Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Aug 22, 2012

Block Party Banner

This weekend is the Downtown Block Party here in Terre Haute. I had a great time last year, though I sold very little. This year I just didn't have the energy to do a booth, so I volunteered to help out at the RiverWools yarn shop booth, in exchange for having some of my things for sale in the booth or shop.

Of course, I'm not content to just monitor a booth...I really like to engage passersby, especially children. In previous years, I created art activities for the Maple Center part of my booth, focused on art and healing. I also have brought my Saori loom and made very long banners woven by dozens of people, mostly children.

This year's project is also a banner - but this one is to have a knitted base. People can come by and knit a few rows on one of the base panesl, and I'm hoping I'll have some help with that.  The really fun part is that people can weave into the base, or tie and knot fibers into it.  I'm also going to have some garland-type projects to work on for crochet people.  It's all big needles (size 15/17) and hooks (size Q) so it goes quickly and it will be drapey and have lots of holes to facilitate embellishment.

Here's what it looks like today on the floor of my studio....I'm using worsted weight solid colors with some novelty yarns for the base panels. Embellishment with shiny, fraying stuff like banana and sari silk, silk ribbon recycled bits, and felt balls. 

I'm trying to see where I can apply Saori principles and philosophy here...and after a week or two of feeling anxious about volunteering to create this activity for the booth, I'm in full swing working on it and feel energized and excited about it.

Recipe for base panels:
Worsted weight solid or semi-solid yarn
Size 15 and size 17 needles
CO 33 stitches for about a foot wide.

Randomly knit a few garter stitch rows, stockinette rows and eyelet rows (yo, k2tog across)
Randomly make a few eyelets here and there as you go, just remember to knit 2 stitches together each time you make a yarn over hole.

Change yarns whenever you feel like it, varying the number of rows of each color. 

I made the above beginning to test my idea. For the public project, I hope to have several panels about 12" X 18"  ready-made for people to embellish, as well as a couple on the needles for knitters who want to knit their contribution.  I may also have some panels with the knitting turned sideways in the finished banner.

For embellishing, leave ends and weave them in visibly through stitches, weave ribbon (the recycled sari silk ribbon is wonderful for this) into the eyelets. Weave vertically as well as horizontally. Crocheters can create some chains with multiple yarns to weave in. I'm also planning to attach felt balls here and there.

To finish up after the event, I will join panels and do some kind of crochet border around the whole piece. 

Fun for me at this point and hopefully, some fiber fun for visitors at the Block Party!



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