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Exhibitions of the Non-Knitting Kind


Exhibition Poster

This weekend marks the beginning of March Break, and nothing says slacking off
from school more than taking away an hour of our precious free time!?!

Boo science, boooooo!

Not that this really affects University students. We had our “reading” week ages ago.
Supposedly, this was so we could collect our scattered brains in
prep for the madness that is end of term projects.

For those newbie readers who are unfamiliar with what the Bissell Bombers
work on between our knitted public installations, we’re all trying to
be hella professional museum curators, programmers, grant writers, etc.

This month quite a few grads will be  showing off our biggest assignments as
part of an exhibitions class. Projects range from displays of whimsical dreamscapes at the
Gladstone Hotel, innovative instruments from the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy, explorations
of how Inuit language reflects historical and contemporary Inuit culture and identity, and many more!

For a full list of shows, you can check out the official poster, or visit their site.
You can also see what past students have done by visiting the U of T’s “Display Case”. 

Now this tired little grad student is off to enjoy some sunshine before
back to editing her panel text and tombstone labels.


Gettin’ Graphic

"empty space", 2013

“empty space”, 2013

When the Bissell Bomber’s started this blog last year,
it came out of a simple way to collect all the little tid bits we had been slowly
accumulating while researching a pretty bizarre hobby.

One thing led to another and we moved away from just writing about it, to actually doing it.
From random interest spurring exploration, to igniting a creative drive.

Now, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that as kids we quickly labeled ourselves and others.
Fitting everyone into neat little categories to give our lives some structure and organization.
To simplify things we created the jocks, the drama queens, the nerds, the dweebs, and the art kids.
We figured out which group we quasi fit into and that became our identity,
something meant to be permanent and give others around us an easy way to
define us and orient themselves accordingly.

How many times have you caught yourself thinking, “Well I can’t do this thing, I’m not that person”.
I can’t play basketball, I’m not athletic.
I can’t draw a picture, I’m not artistic.
Excuses, excuses.

Before the Bissell Bombers I can definitely attest to thinking I would never be a knitter.
Yarn was for old ladies who doiley-fied everything and had too many cats.
And not to get all preachy (too late!) but I just think it is buckets full of amazing
when people leap out of their comfortable yet confining identity role and into
something completely unexpected. Like for example… 650 WIDE.

This dude has been on the corporate path to suits and condos for the majority of his
life sprinkled with dashes of MVP awards and sports trophies. I don’t believe he has ever
uttered the phrase, “Let’s go check out this art museum” once and yet suddenly
he’s putting aside  his ties and cheque books in order to tap into something
completely outside his old world view by playing with pictures.

His site is pretty new, and as such reveals his early experiments and first steps
into graphic design, but those first steps are brave and inspiring and could lead to something amazing!

Maybe it’s been all the SoulPancake I’ve been watching recently, but I’m
getting giddy mini goosebumps and warm fuzzies thinking about how wonderful it is
when people continue to push themselves and really test out who they are.

Congrats and good luck to 650 WIDE on your new endeavour!
Now include a subscribe feature on your site…

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: Super Hero Ninja Mom (Brenda M.)



Do I see a little city rivalry a brewin’?

A few days a go we intook a hefty collection of squares and rectangles from
a Bissell Bomber mum who can only be described as a Super Hero Ninja.

That’s how ninjas work right?
They sneak on in and drop of loads of knit goods.
Sounds like Santa, but it’s February so everyone knows he’s still on vay-cay.
Come on, don’t be ridiculous.

So a big SHOUTOUT to Brenda M.
I mean Super Hero Ninja Mom!!! Shoot… totally just blew your cover.
My bad…

Well, at least you get full credit for your awesome work now 😉


How did you know purple was my favourite colour? 😉


Project Update #2: Return to the City


Kitty cat covered in yarn
Welcome back!
Hope that everyone had a nice little holiday break.
As Bissell Bomber members slowly make their way back to Toronto for
another round of Museum Studies master classes, a few of us (and a kitty)
set to work on phase two of the project.

Confused about this green garland our unofficial mascot is sporting?
This is the beginning of our creepy, crawly vine and where some of your
beautiful flowers will be dangling from.

We’ve already gotten some pretty amazing donations and over the weeks
we’ll be posting about some of the terrific people and groups who are helping us out.

If you’d like to know more about how you can lend a hand, check out our
poster call out or send us a message.

At the moment we’re looking for any kind of scrap yarn you were
planning on tossing out, granny hexagons, and/or flowers.

We’re pretty flexible about colours and patterns because we know people are
working at all sorts of skill levels and you might not have specific colours at home.
But to give you an idea of what we’re hoping to see more of, I’ve found some
online samples to get your creative juices flowin’.

Flower blossoms Crochet  granny hexagon

     Good luck and have fun!

Fall = Everything Pumpkin Flavoured



As the next Bissell Bomber session approaches (remember it’s on Mondays now) I keep
thinking about what flavour vegan cupcake I’m going to chow down on as I
try to keep track of my latest knitting project pattern.

And while I was distracted by all  the Pinterested recipes online, lo and behold
I stumbled across the perfect way to celebrate Autumn (P.S that’s the classy persons way to say Fall).

Introducing Steeped in Tea 
 Apparently I’m not the only U of T student who has a blog.
I know, go figure eh?

So with one post I’ve pretty much hit two birds with one stone.
1. Supported a students side project.
2. Wrote about something tea related.
(The relation being that we knit in coffee shops that also serve tea)

This kind of brilliant academic article deserves a treat 😉