link them here for your own good. If you really want to find them you can look them up on Ravelry yourself and then figure out a way to live with your shame.

Staging: This is probably the weirdest photo I’ve ever taken…I just pointed the camera at my computer screen. I did expand the screen so all my bookmarks aren’t visible and zoomed in to the group header so it was easier to see what was going on, but that’s it for staging. Just point and shoot.

Instagram edits: cropped, tilt-shift horizontally, Sierra filter and border

Computer edits: cropped and enhanced

kind of edited with iPhoto

kind of edited with iPhoto

I only did the computer edit for the sake of continuity. There was really nothing to edit. I have no idea what to do with a picture of a computer screen. That being said, I like the Instagram better. The filter and the tilt-shift added some interest to it.

On to the WIPs!

I did some more work on the yarnbombing this week. I have quite a few fragments made at this point and yesterday I started piecing some of them together. Here are just four pieces pinned together and two more fragments waiting to find their neighbors. See how they’re kind of like a puzzle? That’s basically how freeform works.

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Ducky is also inching closer and closer to completion! I finished coloring the upper jaw.

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Then I attached the upper jaw to the head and started using some of the pre-felted pieces to form the cheeks.

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Before I attached the cheeks I decided to work on the nose. I decided to just start slapping random colors on at this point to stretch the wool supply. As long as I use light colors or other shades of green it should all be pretty easy to cover. I put the basic shape of the nose together and then needed to add a bit more around the edge. Once I attached the middle of a long piece of felt to the front of the nose it looked like Ducky had a moustache, so I decided that was the perfect time to pause for a picture.

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Then I attached the cheek shapes and started filling in some of the gaps with green.

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Ducky almost has a face!

WIP-Cracking Wednesday AND Photocalypse!

First the WIP-Cracking

My week was mostly spent working on the yarnbombing. There was some family health drama and I was in need of portable crafting, so no needle felting progress this time.

I’m running with the Welcome to Night Vale theme and have been working in as many references as possible. So far I’ve made the Eye, red dots, a tentacle, a bunch of amorphous shapes and I’ve started sewing suckers onto the tentacle. I made a glow cloud at some point, but then I decided it was neither glowy nor cloudy enough and ripped it out. I may make another attempt at it. We’ll see.

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Photocalypse

Today’s prompt was “shoes” and seeing as I don’t really own any super-cute shoes like everyone else seems to be Instagramming I decided to go a more realistic route. I didn’t want to photograph boring empty shoes though, and it’s kind of hard to take pictures of your own feet so I asked my sister to be my stand-in. She pretty much only wears sandals though, which is fine since I have a very similar pair, but having bare feet in the photo just seemed…boring? odd? I dunno, so I told her to put on some socks. I’m a knitter though, so of course they had to be hand-knit socks. So basically I threw “realism” out the window during the course of staging this photograph because these are not my shoes, or my feet, and I don’t actually wear socks with sandals despite my geographical affiliation. I’m a bad North-westerner I guess.

Staging and lighting: There were two main light sources for this one – the dining room lights to the right and the standing lamp to the left and in front. I had my sister stand on a chair both to bring her closer to the light sources and to avoid doing detailed photography of the cat hair carpet.

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light source on the left

light source on the left

location of lamp in relation to chair

location of lamp in relation to chair

For the Instagram I cropped the photo and used the Hudson filter with a border. The unedited photo was very yellow and the Hudson filter added the most blue to counteract that.

On the computer I cropped the image, enhanced it, and increased the blue.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

It’s still nowhere near true-to-color. Conclusion: the living room lights are way too yellow to be a useful light source. If I want to do living room photography without the benefit of natural light I’ll have to switch out all the bulbs.

 

Photocalypse: How to Make Stuff Up

I’ve been attempting to knit and crochet this entire yarn bomb freeform, which is quite a feat considering how much of a control freak I am. I actually had to read a book in order to learn how to make stuff up as I go along. This is the book I’ve been reading.

Staging and lighting: I put the book on the footrest of my recliner. The lighting here is a bit odd. It’s mostly from the entryway light which is behind and to the left of the foot of the recliner.

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Instagram edits: cropped closer, used tilt-shift vertically and moved it so it didn’t obscure the title and author, used the lux function, Hudson filter, and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, and increased the blue

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Conclusion: this is a really bad spot for photography. The lighting is just too weird. It’s a wonder how I get so much crafting done in this chair.

Photocalypse: Puff o’clock

Sometimes a project can fit into very neat intervals of time. A row that takes exactly 10 minutes to knit, a pattern repeat that takes 5 minutes to get through, a stripe of color that lasts for 30 minutes. Today’s photo prompt was “time,” so these are the things that came to mind. Hexipuffs represent an especially tidy amount of time – 45 minutes. In other words, for every single episode of most shows I watch on Netflix I can complete one hexipuff.

Staging: same as the “on the table” shot of my disassembled yarn bomb, except I held up the hexipuff under the lights instead of laying it on the table (which is still covered in yarn).

For the Instagram shot I zoomed in a tad so the puff filled the frame more, used the vertical tilt-shift function (the water droplet thing) and adjusted the blurred sections so they weren’t covering the puff (turns out you CAN move them around!), used the Lux setting, the Mayfair filter, and the border.

For the computer edit I cropped it, enhanced it, and increased the blue until the wall was no longer gray-brown and looked more like it does in real life.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

This was hard to pick a filter for in Instagram. None of them looked quite right. I just went with whatever showed the most range of color and conveyed some of the brightness of the yarn. The computer edited photo is much better.

Photocalypse: Freeform

Around 3 pm I came out to the living room and noticed a bit of sunlight on the couch. I decided to take advantage of it for today’s photography prompt – texture.

Staging and lighting: I tossed the freeform fragments I made yesterday into the ray of sunshine on the couch and tucked all the loose ends underneath them.

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I used the Hefe filter and border in Instagram.

I cropped and enhanced the photo in iPhoto.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Photocalypse: Future Fair Isle

I have this crazy idea that I’m going to design a Fair Isle project. I’ve never actually done Fair Isle before. Clearly I’m insane. In any case, some of the most gorgeous examples of Fair Isle use multiple colors that gradually shift from dark to light. In order to pick out the right colors for this sort of effect it’s helpful to view the yarn in black and white so you can accurately assess their value.

Today’s #yarnpadc was “black and white” so I decided to take that opportunity to look at my possible choices for Fair Isle projects!

Staging and lighting were pretty much identical to yesterday – early morning light, diffused through the clouds of a gathering storm. I could hear thunder as I snapped these pics! I pre-sorted the yarn in the light box into what I thought would be the right value gradient and then laid them all out on a pillowcase in the backyard.

I’m going to show you the color photo first – this one was cropped and enhanced in iPhoto.

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For the Instagram version I just cropped it a bit and applied the Willow filter and border.

For the iPhoto version I just did the light editing I already mentioned and then applied the “black & white” effect.

edited in iPhoto

edited in iPhoto

There are only two black and white filters in Instagram, and when I was testing them both out on the phone Willow looked the best. Inkwell looked too harsh. Now on the computer Willow looks way too soft. I decided to try it in Inkwell too, so here’s what it looks like using the Inkwell filter and border in Instagram.

It is a bit harsh. It looks like it’s overexposed or something. In this case, as a photograph I prefer the Willow-filtered Instagram, but as an instructional picture I feel like the iPhoto edited version is more accurate.

Also, I’m pretty smug about the fact that I seemed to put everything in the correct value order. Cora and Mrs. Patmore (fourth and fifth from the right on the top row) should switch places and the red that is the third from the right on the bottom row is misplaced (maybe should be the fourth or fifth from the left instead?), but that’s all I would change.