Yarn Bomb Update and more…

Yarn Bomb Update and more…

In my last post I introduced you to the amazing creative community that is the Cosby Yarn Bombers who reside in the village of Cosby, just south of Leicester. When I was down there two months ago they were working flat out to pull together this years Summer Yarn Bomb with the theme ‘Make a Splash’. I promised an update so here are images of just a small fraction of the wonderful installations that were put up around the village….enjoy!

I just love that the bather has removed one of her cucumber eye patches so she can read her iPad! The detail that goes in to this work is fantastic.

My friend Pat made an enormous wet felted Loch Ness Monster which found a new home in her garden hedge!

Having been told that a lot of the work is reused and remodelled each year I’m sure I spotted Madge (minus her crown) laying on a sun lounger eating an ice cream with the corgis close by!

Another very visual event that I can’t resist is the annual Asylum Steam Punk Festival that’s held in Lincoln over the three days of the August Bank Holiday. It’s advertised as the largest Steam Punk event of its kind and attracts enthusiasts from far and wide.

The term Steampunk was first coined in 1987 by K. W. Jeter, the author of the novel Morlock Night. He used the term to describe a genre of speculative fiction in which steam, not electricity, drove technological advancements. Since then it has been used to describe an artistic and cultural movement.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to create a costume and take part but every year it sneaks up on me and, you guessed it, I’ve no costume ready! Maybe I will join in fully next year but for 2022 I was there once again as a spectator, still having a fabulous time, taking photos and chatting to folk and generally soaking up the atmosphere.

The setting for the gathering is Lincolns Cathedral Quarter and the old Asylum which provide the perfect backdrop. There are lots of stalls selling costumes and accessories as well as a programme of activities each day throughout the weekend culminating in hundreds of folk taking part in the grand parade which is a quite a spectacle!

The green man jacket was made out of old curtains by the lady wearing it and the face was her first attempt at needle felting which I thought was pretty impressive!

While I was in Lincoln that weekend I also took the opportunity to visit a textile exhibition in the Cathedrals Chapter House. This was by a local group called Lincolnshire Textiles. It’s title, Sapphire & Steel, was a reference to the main exhibit, a beautiful, huge wheel of fabric covered shards.

This group project had been created using a variety of materials and methods including wet felting, free motion stitch, cross stitch, hand embroidery, beading, heat manipulation with tyvek, etc, etc. One of the shards is actually made from steel which has been decorated with threads and sealed with resin….unfortunately when I looked through the photos I’d taken I’d missed that one!

Another collaborative project involved each member being given a small image to reproduce in whatever materials and techniques they wanted to use. Once finished they were assembled to reveal two famous paintings. Some had been working on a Monet, others on a Klimt.

The Chapter House is a stunning piece of architecture but a nightmare when it comes to hanging display items, the ladies certainly had their work cut out!

These are just a few of the other pieces that were on display.

The whole weekend had been a visual extravaganza and I couldn’t help but come away from it feeling inspired. Who knows, I might even have a Steam Punk costume to show you next time…..just don’t hold your breath!

22 thoughts on “Yarn Bomb Update and more…

  1. What a wonderful weekend Karen. Thanks for posting it, it’s cheered me up after yesterday’s sad news. (For those outside the UK, the sad news was of the death of our Queen Elizabeth II and it affected me and my husband much more than even the death of our own parents, so I’m grateful for anything cheerful just now.) I hope the yarn bombers give Madge her crown back and keep her on show.
    I was introduced to Steam Punk a few years ago when we did Alice in Wonderland for our Panto – the costumes were all Steam Punk inspired. I loved them. Great fun to make a mini topper and add goggles and chains to it.
    Hope you get a costume made for next year Karen.

    1. Glad the post cheered you up a little Ann. It certainly is a sad time but I’m sure Cosby will create a fitting tribute.
      I know I’m going to have fun making that costume when I eventually get around to it

  2. That was some weekend Karen, no wonder you were buzzing with inspiration after it! I don’t even know where to start every photo is just so amazing! I love what Cosby are doing, I can understand how it attracts so many tourists. Ingenious!

    Little did Jeter know what the impact of his book would be way back in ’87. Such a gathering of creative people – I love it all but well done focussing on the green jacket – it really is super. I would love to see you create something for this event. Imagine getting a bunch of creatives together for a weekend with a view to making one whole outfit in that time. What fun that would be. Many years ago, I won a website (on behalf of a community group). The designers – 20 of them in total – were on my team and were up against another 20 who worked with the other winner. They came from different techie disciplines and they spent one day building it for us. The excitement and results were amazing. Whereas I was an excited passenger on that particular trip, you would be designer and director of such a steam punk venture. I suspect a similar atmosphere (and lots of laughs) could be developed by a group of textile creatives ensuring that you too would go to the ball next year!

    The exhibition in the cathedral is jaw dropping. I would love to see it in person. Thank you for bringing it to life for me.

    Before I sign off, I want to express my feelings of deep sadness and sympathies on the death of your wonderful Monarch. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.

    1. Well done with that website win Helene, your team obviously worked well together. I might have to organise a steam punk “ideas day” with a few friends, that could be a lot of fun….pity you’re not nearer!
      It does feel a bit unsettling to know the Queen has passed.

  3. You sure had a busy time, Karen! I’m so envious. The yarn bombers are fabulous (and I suspect Marge will be making a comeback with her crown, considering recent events… RIP Queen Elizabeth II)
    I love Steampunk. I had no idea there was a whole event for it here in the UK! It looked fabulous. Maybe next year you’ll finally participate? 🙂
    The cathedral was such a great setting for the textile exhibit. Everything looked wonderful but my favourite was what I’m now calling “Klimt Gestalt.” What a clever way to bring a painting to life.
    Next time, take me with you 😀

    1. You should come down for the BH weekend next year if you get the chance Leonor. You never know, there might even be an exhibition on worth visiting.
      This is the second time I’ve seen a painting reproduced in this way. I like that you only get to see the tiny part you are given to make and not the whole picture. The first one I saw wasn’t a famous piece. It had been painted by a local artist and not shown until the textile version had been made. They were then displayed side by side in an exhibition and the likeness of the textile piece to the painted picture was incredible!

  4. I didn’t know about the exhibition in the Cathedral, I hope it is still on. I was really impressed when Sue created her green man. A couple of quick lessons from me and she just went for it. She hadn’t heard of needle felting before that. And make that Steampunk outfit and come and join us Karen.

    1. Unfortunately you’ve missed the exhibition Jo, it didn’t carry though to this month. There was some fabulous work on display but the ladies were telling me what a nightmare is was to get some of them to hang right in that space!
      I was blown away to learn that Sue was new to needle felting after seeing what a great job she made of her jacket! I’ve got an “adventurer” theme in my head….just need to make a start.

  5. What a wonderful collection of photos in your post Karen, from yarn bombing to steam punk to a gorgeous exhibition. Such visual excitement 🙂

    What an amazing recreation of Nessie and the bather is a hoot. The details do make all the difference. The costumes for the festival are way over the top. I think you would need a full year to get one together. I wish I could have seen the exhibition, I really admire the wheel and all it’s intricacies that are only visible up close. And the two painting reproductions are fabulous. It is amazing how well the pieces go together to form the whole.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos Ruth. I did wonder at one point if I’d over done it but, honestly, I left out more than I put in! The wheel of shards was such a good idea and made a real impact as you walked in to the Chapter House.

  6. I was ‘ooh’ ing and ‘wow’ ing throughout your post, Karen, but when I came to articulating my thoughts the people above had expressed everything so well I’m not sure how much I can add. Terrific blog, loved all of it, from the yarn bombers unbelievable feats through the steam punk creativity to the serene blue beauty of the shard. Thanks very much for sharing a gleeful breeze of creativity and communal art.

  7. Thank you so much for posting these photos! What a feast for the eyes! The yarn bombers work is magnificent – I especially like Nessie.
    The steam punk costumes are jaw dropping – what will yours look like?
    Saphire and Steel must have been wonderful to see ‘in real life’ and then there were all the other lovely exhibits – I like the humour in the textile taxidermy piece.

    1. I’m thinking along the lines of a Victorian explorer. I’ve been doing a bit of research this morning and there were some incredibly brave and adventurous female explorers in the 1800’s. It’s incredible to see photos of these women climbing mountains and venturing deep into the jungle wearing their full skirts and bonnets! I feel like I’ve achieved something when I complete a 15 mile circuit on my push bike!!
      The lady who created the taxidermy was on duty in the Chapter House the day I visited the exhibition. She told me she came up with the ides of the pink bird after watching a to programme about battery farming. A shed full of battery hens were filmed as they were released from their confinement. The last hen staggered out, painfully weak, pathetically thin and almost bald and this is the bird that inspired that work. She apologised for having to cage it again but wanted to protect it from inquisitive fingers!

  8. What a wonderful time you had. I can’t believe the dedication of the yarn bombers. they must work flat out most of the year knitting and organizing.
    Steam punk is so much fun. I hope you make something and share your adventure making it and wearing it.
    The textiles where amazing and the shards spectacular. There are some very creative groups fairly close to you.
    I know Jan has been wanting our guild do do one of those little picture paintings. I hope we can share these to inspire some others so we can do it.
    We over here in Canada were very sad to hear of Her Majesty passing. I found out form the kids I was picking up at the high school. I turned on the radio and they were very quiet all the way home as we listened to the news and tributes.

    1. I will definitely share the costume if I get around to making it!
      I hope your group give the thumbs up to the shared picture idea. It would be interesting to watch that develop.

  9. A wonderful set of photos with such interesting back stories. I wish I could have seen it all.
    A KL costume….explorer extraordinaire – now that conjures all sort of images.

    We are in the midst of dramatically changing history. Sad times for all but encouraging times too!

    From a textile perspective – there is such a wealth of colour & skill in our celebrated pageantry.

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