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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I’m proud to be a Bombshell.  Not just because we’re a fabulous group of ladies with some serious crafting skills, but because we’re resilient.  We gals are always able to find the bright side.  It might take a minute and a few drinks to get there, but we can see the humor in any situation.  It’s a true talent.  You know the obnoxious saying “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”?  Well, we say screw the lemonade, pass the tequila and salt!  So, let’s talk about disappointment.  We’ve all had those moments when that soufflĂ© we call our expectations falls flat and we can’t fathom what to do next.  These can be unforeseen life events, or in our case, it was a yarn bombing. 

Anyone that practices our fun craft medium knows that planning is everything.  We plan with military precision.  We take exact measurements of our targets (we are after all, making sweaters for parking meters, trees, statues…), compose an amazing design, and spend hours, days, weeks, sometimes months knitting and crocheting extravagant pieces of art.  When D-Day arrives, we break into teams and strategically attack our project.  Then it all goes sideways and we get chased off someone’s property.

Considering all the time and energy we pour into our projects, it’s understandable to have that toddler tantrum moment where your brain screams “I’m gonna do what I came here to do!  Handcuffs and arrest record be damned.”  But then the sane part of your brain interrupts and you realize you’re holding a flashlight and garbage bag of handcrafted goods on a stranger’s lawn that’s no longer the agreed upon location of your commissioned yarn bombing.  And, it’s getting dark.  Rather than face an awkward situation with the local police or, worse yet, a bad case of buckshot from the homeowner (thank you Castle Doctrine of Kentucky), we decide to retreat to a bar and examine where we went so wrong.

After a few moments of silence and a few fingers of bourbon, we realize this doesn’t have to be a disaster but an opportunity for something completely different and even better.  This is how I found myself with the rest of the Bombshells in Mt Airy forest one gorgeous Sunday afternoon in late September.  We were creating a composition of our unused pieces on a group of trees.  Our work looked stunning against the backdrop of leaves and branches.  It was a temporary installation done to demonstrate our art for someone who may be interested in it for bigger and better things (stay tuned…).

While we’re a little too feisty to ever be mistaken for Pollyanna or a perpetual optimist, we sure have a “can do” attitude.  Truth be told, sometimes when life hands me lemons I’d rather punch her in the throat than make anything.  Glad I’m surrounded by my blonde friends who will smile and say “we can work with this” while they hand me a cocktail. 

Hugs and Stitches,
Kitty Knitter

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Crafting...

Did you miss me?  Go ahead and admit it.  You know you did.  Sorry to disappear like that, but the Bombshells took a well deserved hiatus.  We were starting to get carpal tunnel from all our crafting and we craved a summer vacation.  But you can only hold court poolside for so long.  After awhile, the tropical drinks and ogling the cabana boy lose their charm.  We’re ready to be more constructive with our time again.  You know what that means?  Let’s get knitting. 

We decided it was time to reconvene and have a yarn summit/cocktail hour.  Pinky Shears sounded the alarm and drew the Bombshells from near and far.  We shared stories of adventures and exotic locations.  We shared a drink or two (or three, but who’s counting).  Our break allowed us to refocus our creativity and our energy.  We drew diagrams, thought big, and examined all things Bombshell.  I think we truly outdid ourselves.  So many great ideas.  So many exciting projects.  It’s going to be a big year for the Bombshells indeed.   

I’d be remiss if I didn’t divulge a couple teeny tiny secrets.  Our crafty itinerary for this fall includes an appearance at the Ohio Art Education Association.  We’re one of the key note speakers at this year’s convention!  That’s right.  The Bombshells now have some scholarly validation for our fiber art. We’re also welcoming a new member or two into the fold.  They’ve been thoroughly vetted, sworn to secrecy, and they’ve taken the blood oath.  I mean, demonstrated their yarn skills and keen fashion sense.  It’s serious business becoming a Bombshell.

But this Kitty can’t let the cat out of the bag on any of the other surprises.  So stay tuned and be ready.  You never know what we’ll do next and you might even see a new face or two in the blonde crowd.

Until then…

Hugs and Stitches,
Kitty Knitter

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Operation Global (Mobile) Bombination

In case you haven’t heard, Saturday June 9th is International Yarn Bombing Day.  This is as close to a high holy day as you can get as a Bombshell, so we plan to celebrate in style.  We will be touring downtown and visiting some of our favorite fine drinking establishments.  We’ve even lined up the perfect chariot for our holiday cruise: the Pedal Wagon.  For this, we must thank our wonderful benefactors -  Cute Jack of Pedal Wagon fame and, Tasty Chris, of hot spot Arnold’s.  Hello boys!  As Blanche Dubois said in A Streetcar Named Desire, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”.  So true.  This wouldn’t be possible without their generosity.  Behind every Bombshell is a good man willing to defend her honor, protect her identity, and feed her peeled grapes.  Or, at least lend her a Pedal Wagon.  Who says chivalry is dead?

As this will be a most auspicious day, we’ll be specially dressed for the occasion.  A Bombshell is sultry on a normal day.  Add in the summer heat and we’re sure to make the temperature rise.  Yarn bombing an outfit in these conditions can be a challenge though.  Wool yarn isn’t my first choice when selecting attire for a tropically hot day, so here’s hoping no Bombshell passes out from heatstroke.  Ahem, I mean catches the vapors and swoons from the heat.  (Note to self: pack smelling salts and a fainting couch.)

So whether you’re at Fringe Festival downtown or simply want an excuse for a cocktail, meet us along our route and help us celebrate.  We’ll kick off the festivities on Fountain Square at 2 pm where we’ll yarn bomb the trees, then on to Neon’s at 3 pm where we’ll decorate our ride, we’ll pedal to the bars of OTR starting at 5 pm, and we’ll conclude our cruise at 7 pm at Arnold’s.  If you’re lucky, you may even get a homemade party favor. 

Hope to see you there. 

Hugs and Stitches,
Kitty Knitter

P.S. In case you can’t make it Saturday or you can’t get enough of us (And, let’s be honest, who can?) we can be seen the next day 6/10 at Second Sunday on Main in Dr. Bongonatti’s Art Parade.  The parade kicks off at 1:30 pm.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Crafty Supermarket

May 5th was just so many things this year: Cinco de Mayo, World Pilates Day (yes it is indeed a holiday), and Crafty Supermarket.  All the cool kids and awesome Bombshells chose to browse the handmade wares at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.  We came, we shopped, we showed you how to make pom-poms.  Way more fun than drinking too much tequila or spending an hour in a Pilates teaser position.  (Whatever that is.  Although it does sound provocative does it not?) 

The Clifton Cultural Arts Center is a throw back to a classic style you just don’t see anymore.  But, then again, so are we Bombshells.  The CCAC perfectly housed the legion of artisans.  Like any good party, it was crowded with everyone buzzing about how excited they were to be there.  Our friends made sure to stop by to say “hello” and try their hand at some yarntastic fun.  The wee little Bombshell fans are our favorites! (Shhh.  Keep it to yourself though.  We don’t want any hurt feelings.)  We enjoyed pressing the flesh and sharing our love of fiber art with the shoppers.  Even if they did try to solve the mysteries of our underground organization. 

We classed up the joint too.  Not just with our air of sophistication, but with the nicely yarn wrapped trees outside.  While stitching up a yellow and black striped tree, one Bombshell overheard a child gleefully exclaim, “Look!  A bumble tree!”  This right here is our raison d’ĂȘtre.  We are the patron saints of the slightly absurd and seriously chic.  This is why we love what we do.  We try to bring joy, bewilderment, and a sense of style to an often mundane world.  So stay tuned to see what we have up our collective sleeves next.  You won’t be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CSO So Fabulous

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra rang us on the Batphone and asked if we’d be so kind as to yarn bomb Music Hall.  “Of course!” we said, wanting to bring a bit of our kitschy creativity to its otherwise austere interior.  Everyone can use a little “fabulous” in their world, amiright?  Plus, we thought we could help them end their season on a high note (pun intended).

Once we received our call to action, we locked ourselves in our top secret underground Bombshell bunker with nothing but yarn, and Handel, Bach, and Beethoven music for inspiration.  (And snacks.  We can’t forget the snacks.  Snacks are important.)  We emerged a month later with our brightly colored masterpieces and a newfound appreciation for dead German composers.   Oddly, some of us are only able to craft in 4/4 time now thanks to our immersion experience. 

We learned a valuable lesson with this project.  If you want to be featured with the CSO, you can spend a lifetime mastering an instrument.  Or, if you’re a clever little Bombshell, you can gift them two fabulous banners.  And that, my friends, is how you create a showstopper. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Operation Kitten Knittin'

Hi all! Kitty Knitter here. Your newest resource for keeping up-to-date on all things Bombshell. We were crafting about town again on Sunday and had the pleasure of meeting Bono, Bowie, and Barry Manilow. And, yes, they’re just as good looking in person as you imagined. Long orange tabby fur you just want to run your fingers through. Ohio Alley Cat Resource (OAR) held their second annual Kitten Shower. Doesn’t it make you want to clap your hands and squeal like a little girl at the cuteness? Bombshells + kitties = match made in heaven. I mean, other than a Bombshell, who loves yarn more than a cat?

We spent the afternoon stuffing and stitching catnip mice for our furry feline friends. The community was invited to shower the shelter (and the adorable kittens) with love and supplies. For those of you not “in the know”, OAR is an amazing non-profit organization that provides high-quality spay/neuter services for feral kitties, strays, and pets. They have a small adoption center as well as a feral cat colony on site. They operate a no kill shelter so the kitties have a place to stay until they find a permanent home. 

By shower standards (and I’m an expert since I’ve been to enough to last me a lifetime.), it was pretty great. Cake was shared, gifts were exchanged, and everyone “oohed” and “ahhed” over the babies. Just like the dozens I’ve attended lately minus the onesies and desire to stick a plastic fork in your eye if you have to feign interest in a Diaper Genie one more time. But, I digress… 

I think it's safe to declare the Bombshell's "Operation Kitten Knittin’" a success! Our stunning good looks and blonde tresses made us the life of the party. We made new friends of both the 2 legged and 4 legged varieties. Orlando, the big blue cat mascot of OAR, even paid us a visit. We presented him with a handcrafted crown and mouse toy for the party. He looked quite festive for the occasion. Alas, some of our new friends were harder to part with than others (I’m looking at you Glenfidden of the Clan McLeod).


After performing a complicated algorithm of appropriate cat to square foot ratio for my car, I ultimately went home alone. I think it was the image of a clown car filled with kitties unloading at my house that prevented me from asking for a bulk discount on adoptions. That, or the inevitable crazy cat lady intervention that was sure to follow from my family and friends. They would express their concern at the volume of lovable fur babies in my one bedroom apartment. And, I (clothes covered in cat fur and blond Bombshell hair unkempt) would shout things like "I can quit whenever I want!" and "I learned it by watching you!” Yep. That's enough to keep me from binging on kitties for now.
Seriously though, we can’t say enough about this wonderful organization. Support OAR. Open your home and foster a cat. Open your wallet and donate. Volunteer your time. In the end, a nice afternoon was had by all. The overwhelming cuteness of the event, the cats, and the Bombshells was enough to warm anyone’s cold, cold heart. We even got to see a few of our new feline friends get adopted. Now that makes this Kitty purr.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Silence is Golden. I mean pink and purple and orange and red and soft and monumental and ...

So have you been a bit worried about us?

Oh, sure, we've tickled your fancy on our Facebook page. (And if you want constant adorable reminders of what we love in this vast fiber world, that's the ticket.)

But we have been quiet on the social media front, haven't we? That is because your faithful May Hem has been Hemming it up abroad. And sugar, let me tell you it takes a real broad to be a BombShell abroad. My platinum locks are all the rage here with my island companions. I have been promised passion and strength. I have been offered secret potions. I have been offered things that you cannot even imagine.

But have I been offered companionship and craftsmanship and a colorful whimsical chandelier?

No. That is happening back home, in the silence of the night and over long days as the gals prepare for the TRULY, NEWLY (fiber) CHIHULY event at the Cincinnati Art Museum on February 11th!

Join The BombShells of Cincinnati and their fabulous Sidekicks as they create a monumental installation that will hang from the center of the Great Hall at the Cincinnati Art Museum. The colorful knitted and crocheted installation will consist of a “soft” chandelier, 5 larger than life sized marionette puppets, and whimsical and “heartfelt” yarn-bombing art. In addition to the installation, there will be “craft” stations set up and facilitated by the BombShells. You're invited to create your own yarn art to add to the installation.

If this isn't titillating enough, check out this AMAZING rendering and see the girls and their sidekicks at work in these never-before-seen glimpses of a BombShell in the disguise of a regular woman.

But most important, prepare your inner BombShells to join us on February 11th!