Monday, February 23, 2009

knitsch: hmm, where do we start, stiX? i'm still recovering...I can hardly move...but oh, what a day! From the moment I arrived and started setting up, i was blown away by the response. First there was millie (of Pink Paper Pinafore fame) who turned up with her HUGE pre-knitted cosy. And then there were the sweet Christchurch pair - which saw the first boy of the day taught to knit. Collaboration of the coolest kind. I think that was when you arrived, wasn't it stiX?

stiX: 'Twas. And immediately sent for caffeine. Copious amounts. A workmate of mine turned up, hook in hand, and set to work to create a piece of crocheted goodness to adorn a tree. About that time, the crowd started increasing and a couple of younguns tracked us down and after a couple of minutes spent mulling the concept of graffiti knit over, decided they wanted to learn to knit as well. James and Emma picked it up in a few minutes  (naturals!) and then managed to drag 6 of their other friends to join in too. Their enthusiasm was totally infectious... can't help grinning ridiculously when I think about it.

knitsch: Around then i was kept busy teaching a little girl, i think she was about 8 or 9, to knit. Man she caught on quick! Her mum sat off to the side and chatted to a friend for about an hour, and said little girl's sister decided she wanted a go, so i taught her, then their older cousin (who knew how to knit) turned up, grabbed some needles and got stitchin'. Ah, bless.

stiX: From here it turns into a bit of a blur as we taught so many people to knit throughout the day. My flatmate Claire turned up and crocheted another impressive bricky design and I finally got my piece finished and stitched it up on the tree. What should have taken me about 10 minutes to knit took close to 2 hours due to having to give the graffiti knit spiel to everyone that was curious enough to ask... and I started to lose my voice. I may have wandered off to find food for myself and the kidlet post-seaming (which was quite atrocious... long knit pieces are hard on the old arms!) and when I came back I found that Knitsch had kept up the crowd and there were even more people contributing to the project!

knitsch: Same for me - so many people, so much knitting, and after explaining the concept so many times, I got the sound-byte down-pat. A woman from Toi Poneke came and told me how much the staff love their pink and blue tag, and someone else was horrified that 'the one with the 80's jumper' had been removed from Oriental Bay. My grin must have looked idiotic by then. Eventually I had to find food, and wandered past where all the spray graffiti kids were playing on Garrett Street. Must admit to getting all star-struck and wussed out from introducing myself to any of them, and didn't make it back later to chat, as much as I wanted to. 

stiX: Ah yes, following our conversation about the awesome street art going up on Garret St I wandered over with needles in hand and made an absolute fool of myself confessing all the stalking I've been doing of DrypNZ. I did also meet the man behind Peepshow and realised I knew him from "back home". Their work was so amazing and inspiring and all the rest. I can't believe how much they put into it! After drooling over the street art, I headed back to the knitting and we were once again visited by James and Emma, who came back to finish their work and add it to the growing collection of cosies on the trees. I think at that stage someone from the Dominion Post dropped by and we had quite a thrilling chat. 

knitsch: Hey let's blow our trumpet - we were media whores. Creative Fibres took photos, as did Capital Times, we spoke to the girls from RadioActive, and a business card from a lovely Dom Post lady is in stiX's hot little hands. Which is probably why, by late afternoon, i had to stop every once in awhile, stand back, and feel completely overwhelmed. Never in a million, zillion years did i think that the response would be so huge. The moral of the story: Put yourself out there. We made it to the Carnival thanks to the wonderful Chris Morley-Hall, and the simple act of sending one email to him with an idea. I can say, without a doubt, the best day of my life.  

stiX: Right there with ya Knitsch. It was all I could do to stop squealing with delight... though I'm pretty sure there was actual jumping for joy at several points throughout the day. Everyone was just so freaking rad! So a huge thanks from me to the Cuba St Carnival organisers and everyone who came along, took photos, stopped to chat, cosied a tree, and smiled as they walked on by. You guys rock.

And this is how it looks today, without the people, less the bunting and crochet spiderweb.

Did you take photos on the day, or the night? Did you pinch our bunting? Do you want to join the crew? Email us at outdoorknit (at) gmail (dot) com or leave us a comment. 

xx Knitsch & stiX


stiX said...

haha at the bunting. well... not. *grrrr* but hehe at your plea for honesty!

More pics from me tonight.

Anonymous said...


knitsch said...

heh, i'd just like to know if it's safe and sound or buried in the rubbish, really!

Kat said...

You guys are brilliant! May have a photo or two, will check camera sometime soon :)

Robyn said...

Hello! I've just done a post about my super awesome fun time. I fear it has unleashed a knitting monster from inside me! Must knit moar!

Anonymous said...


I'm planning a new site of guerilla-crocheting ( ) and I wanted to ask you if you allowed that I post a link to your site there?

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

WOW- this is really fantastic...well done!!

knitsch said...

Hey anonymous - for sure! link away!

knitsch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
3rdEyeMuse said...

this is wonderfully inspirational! I soooo wish I was in the area for THAT celebration of creative JAZZ!

Adrienne Rewi said...

Thanks so much for pointing me in this direction Robyn. Great to know more about your project. I loved it. Just abnnoyed my own photos didn't do it justice. it so reminded me of how the Koreans and Japanese wrap the trunks of their trees (usually in winter; but some are coiled in rope for onfoing protection). The ultimate in tree-hugging. I hope you'll apply the concept elsewhere too. Wish someone would do something innovative like this in Christchurch!!!