A friend has commissioned a small knitted video tape sculpture from me and, realizing that it may not be available until after the gift is needed, she has graciously extended my delivery date. She would like to give it as a gift for a June 11 event, and I'm simply swamped with the "tree cozy" project between now and then.

However, knowing that I want to do her project in a specific style, I'm taking advantage of the manic knitting I'm doing now to practice the technique I want to use for her project. So last night I started in on a skein of yarn and 5 double-pointed needles, knitting squares from the center out. I got 5 squares done, starting with the simplest form and, making a few that aren't all that pretty, I worked out a design I'm happy enough with to expand on further.

I'm thinking that, come Sunday, I'll be putting yarn away for a while and taking my video tape back up.
So I'm knitting and knitting some more to make rectalinear shapes for the "tree cozy" project and I'm getting excruciatingly bored with just knitting stockinette stitch (knit a row, purl a row, continue until you can't stand it anymore and then bind off). I've exhausted the simple lace and cable patterns I have and finally today I pulled out my big book of knit and crochet patterns.

So this afternoon I learned two new lace patterns and I'm now working on a piece that uses extended stitches. There are a lot of stitch patterns in this big book. I've decided that since I'm committed to knit until my arms fall off or the project is up (June 11!) I may as well make it a learning opportunity as well. By the time these cozies go up I may have developed some mad knitting skills.
I would never call myself a perfectionist or control freak, but I am an oldest child and have directed theater so I'm pretty good at telling people what to do, sometimes. I'm part of a co-op of artists so I'm generally good at working with other creative people and seeing a situation from a variety of sides. I am a Mennonite so I can often hold two opposite ideas at once and be OK in it.

All that said, this Acacia Park "Tree Cozies" project has had me in a bit of a tizzy. I've committed my time, energies, and scant materials to this project with the idea that I would have enough support to oversee it. And I'm really hoping I haven't misjudged the interest for it.

The lesson I may be learning here, among many, is "trust." It will be, and it will be whatever it will be. If only enough material comes in to cover one tree, it will be one tree. If enough comes in to cover five trees, that's what it will be. And I think I can be OK in that.
I can't figure out how to respond to a comment so I'll answer Virginia's question here and hope she sees the answer.

Virginia asked, "Hi, is there a particular reason for the color choice or is that simply random preference?"

The colors for the project are limited to blue, green, and yellow on purpose. It seemed easier to keep the color palette tight so that the individiual pieces would look as though they were created as a whole piece. And with work being contributed from a variety of fiber artists I wanted there to be a unifying theme to make the pieces feel like they made sense together.

I wanted contributors to be able to use up stash yarn rather than having to make a cash investment. And with as many different shades/variations of just those three colors, it'll be pretty dazzling anyway.

Or you may have noticed the color of my toenails in the 5/8 blog. I'm partial to blues, myself and I've been teaching kids art classes using analagous colors, which the three we've chosen are.
Acacia Park Tree Cozies—June 11—25, 2011

Project Concept
A group of local fiber artists (people who knit and/or crochet) would like to place "tree cozies" on five of the trees on the north side of Acacia Park, along Platte Ave. near the corner or Platte and Nevada. These "tree cozies" would be created from fabric sections knitted or crocheted from yarn. They would wrap completely around the trees starting about 2' from the ground and extent to a height of 6' from the ground.

Technically this form of art could be labeled "Yarn Bombing" or "Knitted Graffiti".  This emerging art form is defined as "the activity of covering things in public spaces (e.g. lampposts, trees, statues etc) with knitted materials. The idea of yarn bombing or graffiti knitting originates from the US, where knitters decided to find new and creative ways of using leftover material."

The "cozies" would be wrapped and stitched onto the trees on June 11 to celebrate "International Yarn Bomb Day" and be removed two weeks later on June 25.                             

Project Needs

·         Rectangular shapes in the project color palette

·         People to get together to stitch contributed pieces into cozies

·         People to attach cozies to the trees on June 11, 7:30 a.m.

·         People to help take down cozies on June 25

·         People to rework rectangular shapes into blankets/afghans for donation (optional)

Please create rectangular shapes (squares or rectangles) in blue, green, yellow, or variegated yarn in any/all of those colors. White may be used as an accent color.

Pieces to be contributed should be no smaller than 4" x 4". Smaller squares can be contributed if they are stitched together to make larger rectangles before they are submitted. Maximum square size should not exceed 36" in either direction.

We will need one or two places where cozies can be assembled and left between work sessions. These will probably need to be private homes since we don't have money to rent a work space at this time. Two 4' wide tables are recommended for a work space.

"Cozies" will be installed at 7:30 a.m. on June 11. People are needed to stitch, to hold, and to photograph the installation. Depending on the number of people who come this could take from 1-3 hours. The RMPBS/Uncle Wilbur's Fountain event begins at 10 a.m. I'd like us to be finished by 9:30 if at all possible. If anonymity is an issue for you, you might need to leave early.

The "cozies" are to be taken down on June 25. Time is yet to be determined.

Project After-Life
If there is interest (and we have someone willing to take on this part of the project) the pieces contributed may be re-stitched to create blankets/afghans for donation to local projects. If no one steps forward to spearhead this effort, the contributed pieces will be reunited with their makers (if desired) or retained by VideoKnitter for use in future yarn bomb projects.

I pulled work from my UFO pile doubled that contribution in about the last week or so. Wow, am I going to need help with this!

These are blocked and drying. This is about 22" x 36"--5.5 square feet. We need about 114 square feet to do the project as projected. Only 108.5 square feet of fiber to go. HELP!