Monday, June 11, 2012

Yarnbombing - for Immrama and Lismore's Travel Writing Cyclist

A colourful attraction!
I just had to share this with you all in the blogosphere and knitting and crocheting community - a craftosphere perhaps - as it is the coolest thing to hit Lismore since the Barber of Seville Yarnbombing of the previous weekend, which you can see here.

An unlikely Urban Guerilla.
In the Tuesday Knitters at Angela's Design Workshop we had a plan afoot for the Immrama Travel Writing Festival, especially as this is the 10th Festival and has just concluded last night after a very successful weekend. I will blog about the festival anon. Meanwhile, a bicycle yarnbombing seemed most appropriate given that it's the preferred mode of transport of our own renowned traveller Dervla Murphy. Dervla is world-famous is travel writing circles as an octogenarian who has written of her journeys through life from her first book, Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle, through her autobiography Wheels within Wheels to her latest work The Island that Dared - Journeys in Cuba and she is soon bringing out her book on Palestine. She has a wonderful body of work, Lismore is very proud of her, and we are delighted to have her as a friend. She visited Laos after we told her what a wonderfully unspoilt place it was back in the 90s, and she is a real inspiration to all generations.

My crocheted contributions
Street art!
So this is the outcome of our endeavours! Angela kindly supplied the bike, which was somewhat past roadworthy and its prime, and we embellished it with love and lots of crochet and knitting and weaving to make this fabulous work of art. Many Tuesday Knitters made various parts - mine was the half-moon rear-wheel "skirt-guard" which is a peculiarly Dutch innovation - "Jasbeschermers" or coat protectors. I found these wonderfully colourful embellishments online and on Ravelry and adapted one to my end procuct, which I love. Then Dairiona made the beautiful front-wheel covers in crochet shades of blue, while sisters Annie and Agnes made the basket - in basketweave stitch with a pre-patterned yarn. I can't name each and everyone as I'd be sure to omit many but suffice to say there were myriad contributors!

The ornate basket - bees making honey!
Last Friday, coinciding with the Immrama Festival, the bike was placed on the steps of the Heritage Centre, a nerve centre for tourism in Lismore, and the visitor numbers were certainly up this weekend, due to the festival but of course we take some credit with our own visitor-magnet! I saw lots of people photographing it, being photographed beside it, and in one case, in it! A little  baby was placed in the basket for the sweetest photograph, which I saw on Facebook! Some people thought it was Dervla's iconic bike, Roz (Rozinante, the Quixotically named bike that took her to India and beyond in 1963 and which found a home in the Lismore Library, where her father was once County Librarian).

So what do you think? We are totally biased and love it and hope it finds a long-term home in Lismore, as a tourist attraction in its own right. Who knows, it might even go down in history.


MTeacress said...

Oh my. I would love to copy that and put it in my garden - too bad I can't knit. ;)

kathy b said...

Oh the basket bomb is just the best!

Catherine said...

Thanks girls! Michelle, find a knitting circle near you and get going, it's not that difficult and it's great fun, very sociable and satisfying. Even Crochet is easy peasy when you get going with it!

Kathyb The basket's fab isn't it? I love the whole thing, it drew a great crowd for the weekend it was on public display and we'll keep it on view for the summer at least! Thanks again for my prize on your blog, it's thrilling to win something especially yarn! Looking forward to Mr. Postman coming by soon!
Catherine xxx

Ann said...

Amazing what one can do with a ball of yarn!

Val said...

I love this! What a great idea.