Pittsburgh

Knitting the Bridge

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Featured, knitting, Pittsburgh, Projects

ktb1_reduced

For those of you that might have somehow missed it, some really awesome people put together a massive community project to yarnbomb the Andy Warhol bridge. I’m still mindblown that they made it happen, and I’m excited to say that I got to be a part of it.

When I decided that my first knitting project was going to be a 6 foot by 3 foot panel for the Knit the Bridge, I thought it would take me a couple of weeks, no big deal. But as my coworkers at Kennywood First Aid can attest, or my classmates on the OB/Gyn rotation, or anyone who rides the 58 bus, it took me a a little bit longer than just a few weeks. And the most astounding part was that my saga in knitting was a tiny part of the 600 handmade panels, 116,688 square feet of hand knit, crochet, and woven materials, and 3,000 linear feet of machine knit material that went into this. Over 1500 people made this happen, and I am so proud of Pittsburgh as a community for making the whole thing possible.

Oh and by the way, just to further prove that we’re awesome – there’s a giant rubber duck coming up the river tomorrow.

Pittsburgh, I know I’ve told you this before, but I love you.

 

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Knit the Bridge Panel!

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Projects

ktb1 reducedIt’s been 3 months since I gleefully posted about Knit the Bridge and declared that I was going to learn to knit so that I could be part of this incredible venture. So I went out and got my sister’s book of choice, Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook, some acrylic wool, and a pair of knitting needles. Little did I know, 34 by 72 inches is a heck of a lot of knitting. I knitted at work, at school, on the bus, and while watching 3 and a half seasons of Regenesis (which, incidentally, is pretty good; But if you’re a biologist be prepared to do a lot of cringing). And here it is, only a month late (sorry KTB).

There’s been so much heart warming press about this project and I’m really proud to be a part of it. When I moved to Pittsburgh almost 7 years ago as a college student from rural New Hampshire dreaming of city life, I never dreamed that I would fall head over tails in love with this place. This project brings together so many things I love about Pittsburgh, so thanks to Amanda Gross and the other KTBers for making it a reality.

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How hard can knitting really be?

Posted on Apr 12, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Projects

knitthebridge

What better reason than awesome installation art to learn how to knit? Naturally, my first knitting project would be a giant 34 by 72 inch panel to display in public on a bridge (assuming I actually figure out this art, of course).

Just yesterday I was lamenting about how knitting and crocheting were two textile skills that are sadly lacking from my repertoire. My sister does a lot of knitting and she loves it. I’ve done a tiny bit of knitting before, but I decided it was high time I learned to crochet and  was serious enough about learning to buy a book (Crochet!) and dug out the collection of needles and yarn left by my grandmother when she passed away over 10 years ago.

Before I even had a chance to start a project, one of my favorite stores in Pittsburgh, Wildcard, posted a link to Knit the Bridge on Facebook. Either Facebook is reading my mind, or they have creepy marketing spies listening in on my conversations. Regardless, this project is so exciting! I’ve heard of yarn bombing, but it’s never occurred to me to join the movement before. From their website: “Knit the Bridge is a vision for a grassroots, community-led arts project that would bring the many diverse communities of Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania together to create a large-scale, aesthetically stunning, fiberarts installation on a bridge in downtown Pittsburgh.”

Just another thing to add to my long list of reasons I <3 Pittsburgh.

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I’m Moving into TechShop

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 in Pittsburgh

main workspace

TechShop has officially come to Pittsburgh! This place is basically my personal little heaven. The giant work tables, the people who come there just to learn and to make stuff, power tools, laser cutters, sewing machines, and all sorts of toys I never dreamed I’d have access to. You have to do training courses for all of the machines that can break you (or that you can break), so I’m starting the process of getting those done (It would go faster if I wasn’t working 80 hour weeks on my surgery rotation). Today sewing machines, next laser cutting, powder coating, vacuum forming, and beyond! I can hardly contain my excitement :-)

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52 Weeks of Sewing – A Purse

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Pittsburgh, Projects

This is another project that made my 52 Weeks of Sewing list because I had a project in mind. This was my first effort at freehand embroidery based on a photograph that I took of one of the most famous views of Pittsburgh. I decided I wanted to turn it into a purse some time ago, and even accidentally bought the pattern (McCalls 6045) twice at two different 99 cent pattern forays.

I sketched the view from the photograph, and then actually chalked it using embroidery tracing paper onto the fabric. I’ve since learned there are better ways to transfer an image then chalking (my technique is largely derived from my mother’s 1970’s dress making education, pre-inkjet printer), but too late now :-)

 

I actually had to pull a chunk of the needle out of the purse with pliers...

The construction of this purse took me an embarrassingly long time and broke one sewing machine needle (trying to sew through nine layers of fabric). All in all, if I had bothered to read ahead and realized how cumbersome the handle attachment would have been, I would have done it differently, but by the time I realized what they wanted me to do, it was too late. The photo doesn’t quite do it justice, I’ll try and get some better photos in natural light if the sun ever comes out here in Pittsburgh :-)

The embroidery close up

The original photo

The sketch from the photo

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