Category Archives: Knit

Really DIGGING This Archaeology Knit Fest *wink wink

The British Museum Group with their knitted archaeology.

The British Museum Group with their knitted archaeology.

As with everything in life, if you want to be good at something it all boils down to time and practise. Although our group has made some pretty unique things, when we first started learning we relied on books and hours of Youtube video tutorials to get us through all the stitch types out there. And while it’s no dirty little secret that newbies need patterns to read, one group of knitters have found some pretty original sources for their crochet pieces: the British Museum collection!

Drawing from thousands of years and spanning every region of the globe, a group of museum ladies are replicating certain pieces and archaeology themes as part of an archaeology festival. Launched by The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) the Festival of Archaeology offers over 1,000 events across England and Wales to encourage families to “get hands on with history”. Some pieces purled from the past include a “sewn henge”, a Sutton Hoo tea cozy, and Roman soldier – all available to see through the event Pinterest page.

British Museum Sock

From the British Museums collection, the left foot wool sock of a child found in Antinoupolis and dating from the Late Antique Roman Period (200-400).

Competing to find the best knitted archaeological item isn’t limited to just the British Museum Group though. The event is open to the general public who can move through the museums digitized collection, replicate their favourite items from history, and enter for a chance to win some museumy prizes including: books, knit packs, and memberships.

I’m looking forward to seeing who is crowned the winner and which historical moment is captured in yarn.
The festival  runs from  July 13-28 so there is still time for all your speed demons out there interested in joining.


Yarnbombing is for everyone


Warhol bridge

It’s been quite the week for large projects to be revealed.
Moving from Mammoths to modern artists, we have the eventual covering of
the Andy Warhol bridge in Pittsburgh!

Mark your calendars folks, because between August 10 to September 7th you’ll be able to see
the softer  side of city infrastructure when the group Knit The Bridge drapes their
community donated designs over this well known bridge.

And why are they doing this?

To celebrate the history of Pittsburgh as a city of bridges and steel as well
as celebrate the region’s thriving, contemporary
 arts scene. As accessible craft forms,
these community-engaged fiberart traditions will knit
 together strong, healthy, creative communities.

And also, because why the frak not?!
This is gonna look soooo cool!

I’m really stoked for this because collaborative projects between citizens and their
city are awesome reminders of how the world craves creativity.

It’s also gonna be massive.
Like really big.
Big, big.

Now this isn’t the first time that a group of people have helped transform the
steel and concrete connecting two piece of land. Back in 2010 my dear ol’
neighbour Cambridge, Ontario had some work done by KNIT CamBRIDGE (*tee hee cute pun guys)
They actually did the entire main street leading to the bridge as well.

Makes sense since the
city used to be a major textile production hub.


And peoples love of doing things with bridges goes well beyond North America.
Germany has done it.
France has done it.
And the UK went all out during the Queen’s Diamon Jubilee.

This Pittsburgh project will be the largest of them all however, and that
means some creativity beyond the balls of wool. They’ve got some
neat little incentives to drive charitable giving, and a whole Indigogo campaign.
Anyone interested in lending a hand, either through donations, physical labour, or
fundraising for the project should be sure to check out their website.

Even though the work will only be up for a short period of time,
the group has made it pretty clear that once the pieces come down, they
will be washed and repurposed for a whole host of charitable organizations
including homeless shelters, nursing homes and animal shelters.

That sounds like a win-win-win-win to me! 🙂

Grad Life Part Two: The Employment

It’s only been a few weeks since convocation, but already there have been a few big updates
from the class of ’13 making their way to Bissell Bomber ears.
SOME OF US HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED! And in the museum world no less!
This is pretty huge.
So a round of applause goes to all those persistent project managers, and
encouraged exhibition designers.Also happening in this wonderful overlap between yarnbombing and museums,
a recent MMsT grad let us know about some awesome corchet projects
happening that in her new home town.The Cincinnati Museum Centre
(which is now hosting the Ultimate Dino exhibition the ROM had available last summer)
has partnered up with the Cincinnati Bombshells to create a cozy display… with MAMMOTHS!
Called Operation Prehistoric: First in Flight, the group took over the sculptural herd found on Gest street.
I might not have been a huge fan of Disney’s Dumbo, but even I think the little dude
with the big floppy ears and yellow hat is beyond adorable. The mini-monkey was a sweet touch too.
This is not the first time these ladies have worked with museums, back in 2012 they did an
amazing installation for Truly Newly (fiber) Chihuly for the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Great Hall.
It’s pretty incredible to see what they have been doing, and I’m glad they continue to be supported
by their community and cultural hubs.
Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for the year!
For a full interview with these craft ladies, be sure to check out their The List Show interview with Jenell Walton.

Behind the Seams: AGO 1st Thursday!



 WHAHOOOO!!!!! We did it guys!

The Art Gallery of Ontario has officially been yarn bombed!

*fist pumps entire installation crew

We are so incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed to
this amazing experience. From all the wonderful people who sent
us along yarn, lent us a car to transport everything to the gallery,
and handed over their time to do some super fast last minute darning.

A special shout out also goes to some of the OCAD students who invited us to join the
evenings festivities in the first place. Simone was the perfect host, checking
in to see if we needed anything, escorting our team members around,
and offering to help unload installation equipment even though our
surprisingly light bundles of hexagons looked like they weight tonnes.
And our main contact, Jon, definitely deserves a pat on the back after
all the changes that were made throughout the prep process and for
working out a few kinks. Some of you might recall that originally we were
set to install on the Walker Court stairs, and were moved to the snake ramp at
the main  lobby doors. In the end  there was one last adjustment and the Gallery
Italia space turned out to be a terrific way to bring the street art movement into
the gallery while watching Toronto’s latest snow storm unfold.

The Bissell Bombers also wanted to give a shoutout to AGO security and assorted staff.
We know we must have looked a little odd with our multicoloured rib
wrappings, but your curiosity about the project kept us motivated and
your sense of humour made the 4-hour install fly-by.

And since the event was for one night only and the show sold out incredibly fast,
we wanted to post a few photos for those who couldn’t make it out.
So enjoy our Behind the Seams shots as we prepared for the big night 🙂


Measure twice, darn once.


All set to go as we wait for the ladder to come up from the ‘AGO’ sign up front.


Teamwork, a little ingenuity and a lot of temporary zip ties.


Putting the last finishing touches on the flower garland as the LEDs are activated!

IMG_20130207_181037 program

Forget being “Facebook Official”, you know you’ve made it when you’re given your own interpretive text panel and program 🙂


The big reveal!
Our secret identities are exposed as two
Bissell Bombers pose with their biggest collaborative piece to date.

To hear more about the project and some of  the other installation pieces
that were on display that night, be sure to check out Christopher Jones article for TO Live with Culture.
And you can make your own dance party by visiting A Tribe Called Reds amazing play list.

Project Shoutout: Laura J.


Eermahgerd! Eermahgerd! Eermahgerd!
The AGO 1st Thursday show is almost here!!!


We are so excited for the big event, so excited that we have neglected to
update you all on the amazing things that came out of
our desperate donation drive.

So here we go,  our last big photo glut pre-install.

First up, we have some lovely flowers to go on…
IMG_20130202_113008 IMG_20130202_113245


Laura J. has been providing the group with a series of leafy greens
for almost a month now. I’ve been a bit of a bad blogger and taken
an unfortunately long amount of time in finally displaying my
adoration for her publicly.

But no more! A tip of the hat and a Bissell Bomber  SHOUTout to Laura J.
who has been an active contributor to the project on Facebook, with her
cute little links and stories, and her kind donation of pattern books
(with the doubly generous offer of passing them along to potential
yarn bombers if they are looking for inspiration).

We  hope to see you at the big show THIS Thursday at the Art Gallery of Ontario!
Woot! Woot!


Project Shoutout: Mary L.



Throughout our donation period for the AGO 1st Thursday project
we’ve seen a wide variety of flowers and different style hexagons from novice
knitters to budding addicts and emerging crafters.

But this donation from Mary L. is the first time we’ve seen someone
offering up an heirloom!

Mary L. contacted one of the Bissell Bombers with a special piece:
this beautiful baby blanket from her grandmother.

We’re really touched that this has been offered up to us,
and so we give a sweet humble shout out to Mary for temporarily
entrusting us with something to close to her family.
You’ve definitely amped up the meaning of community involvement with this one!

Project Update: Catharine W.



Obvious statement of  the day: Toronto has had some weird weather the past few days.
-22, snow, rain, fog?!, +14, snow… MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!

Suddenly our call out requesting knitted flowers doesn’t seem to strange
anymore does it. That’s right, we saw that quizzical expression you had.
It’s sort of like the one you have on right now. Dun dun DUN!
(Don’t worry, we can’t really see you).

Now our original call out talked about some plane-Jane crochet flowers,
but that original plan has seen some obvious revisions and
as our last few posts have illustrated, we’ve clearly dipped into a
very talented volunteer pool.

Hence another project SHOUTout to Catharine W.
Catharine went that extra mile/took that extra step/gave it 110%
by felting her crochet flowers and for that we salute her.

None of the previous Bissell  Bomber projects have used this technique yet
and for the life of me I don’t know why. This stuff is so PRETTY!
I predict seeing a lot more felted stuff in the future…so stay tuned!