Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ele-pants (or: Trunk Envy)

The world of the contemporary knitter is strange. And growing stranger. There's some sort of guerrila movement afoot to festoon public facilities like park benches with, well, knitty-things. It's called Guerrilla Knitting or some-such. I should look it up right now. (Nah.)

These artistic installations are done by young knitters, and I don't know what possesses them to pick up needles and wool in the first place. Knitting was always a Grandma-thing, wasn't it?

I'm one of the oldsters, the Beehive pattern set who used to knit on long, straight steel needles that I still have. Cold as hell, clanky, scrapy, heavy, and horrible. I wonder if the daring new set of Yarn Harlots uses these. Probably not. . . maybe they knit with their fingers.

OK, I looked it up:

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.

I'd-a just dismissed all this as an urban myth, but when I was going to the Dollarama with Caitlin (9 years old and savvy about everything), she pointed to a brightly-colored tangle of textile artfully draped on a  fence pole and said, "Look, Grandma. Yarn bombing."

The one Caitlin and I saw wasn't like the colorful tree cozy you see above. To me it looked like one of the reluctant snarls I sometimes have to pitch into the garbage (i. e. the panda I killed with scissors, many posts ago). I don't know how you do the stripey ones.. I guess you shimmy up there and knit it right on to the tree.

ANYWAY, I am now far off-topic. I wanted to compare notes on some elephant-ware I have seen on the net lately. I'm attempting my first elephant from a book called World of Knitted Toys which attempts to represent the animals therein in a more realistic way than usual.

I doubt if the blighter will look like this, but I can try. So far he is using up more and more yarn, so that I will have to go trotting back to Michaels (again), praying it all works out in the end.

I suspect these are dolls, not human beings ((in fact I have an awful feeling the bottom one is a silicone Reborn, the type elderly Southern women talk to and rock to sleep at night). The hats are cute, aren't they? But why not knit the body and be done with it?

Strange elephants. Looking as they have received electroshock therapy in the recent past. But cute, also, in a sort of abstract way.

I'm not going to be critical of anyone who knits a whole elephant. It's a long and often tedious process. This is the snuggle-bug variety who has a rare talent for climbing trees (or else a strange sort of elephantine yarn bomb).

Heads bigger than bodies. Might they tip over in the wild?

I have a pet peeve, and a serious one: knitted stuffies with no eyes. They look creepy and devoid of all character or expression. In my case, sometimes the only thing that saves a project from the garbage pail (over which most of my things hover at least 3 or 4 times) is giving it a face: eyes, a mouth, a nice little smile or nose holes.

I have a few more pictures,  but this breathtaking image sweeps them all aside. These are called elephant pants (or elephant underwear: would you really want to wear these in public?)  Obviously, careful measurements would need to be taken before you proceed. I don't know how it must feel to sit on those ears, and there is no discernible fly, making it less convenient than the average tighty-whitey pair of gaunch. But at least this one has a facial expression, almost as if it's smiling. Or something.

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