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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ARAB TIMES, THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2011


                                                                                                           Yarn artists re-envision yarn art

Knitted graffiti: Crafters take to street for attention, thrill
         By Jennifer Forker                   crocheted flowers.                              years. That is part of the thrill for the                                                                                                  felt, is so large it was knitted with utility
                                                 Masculine                                    yarnstormers.                                                                                                                              poles and two John Deere excavators.
I  t had to happen: Someday, somewhere
   a woman would grow tired of knitting
yet another baby blanket, Fair Isle
                                                 “Street art is so aggressive and mas-
                                                                                                “We don’t obstruct anyone’s way with
                                                                                              these things,” says Esther.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         His 2009 large-scale, knitted work, “The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Big Knit,” involved covering a
                                              culine,” Esther, 25, reflects. “It’s great to     Many consider the mother of knit                                                                                                         Melbourne, Australia, bridge in bright
sweater or pair of colorful socks. Then       have a counterpoint to it. A hyper-girlie       graffiti to be Magda Sayeg of Austin,                                                                                                      pink and orange tape.
what?                                         touch.”                                         Texas. In 2005, she knitted a cozy for the                                                                                                    “I think I’m probably trying to stretch
    Well, then we get fire hydrants decked       So, rogue knitters and subversive cro-       door handle at her Houston clothing                                                                                                        my own abilities more than anything
out in fuzzy vests, light poles and tree      cheters do it for the art, the attention and    shop. Reaction to that simple, bright                                                                                                      else,” says Cole, 35. “I think I’m taking
trunks wrapped in colorful, textile love,     the thrill.                                     handle propelled Sayeg, now 37, into                                                                                                       an idea and trying to blow it out as much
and other outrageous acts of knit graffi-        And folks, they mean well.                   covert acts of knit graffiti. Her tagging                                                                                                  as I can.”
ti. Also known as yarn bombing, yarn-            “Not everybody is going to love it,          grew bolder: In 2008, she and a six-per-                                                                                                      At the other extreme is Anna
storming and guerrilla knitting.              and that’s one of the reasons it’s fun.         son team covered a Mexico City bus in                                                                                                      Hrachovec, a Brooklyn creator of knit-
    Maybe you have seen the handiwork         You’re doing something that’s not sanc-         colorful Afghan blankets.                                                                                                                  ted toys, some of which are diminutive
in a city or suburb near you, even out in     tioned,” says Leanne Prain, 34, who co-           “Really, what it says is there’s a need                                                                                                  and featured in her coming book,
the wild. The randomness of it is the         wrote the book on yarn bombing. Well,           for a human element in a dehumanized                                                                                                       “Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi” (Potter
point, say these fiber artists.               one of the books: 2009’s “Yarn                  environment,” Sayeg says.                                                                                                                  Craft, 2011).
    “It’s really fun to surprise people,”     Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit              Today, several yarn artists maintain                                                                                                        “Once I started making something
says “Esther,” a member of the Ladies         Graffiti,” with Mandy Moore, from               blogs. From independent acts of worsted                                                                                                    that was all just my idea, and especially
Fancywork Society in Denver,                  Arsenal Pulp Press.                             rebellion, a community was born.                                                                                                           since I was making characters, once
Colorado, who prefers her anonymity.             Transforming the twin crafts in this           Installation                                                                                                                             those came to life in that way, I never
“You don’t expect to see a crochet-                                                                                                        This undated photo courtesy of Jeff Christenson shows ‘Yarn Bombed
                                              public manner is liberating for a lot of          Another book, “Astounding Knits!”          Railing’, a mixed-media tag in Vancouver, Canada from ‘Yarn Bombing: The                      turned back,” says Hrachovec, 29. “I
wrapped bike loop (rack). It’s just so        crafters, says Prain, of Vancouver,             (Voyageur Press, 2011), by Lela Nargi,       Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti’, by Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore. The first                 never made a single scarf.” (AP)
unexpected. It kinda shakes people up.”       Canada.                                         highlights several yarn bombers’ work,
    The four crocheting Ladies, who took
                                                                                                                                           International Yarn Bombing Day is set for June 11. Promoted on Prain’s Yarn                                   ❑      ❑       ❑
                                                 “My hope is it expands what people           including Sayeg’s. (You can also see the     Bombing website, and on its own website and Facebook page, the event is
their street names from their grandmoth-      think of as art and who can make art,”          outlandish bus and other Sayeg works,        meant to encourage crafters to tag something and then post about it. (AP)                        Online:
ers, tagged the big blue bear that peers      says Prain.                                     including her team’s most recent large-                                                                                             
into the Denver Convention Center in             Knit graffiti artists often “tag” their      scale installation — wrapping up 300         its own site and Facebook page, the           are re-envisioning them: from sweaters http://knitta-
April with a crocheted 8-foot ball of blue    sites on the sly, even at night. They tar-      feet of air conditioning ductwork at         event is meant to encourage crafters to       so miniature they fit on the head of a pin,
yarn, attached to the 42-foot bear with a     get street signs and light posts, but avoid’s Brooklyn, New York, head-         tag something and post about it.              to a life-size, knitted gingerbread house,
crocheted chain. Last summer, they were       interfering with a sign’s purpose.              quarters — at her blog, Knitta Please.)         Knit graffiti is not the only novel        outfitted with knitted accouterments. 
awarded a public arts grant and spent six     Sometimes the tags are removed quick-             The first International Yarn Bombing       direction in which the yarn arts are head-       The work of Dave Cole, a Providence,         http://www.astoundingknits.blogspot.
weeks embellishing a construction-site        ly, often by passers-by, but others can go      Day is set for June 11. Promoted on          ing. Nargi’s book is an eye-popping           Rhode Island, sculptor, is among those          com http://www.ladiesfancyworkso-
metal fence with 360 feet of colorful,        unnoticed and remain for weeks, even            Prain’s Yarn Bombing website, and on         introduction to the fanciful ways artists     featured: His American flag, made of  



        Continued from Page 26
following age groups; 6 to 10 years, 11 to
15 years and Adults (16+). Expert Tuition
is provided by Head Coach Tariq, a tutor
with five years experience from the
World Tae Kwon Do Federation. Classes
take place every Monday and Wednesday
from 1700-1800 at the British School of
Kuwait, Salwa, Street 1, Block 1.
Registrations are now being taken by
Aisha at the BAS office Tel. 25623604
Ext. 131 or 99458013 or contact Coach
Tariq on 94011430.

    September 27
CFO organises conference: The
Embassy of the Philippines invites
Filipino community organizations in
Kuwait to participate in a conference on
“Diaspora to Development: A Global
Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora”
organized by the Commission on
Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in cooperation
with the National Federation of Filipino
Associations in America (NaFFAA) and
the US Pinoys for Good Governance
   The Conference will be held at the
Philippine International Convention
Center on 27-29 Sept 2011 and is open to
participants from 40 countries who are
leaders and convenors of the NaFFAA
and USP4GG, previous Presidential
awardees, global Filipino networks,
migration-related Philippine government
agencies, local government units, civil
society organizations, academe, private
sector and multilateral agencies.
   The Conference aims to highlight
achievements of Overseas Filipinos and
discuss possible areas on how they could
be partners to Philippine development. It
also seeks to create a network among
leaders of the Overseas Filipino commu-
nity and serve as launching venue for the
Diaspora to Development Program of the
   Registration fee will be announced
   For more details, please coordinate        This undated photo courtesy of Joyce Sood for the GLIDE Foundation shows the rooftop garden at the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. As more people turn to roof gardens to grow their own
with CFO’s Atty. Golda Myra Roma and                                                  food, they are coming up with all kinds of ways to keep those gardens light and avoid sagging and cave-ins. (AP)
Edwin Pajares at telephone numbers 02-
561-8321 locals 600-604, 02-561-8291
and 02 561-8160, and email addresses                                                                               Urban farmers perfect ultra-light soil technique and
            ❑        ❑       ❑
KIFF launches helplines: Kuwait
India Fraternity Forum (KIFF) has
requested Indian brothers and sisters to
                                              Roof gardeners find ways to keep things light
                                              SAN FRANCISCO, California, June                 says.                                        roofs, shaving off every pound of extra       we want to expand the project, we’d             another, minimizing the amount of
make avail of amnesty declared by the
HH Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-             8, (AP): On the roof of the Glide                  The Glide Memorial farmers grow           weight is a hobby in itself.                  like to spread loads between people’s           water used and reducing the weight on
Jaber Al-Sabah. KIFF has launched help-       Memorial Church here, gardeners use             their crops in bread boxes and wine             Jay Sand, a coordinator with the           roofs.”                                         the roof. She uses lightweight peat
lines in various languages to assist          wine boxes and coconut cores. In                boxes, in part because the boxes are         Philadelphia Rooftop Farm, is working            In Chicago, Illinois, Heidi Hough,           moss and vermiculite, a mineral often
Indians who are in need of more informa-      Philadelphia, they plant between the            light, in part to show congregants that      with “farmers who want to be archi-           who co-writes a blog for rooftop farm-          used in soil-less gardens.
tion or clarification regarding the           roofs of row houses. In New York City,          they can grow plants in containers           tects and architects who want to be           ers                               called          Because roof farmers use only as
amnesty during March 1 to June 30. The        one homeowner installed steel beams.            found around the house.                      farmers” to transform the city’s roofs., has
helpline service is available in English -                                                                                                                                                                                               much water as they need, they have to
                                                 As more people turn to roof gardens                        Structural                     After many hours of study, Sand and           turned her passion for urban agricul-           be wary of evaporation.
66624501, 97121942; Hindi - 97615386,
66932484; Urdu - 60934346, 60712575;
                                              to grow their food, they are coming up                                                       his group focused on expanding coop-          ture into a search for the perfect light-
                                              with all kinds of ways to keep those               In New York, Lize Mogel took a            erative efforts across Philadelphia’s         weight roof garden.                                              Plastic
Malayalam - 66702637, 66624501; Tamil                                                         structural approach: She had five steel
- 55217827, 67765827 and Kannada -            plots light, and avoid roof sagging and                                                      famous row houses.                               Above her home, she grows plants                Hough uses a plastic covering over
97735173, 99417593, 65525903 lan-             cave-ins.                                       beams constructed under her roof so             “We decided not to grow on twin            on wooden platforms, which helps                her peat-moss mix to stop evaporation,
guages in all part of Kuwait.                    “Weight is a huge factor,” says              she could begin planting a roof farm         roofs, where one brick wall is shared         take pressure off the roof. A local hot-        while Johanne Daoust, a Toronto roof
             ❑        ❑       ❑               Josephine Quiocho, a project organizer          this year. Mogel, an artist who has          between two houses. For the next              dog factory also gives her plastic pick-
                                                                                              grown roof crops for years, always                                                                                                         farmer, uses “shade cloths” she spotted
Drawing, painting and crafts:                 at Graze The Roof, a community gar-                                                          growing season, we’re focused on row          le barrels which she “recycles and              for sale while traveling in China. The
Dear children, if you want to spend your      den that grows spinach, mustard, kale,          dreamed of having a full roof farm.          houses with two brick walls between           upcycles” to make planters for vegeta-
                                                                                                 “I had to do renovations anyway, so                                                                                                     cloths block the sun while allowing a
leisure time in useful creative activities    sweat peas and other crops on Glide                                                          houses. They are absolutely perfect           bles. Hough and some friends have
                                              Memorial’s roof.                                I spoke to the architect and it didn’t                                                     developed an irrigation system that             free flow of air to the plants.
like improving your hand in                                                                                                                because you can hold a lot of support,”
drawing/painting and crafts? If you want         Graze The Roof has perfected an              cost that much more to reinforce the                                                       requires little soil and water, vastly             “Everybody you speak to has their
to develop your hobbies in water coloring
                                                                                                                                           says Sand, a music teacher.                                                                   own way of planting those roofs,” says
                                              ultra-light “soil” that includes coconut        roof,” she says. “Because the steel             His group is now talking to block          reducing the weight of the farm.
and oil painting. If you are interested in    core and perlite, a volcanic mineral            beams will be attached directly to the                                                        “You can buy very good, light-               Daoust. “If you can pick your own
learning glass painting, metal painting,                                                                                                   captains and resident groups to get                                                           breakfast every morning instead of
                                              that aerates plants. “The coconut core          gratings on which I’ll grow the crops,       more people involved this year.               weight irrigation boxes, but we just
clay pots coloring and decoration, greet-                                                                                                                                                                                                having it flown 3,000 miles by cargo
ing cards andmany more items? If you          allows more air into the soil, lightens it      the gratings can take a massively                                                          looked around and copied the system
                                              up and helps trap moisture. We don’t            heavy load. I could raise elephants up                       Platform                      with our own material,” she says.               plane, then you are doing it right. As
are interested to learn the above step by
step and from a lady architect, please Tel:   need heavy, water-clogged soil that             there if I want.”                              “I use a light wooden platform to              Hough grows her plants with one 5-           long as you take precautions, it can
25732787, 99557876.                           can weigh on your roof,” Quiocho                   For urban farmers with weaker             grow my own crops,” says Sand. “If            gallon (19-liter) bucket planted inside         transform your life.”
             ❑        ❑       ❑
PDA commences registration:
Pathanamthitta District Association           and humanitarian causes may contact by          Ballerine seeks talent: The                  talent can email us on admin@baller-          ing environment for native English              Desert Pioneers Toastmasters Club:
(PDA) Kuwait is in the process of             email through association’s e-mail              Ballerine’s are looking for young and along with a small bio data and      females. Every member has the opportu-          Why spend thousands of dollars to devel-
enrolling new members to include people       address: or           energetic dancers to be a part of their      recent photograph of you.                     nity to develop communication and lead-         op effective communication and leader-
of all the areas in Pathanamthitta District   contact the following office-bearers.           upcoming mega event. If you feel you                     ❑        ❑       ❑                ership skills, which in turn fosters self-      ship skills when you can acquire the
and to have capable and talented people       Abraham Varghese, Vice-President:               have the charm and charisma to mesmer-                                                     confidence and personal growth.                 same for a fraction of five Kuwaiti dinars
in its fold to support and effectively        99363448; E-mail:                               ize the crowds what are you waiting for?     Gulf Toastmasters Club: Interested               Meetings are held in Salwa on the first      per month?
implement the social activities and pro-; Benny                       You have the talent and we will give      in developing your communication and          and third Thursdays of each month from 6           Desert Pioneers Toastmasters Club is
grammes of the association. Persons who       Pathanamthitta, General Secretary:              you the platform to showcase your talent.    leadership skills? Fearful of public speak-   to 8 pm.                                        an affiliate of Toastmasters International,
wish to become a member of                    66501482; E-mail:                               Dancers of any dance discipline are          ing?                                             If you are interested in receiving more      a California, USA-based nonprofit organ-
Pathanamthitta District Association and; Oommen George               encouraged to audition (Ballet, Jazz,           Then visit the Pearl of the Gulf           information, kindly email:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ization, which provides a platform for
person who would like to contribute their     (Jose), President: 99722437.                    Contemporary, Hip hop etc).                  Toastmasters Club. Our aim is to provide
time, efforts and services for the society                 ❑       ❑       ❑                     Those interested in showcasing their      a mutually supportive and positive learn-                  ❑        ❑        ❑                          Continued on Page 28