Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Bombshell's Cookbook

We Bombshells often get asked how we do what we do.  How exactly do we create a yarn bombing? 

Is it magic?

Extreme craft devotion? 

Military precision that would make China blush? 

Maybe a little from all of the above.  It’s really pretty simple.  We’re multi-talented domestic goddesses.  Not only does this girl knit, but she loves to cook too.  Our process is a lot like the perfect recipe.  And unlike your aunt Edna, we won’t claim ours is a “secret” and withhold the details.

A Bombshells Yarn Bombing
  • 1 part wild idea for a location or project
  • 2 parts sneaky Cloak and Dagger skills (Catlike reflexes and ability to enter and exit locations without detection can be substituted here.)
  • 1 cup of bourbon (Let’s be real.  Two cups.) to lower inhibitions
  • 15 clever Bombshells, common sense removed for creative purposes
  • A fabulous sense of style paired with an eye for detail
  • A generous amount of yarn plus additional yarn for garnish
  • 1 or more sleepless nights frantically finishing a project (adjust as needed)
  • The ability to quickly assemble a fiber puzzle from numerous pieces
  • 3 getaway cars (optional depending upon how fast you can run in heels)

Combine ingredients and await reaction.  Serve with a side of blonde wigs and sunglasses.

Any questions?

Sometimes we all need a little extra inspiration to get cooking.  Here are a few photos from our recent creations for Vogue Knitting Chicago.  Recipe results may vary…

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beer and Love

It's no secret we Bombshells love to have fun.  We like our social calendar full and we always show our friends a good time when they come to town.  We get to combine a few of our favorite things for a whirlwind few days: beer, crafts, and the fabulous Shawn Bowman of Criminal Crafts fame.  She’s stopping by Cincinnati to promote her newest book, Beer Crafts.  If you’d like to join in on the fun, you can visit us on Saturday August 24th at the Christian Morlein Taproom in OTR for an evening of crafting with all things beer.  (Well, almost all things - bottle caps, beer labels, etc.)  On Monday August 26th, we’ll be at the Contemporary Arts Center for the “One Night, One Craft” with Shawn from 6 pm – 8 pm.  Tickets are $5 for CAC members and $8 for non-members.  We recommend getting your tickets in advance for this event.  It's sure to sell out.  You can purchase them online through the CAC.  After the event we’ll move the fun to Arnold’s (another Bombshell favorite) for what’s sure to be a fantastic after party.  When dedicating your crafts to beer, it’s only prudent to belly up to the bar for research purposes.  Right?  Anyone…? 

Despite our larger than life personas, being a Bombshell isn't all cocktails and good times.  Sometimes our hearts are as big as our blonde hair.  We recently knit an assortment of chemo caps for a dear friend.  Everyone expresses their love and support in different ways.  Some bring food.  Some clean the house.  We knit and crochet.  When we’re truly touched by someone, love flows through our hands and into our creations.  It’s a win-win situation.  We get to honor someone we love, and what girl wouldn't want a fashionable wardrobe of hats?
So come raise a glass with us, visit with Shawn Bowman, and make a few things.  We hope you’ll join us.  A girl shouldn't have to drink or craft alone.

Hugs and Stitches,

Kitty Knitter

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Operation: Pre-Historic First in Flight

Last month Kitty Knitter and family took a vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  We played in the sand, soaked up the sun, and made some fantastic margaritas.  We also visited the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk.  They had quite an impressive monument and a very nice exhibit, but they have it all wrong.  We Bombshells know the first flight took place long before Wilbur and Orville gave it a try. 

We decided to celebrate this year’s International Yarn Bombing Day by doing what we do best, the impossible.  We've had our eye on the Woolly Mammoth sculptures at Cincinnati Museum Center’s Geier Collections & Research Center for quite awhile.  We've been planning something extra special for this family of pachyderms.  With only about 2 weeks to design and execute, we decided it was time to create a scene from Disney’s Dumbo.  This installation was the dream of Bombshell, Miss Boo Radley.  She spearheaded (Can you really say that when speaking about Woolly Mammoths?) this massive undertaking and inspired us all to think big. 

Mammoths 2013 B.B. (Before Bombshells)

We had our choice when it came to the size of the project we wanted to create: small, medium, large, or (you guessed it) mammoth.  This Kitty opted for small and ended up with a 25”x 40” piece of Mrs. Jumbo’s blanket (Mrs. Jumbo = Dumbo’s mama).  Yep, that’s roughly the size of a baby blanket. Small is relative when it’s done on a Woolly Mammoth scale.  This girl can really crank out some knitting, but it typically takes me a couple of months to finish a blankie for my friends’ little kittens.  I think an unspoken rule of being a Bombshell is biting off more than you can chew and miraculously making it work.  Thanks to a few very late nights and Miss Boo swooping in for the big finish, my piece was completed along with all our other elements of yarn bombing magic. 

On Thursday June 6th, a handful of Bombshells along with some much appreciated guests installed our pieces on the mammoth sculptures. Yes, this was a couple days before the official IYBD, but it’s never too early to celebrate.   “The List” from WCPO was on hand to record our bombing.      You can click here to view the footage.  We created Mrs. Jumbo, little Dumbo, Timothy the mouse, and a few other elephants from Dumbo.  All in a day’s (er, 2 jam packed weeks of frantic) work for a group of fanatically dedicated fiber artists. 

Until Next Time.

Hugs & Stitches,
Kitty Knitter

Bombshells (and friends) to the rescue

Adding Mrs. Jumbo's hat

Stitching Mrs. Jumbo's shawl 

Stitching on Dumbo's hat

Making sure the ears are just right

Dressing a "mean" elephant

Mama and baby

Our Dumbo scene

Bombshells, friends, and Mrs. Jumbo

Dumbo and Timothy

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Crossing the Finish Line

This girl does not run.  Not unless the house is on fire or there’s a line forming for a slice of cake at a wedding reception.  I’m fantastically, impressively, unathletic.   My high heels are not conducive to running and then there’s the whole sweating thing.  We Bombshells do, however, admire those who can perform the seemingly impossible feat of running long distance.  We salute your mental fortitude and physical ability to keep your legs moving when all your body wants to do is stop.  We just don’t know how you do it.  So let’s raise a glass and toast the fine men and women of the Flying Pig Marathon. 

To celebrate these runners, each of the Bombshells designed and created a fiber chandelier.  We started with 15 salvaged light fixtures of varying shapes and sizes.  We then spent a few months knitting, crocheting, and decking them out.  We took our pieces for a preview in Hyde Park Square before their official debut.  I do believe we created some lovely mood lighting that evening.  Our collection was then installed in the chute at the end of the marathon.  I guess you could say we were the light at the end of the tunnel.  (You see what I did there?)  As fancy as our chandeliers were, we do realize few runners would be admiring them when they reached that point in the race.  We were simply hoping we’d offer a pleasant surprise or a pretty distraction to help a few folks cross the finish line.

While we may not be athletes, the Bombshells do what we can to be supportive and celebrate the competitive spirit.  We’re kind of like the Pep club for all things Cincinnati.  Or, maybe more like a rowdy, unorthodox, but thoroughly fabulous group of cheerleaders.  It can be difficult to shake our pom-poms while holding a cocktail though.  Nonetheless, I hope you found this post illuminating and that it shed some light on our latest project. (Ok, Ok, done with the puns…)

Hugs & Stitches,

Kitty Knitter

Friday, February 15, 2013

Resistance is Futile

Everybody has “that thing” that they procrastinate doing for as long as they can.  Admit it.  You know you have one.  It could be cleaning out the basement, or going to the dentist, or doing your taxes.  We avoid it at all costs.  We feed it with excuses until it becomes the giant elephant in the room that we’d rather paper train and take for a walk than actually address the dreaded task.  My elephant was a craft project.

The lovely ladies at Modern Makers invited the Bombshells to create an installation for a fiber based exhibit.  I didn't know much more beyond the invite, but was excited by the prospect of working with other great artists on something that was sure to be fun.  I pictured our yarn filled hi-jinks and camaraderie.  I thought, “I’m a Bombshell.  We knit.  I’m a bad ass knitter.  I got this.” Then I found myself staring down the barrel of a metaphorical gun loaded with embroidery floss.

The beginning’s a bit of a blur now.  I think I may have blocked out parts of it.  I remember staring blankly at the piles of fabrics, embroidery hoops, and printed instructions on the floor at Pinky’s house.  I think I was actually trying to figure out where the yarn hi-jinks were hidden while simultaneously trying to squelch the rising panic I felt at the back of my throat.  I quickly grabbed two pieces and high tailed it home so I could process the complexity of what I’d committed myself to.  I told myself, “Kitty, you’re a domestic goddess.  You can do this.” I could totally fake my way through this, right?  Right?!

Over the next few weeks I watched every YouTube video demonstrating embroidery, French knots (Damn you, French knots!) and hand tying quilts I could find.  I bought water soluble markers and floss.  I did not, however, make a single stitch.  I stared at my pile of craft supplies willing it to complete itself.  I was frustrated.  I was afraid of letting down the Bombshells.  This girl was most definitely out of her depth.  When I could avoid it no more, I finally picked up my hoop and began my embroidery.  I tortured myself over which stitches to use.  I tore out my work and started over so many times I lost count.  I fantasized about burning it all in a pile in my backyard and dancing around the flames in victory over this project from Hell.  My Waterloo.  My elephant.  Then, I worried about what the neighbors would think and realized I didn't want to go to the trouble of buying another embroidery hoop, so that was totally out.

Then, something unexpected happened.  My outlook shifted after a few difficult days of stitching.  Maybe it was craft induced Stockholm Syndrome or maybe I just found my Zen.  My mantra changed from “I hate this.  I hate this.  I hate this.” to “Hey, this doesn't look half bad.” to “This is kind of fun.”  I somehow managed to get my pieces done by the deadline to install our work for the art opening.  I was relieved to be done and eager to drop it off.  I walked into the Modern Makers gallery and stopped dead in my tracks.  Many of the other Bombshell pieces were already assembled and hanging on a wall.  I was speechless for a full minute (And, believe me, that’s a long time for this girl to be quiet).  Each of our pieces perfectly flowed into the next.  We created a beautiful tactile art installation for the blind.  I knew one of my pieces had a word in script and in Braille that I embroidered.  I just never imagined it would all look so gorgeous.  I ran my fingers over each fabric filled hoop marveling at the delicate work everyone had done.  I finally saw the bigger picture and understood the painstaking work was all worth it.

My lesson was a humbling one.  It’s important to remind ourselves that sometimes we lack perspective.  That the little thing we so desperately avoid because we don’t like it, we’re afraid, or we just don’t want to deal with it, isn't nearly as bad as we let it become by trying to ignore it.  To sum it up, quit your bitching and just get it done.  You might be pleasantly surprised by the result.

Until next time…

Hugs & Stitches,
Kitty Knitter