IT’S NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS
In practicing for a very large yarn bomb project, my partner and I are doing small projects around our house and neighborhood. My first simple project went quickly and easily – knitting a ribbed covering for my handrail the same width as part of our larger project. I wanted to test how easily it would be to whip stitch the banner to a pole. As expected, I had left enough yarn to stitch the wrap to the handrail in less than three minutes. Great results as we expect to place 12 – 20 of these in the cover of darkness without being caught.
As the area of part of our large bombing process is wooded, I thought I should knit something that would simulate a tree. I have a floor lamp with extension arms similar to branches coming off a tree trunk so planned to create a wrap for that. Easier said than done. A stationary object is not the same as a hand with fingers – parts don’t move and are not easily accessible.
I had pictured and researched making a thumb gusset and adding my “branch” portion as one would the thumb of a mitten. I debated where to put this, as I knew I would be knitting a flat piece rather than a tube (I understood enough to know I would wrap the stem of the floor lamp and stitch it shut). In working the branch portion, I placed scrap yarn on four stitches, cast four back on the working yarn and kept knitting. I soon realized that this wouldn’t work. The stitches that I placed on the scrap yarn wouldn’t’ be able to wrap around the branch – there wouldn’t be access for the branch to slide into the new tube.
I realized I would have to add stitches at the end of a row and grow this portion as an offshoot of the original wrap. At the end of a row, I added four stitches and placed them on a holder and then continued knitting the body of the wrap. When this was adequate in size, I cast off and began knitting the branch portion connecting the added stitches to the other side and knitted a flat portion the length I intended. This also didn’t work. I could wrap the larger portion to the lamp and the branch portion, but I couldn’t wrap the top portion to the lamp. Where I attached the new section caused a break in access to connecting all the pieces.
My fourth attempt proved to successful. I added four stitches to the end of the row as in attempt 3 but I did not secure them to the other side of my knitting. I knit a flat linear piece alongside the original portion and cast off. This gave me access to wrap the original full piece to the lamp base and then wrap the extension on the branch portion. With long tails, I whip stitched them closed and sewed the extension to the body of the wrap.
While I consider myself a knowledgeable knitter and very good at spatial relationships, this proved much harder than I thought. One has to examine the solid, grounded object differently than that of a separate body part as in a hand/thumb scenario. While I tested my knitting against the lamp and thought I was visualizing correctly, it took several attempts to get this one right.