In Stephanie’s previous blog post, Sensor VENTURA is now transitioning to Knit VENTURA. Instead of creating a computer program incorporating the arduino board and a temperature and humidity sensor, Ms. Jo introduced us to a really neat and unique idea: yarn graffiti. For those of you who are unfamiliar with yarn graffiti, it’s a form of graffiti or street art that uses yarn and crocheted pieces instead of chalk or paint. For our project, we are essentially making a big quilt to cover the trailer. This idea was inspired by Magda Sayeg, who is considered to be the mother of the yarn bombing art trend. What started as a simple cover she made for a door handle in 2005 has evolved into a huge movement. She has traveled all over the world covering statues, buses, stairwells, pipes, street signs, buildings, and even a trailer!! What’s ironic about Ms. Sayeg’s work is that she rarely does any of the knitting herself. She’s responsible for studying the object she is tasked with covering and goes to work picking out patterns and color combinations. Once her design is complete, she gathers a team of “knittas”, friends and volunteers, who complete the knit work on looms that can crank out up to 5 feet of knitting in one hour. Ms. Sayeg continues to grow the yarn graffiti trend she started ten years ago.
In addition to being a really cool project, yarn graffiti-ing the trailer would also require us to learn a new skill – knitting. I can’t say that knitting is completely new to me since my grandma taught me how to knit several years ago. However, it’s been long enough since I’ve picked up needles and yarn that I had to watch several youtube tutorials to get the hang of knitting again (Good Knit Kisses videos were very helpful). This is a brand new skill for Stephanie. She is making great progress despite have no prior experience.
We were planning on incorporating some sort of experimental aspect to this project (testing if knitting relieves stress, thus lowering heart rate) but Stephanie and I have our hands full with installing the paneling, re-wiring, knitting, and reaching out to the community to find avid knitters to contribute to our project. So far we have several of the girls from our school’s knitting club on board as well as a few teachers. I’ve even involved my grandma who taught me how to knit. Since we are limited on time and resources, we plan to incorporate knitted pieces found at thrift shops into our design. This method of thrift shopping for knitted pieces is used by Magda Sayeg herself. I’ve also contacted Ms. Sayeg to inquire if she’d be willing to collaborate on this project, since she is based here in Austin, but she has yet to reply. Stephanie and I are really excited about this project and can’t wait to see how it turns out!