Monday, November 21, 2011

To my knittas.

I miss you!!!!

This crochet queen is sad that she left her other kcg members. I just moved to DC, and inspiration is all around me.

The project I did (with help from others) at Travelers didn't stay up as much as it should have...but I'm not discouraged.

Me and the bf are doing fine, couch surfin, and hopefully getting the word on a new place tomorrow!

To keep busy, I've been eyeing a fence for the local soccer field in the neighborhood I'm staying in. I did a few of the large bars, and I hope to do all of them by the time I find a place. :) Enjoy!

Tweet ya soon!
p.s. I'll be home for xmas, so get your yarnballs ready. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

An open letter to Occupy Hartford

Dear Beautiful Friends,

As avid supporters of DIY and the efforts against current struggles of the 99%, we would like to offer a helping hook.

We have been working together to bring you handmade hats and scarves. Most of these have been made with yarns donated to us over the past few years from supportive locals.

We are extending an open invitation to our knitting circle, which meets every Tuesday at 7pm in the Real Art Ways lounge. Real Art Ways is a non-profit contemporary artspace located at 56 Arbor St in the Parkville section of Hartford (they are supporters of the Occupy movement). There we can offer free knitting or crocheting lessons and enough needles/hooks/yarn to get you started.  The crew is willing to give lessons on-site, and will work on setting a date very shortly.

This is also a call for DONATIONS. The Knitty Gritty Committee would like to be able to not only present the protestors with the skills to keep themselves warm, but also the materials to do so on site. If you have any yarn, needles, or hooks that you would like to donate please drop them off at Real Art Ways.

See you soon,


Belle Hooks

Friday, October 21, 2011

Found in Northampton, MA

Once a month, I head up to Packards Pub in Northampton, MA for my Drink and Draw Meeting. With school in session, parking is a little short. Thursday nights are usually pretty busy during this time as well.
With a little luck, we find a spot. It wasn't all I found...This isn't the best picture, but there is mischief afoot.

With fall in full swing, even the parking meters need to keep warm!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Trinity is just another word for censorship.

From The Hartford Courant:
On Tuesday afternoon, the New York street artist known as Poster Boy stood on Hamilton Street in Hartford, between Bartholomew Avenue and the railroad tracks, and looked up at an inspirational billboard that featured the image of the "Mona Lisa," next to the word "smile."

Only now, the face in the frame wasn't Leonardo da Vinci's famous woman. It was painted over with a yellow smiley face. And under the word smile was scrawled, in black paint, "i.c.u.p."

"I based this on Marcel Duchamp's original subversion of the 'Mona Lisa,' " said Poster Boy, who had altered the billboard the previous night. "[Duchamp] put a Salvador Dali-esque mustache on her, and then an acronym that didn't stand for anything, but if you read the letters in French, meant, 'there's a fire down below.'" (The 1919 Duchamp work is called "L.H.O.O.Q.")
So Poster Boy left his mark on the city anyway, despite the fact that his show at Trinity College, "Street Alchemy," which was scheduled to open on Thursday, was abruptly cancelled by school administrators who were leery about where Poster Boy got his raw materials. Poster Boy freely admits he steals them, and cried censorship.

"They are censoring the Poster Boy show because of the political or legal aspect — or illegal aspect — of the work, the fact that the materials are appropriated from the streets and used for the show itself," the artist said.

On Tuesday, Trinity College spokeswoman Michele Jacklin said the "Street Alchemy" show, which was to be unveiled in the Widener Gallery in the campus's Austin Arts Center, was postponed based on a decision by Paul Mutone, vice president for finance and operations, in consultation with outside legal counsel.

Jacklin said that the show's curator, Pablo Delano, didn't do anything wrong in setting up the exhibit, but she added that only a few people knew about it until a few weeks ago.

"Professors have a great deal of latitude in inviting a wide array of speakers, lecturers and artists to campus, even those whose opinions or work might be deemed controversial or provocative. Professor Delano followed the proper protocol in this case, notifying the appropriate college officials that he would be staging this exhibition," Jacklin said. "It came to the attention of certain people at Trinity late last week that there were legal issues associated with Poster Boy and his artwork, chief among them was that illegally obtained materials may have been used in creating his artwork."

Jacklin also said the cancellation, as opposed to postponement, was at the insistence of Poster Boy. He agreed that this was true, because he considered the postponement a virtual cancellation, and that if they felt that way they might as well cancel it.

The exhibit — centered on two altered billboards, one for State Farm Insurance and another for the National Guard — had already been fully installed by late last week when the show was scuttled. It had been dismantled and taken away by Tuesday morning.

Who Is Poster Boy?

In his interview on Tuesday, Poster Boy not only would not identify himself by name but he insisted that he is not a solo artist but part of a "loose collective" of guerrilla street artists who cut up subway and street billboards to make mash-up collages that cast a snarky and ironic commentary on the advertised product, and advertising in general.

But all evidence points to Poster Boy as a solo guerrilla artist, who, in bringing his art to Hartford, was coming home.

Poster Boy has been identified in the New York media as Henry Matyjewicz, who lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Matyjewicz was arrested by New York City police in January 2009 while attending an art gallery opening in Soho and charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, according to the New York Times.

Matyjewicz gave an interview to the alternative weekly, New York Press, several days later about "the Poster Boy thing," and told the interviewer that he was born and raised in Hartford. The New York Post one year later reported that Matyjewicz was arrested after a police officer spotted him at the Jefferson Street L train station in Bushwick slicing up an ad. The Post also reported that at that time, Matyjewicz admitted to being Poster Boy. A May 2010 article in the Wall Street Journal also identified Matyjewicz as Poster Boy.

Courant columnist Susan Campbell profiled Matyjewicz in March 2006 in conjunction with the installation of "City Limits," an art project at Manchester Community College, where he was a student, which made a statement on wealth and poverty in Connecticut. He was identified at that time as a 24-year-old native of Hartford's South End, a 2001 graduate of Hall High School in West Hartford and an art teacher at Mi Casa Family Service and Educational Center in Hartford.

Despite Poster Boy's generally accepted identification as Matyjewicz, in an interview Saturday in New York, and Tuesday in Harford, Poster Boy stuck with the "loose collective" story and said members of the Poster Boy group risk arrest by attending art exhibits.

"A couple of us are on probation. Some of us can travel outside the five boroughs. Others are limited to just staying in New York and not really doing anything too crazy until we're off probation," he said. He added that he is currently on probation, and when he traveled to Hartford to prepare the show, he was traveling legally.

The artist considers the cancellation "a badge of honor … a blessing in disguise.
"The main point of the show is to reach people and to bring awareness to the sort of visual pollution we see advertising to be and the whole hypocrisy behind being able to put advertising up yet street art and graffiti is illegal," he said. "When the media gets a hold of it the fact that this was censored and canceled, more people will hear about it, more people will be forced to think about what the work stands for and what Poster Boy stands for. Whether they agree with it or not it will definitely reach a lot more people."

Trinity's Jacklin bristled at the suggestion of censorship. "In all the conversations and discussion that occurred here in the last several days, that word, that issue, that subject never came up," Jacklin said. "This was strictly focused on the legal issues. Trinity prides itself on its academic freedom and freedom of artistic expression. I find it troublesome somebody is accusing Trinity of censorship."
Poster Boy has his own definition of the word. "Censorship is a loaded word," he said. "It implies a lot. But it is what it is. … If you're just giving in, or you're the Gestapo, you're using your authority to quiet someone down."
But he thumbed his nose at Trinity's decision with his billboard work on Hamilton Street. After showing off his "Mona Lisa," Poster Boy pointed out another altered billboard only a few yards away. A Geico advertisement with the famous gecko that featured the words "save money" was transformed by him into "slave money." The G in Geico had been crossed out and replaced with a $. (Read: psycho.)

"It's a commentary on the economy, which in the early days was made by slaves and indentured servitude," he said. "It still goes on today. It's called globalization and free trade."

He also spent Tuesday afternoon talking to kids at a Hartford high school he wouldn't identify, to protect the identity of the teacher who invited him.

Hartford Origins

Luis Cotto, a councilman on the Hartford Court of Common Council, said in an interview Tuesday that he has been acquainted with Poster Boy for years and introduced him to Delano. Cotto would not discuss anything about the show's cancellation — he did not know the reasons — but he did discuss Poster Boy's work.

"When he hit upon this thing, it was just genius, or really the flip side of genius," Cotto said. "When you talk about graffiti, people tend to think of it as art, or nuisance. But now you're talking about a guy not defacing anything. Now he's dealing with multimillion-dollar ad campaigns."

Cotto said one of the first sculptural pieces Poster Boy did was a temporary sculpture outside La Paloma Sabanera, a coffeehouse on Capitol Avenue that Cotto once owned with his sisters.

"It was a man, made of biodegradable materials," Cotto said, "so when it rained it decomposed."

The aforementioned March 2006 profile by The Courant suggested at Matyjewicz's artistic sensibilities:

"Matyjewicz's Hartford neighbors have stopped looking at him funny when he drives up with a pickup-load of old doors and windows. If they don't understand that used items have a character that new ones don't, they know that Matyjewicz is an artist, and he likes scratches and dents. Those are the objects to which he is most drawn."

In that article, discussing a project using door imagery, Matyjewicz said his artistic sensibilities were influenced by the city of his childhood:

"Maybe on one side of the door, I'll look at poverty, and then on the other, I'll look at people who are well off. Since I am young and idealistic, I'm attacking social themes. I am only saying this is what I see. This is the way it is, if you get off 84 and drive around and really look. This is what you'll see.''
Both of these billboards can be found on Hamilton St. Hartford.

They're right. Censorship is a loaded word. HOWEVER, as a person who has worked in an art gallery for almost 4 years, I can't see how they'd be so ignorant. I spoke about this with a Trinity fellow and the Exec. Director of another local art gallery last night. Turns out the artist who was supposed to show after Poster Boy had her studio washed away by Irene. What are they going to do now? Who's going to step up and give Poster Boy a place to show?

He can come stay in my kitten room.

1. because of its social mission.
2. because of its nature,
 3. because of its methodology." 
- Sergei Eisenstein

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hide ya kids, hide ya wife

Get ready Providence, RI... we're going to be IN YOU tomorrow for the Waterfire Festival!

 And of course we'll be up to some mischief afterwards.... keep an eye out for our handywork!

Snitches & Stitches

Hooker, baby.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rainbows and Unicorns!

Hello! Yes, yes it's been far too long since we have spoken. Had a little Life to attend to.

I am here today to talk about Kim Boekbinder. Short answer: we need to fund her show so that she will play for us in Hartford. Now for the long answer...

Kim Boekbinder is just straight-up magic. I've listened to her music and felt like she had lived inside my heart for a year, then wrote about it. But I would have noticed something like that. She's hard to miss!
She took a minute before dashing off to Australia to answer a few questions for me. Thanks a bunch!

What are audiences like in other countries compared to the US?

I find that my my audiences tend to be quite international so it's hard to say how an audience is different in another country. I think quite a lot has to do with the venue too.

How do you feel about all the buzz regarding your Kickstarter campaign?

Seems like I thought about just the right thing at just the right time. I'm excited about it. I hope it helps me reach the next level in my career. I have grand plans for my art and want to be able to better execute it.

Are there any plans for a new album soon?

I leave for Australia in a few hours, I'll be writing my next album for the month of September. I'm SO excited!

Kim is organizing a US tour for the fall. She is using Kickstarter to pre-sell the shows, and will play the cities that are fully funded. Hartford is on the list, but we've only got 6 more days to fund the show! I know it's short notice, but I didn't think Hartford would leave it hanging 'til the last minute. C'mon, Hartbeat! Let's show Kim how we do art. It's in our name...hARTford. (Yeah, it was corny. Fund the show, and I will quit it.)

Let's bring Kim to Hartford, people.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back in the Beat

Hey kids,

We've been under the internets for quite some bit, but don't fret - we're still kickin' it every Tuesday.

Our meetings are open to absolutely everyone, no matter the skill (or lack of) level. Don't have yarn/hooks/needles? Thanks to the lovely donors of this city we have plenty to go around.

Wanna be a part of something? Shoot us an email for more details on when/where/what we do.

And yes, we do have access to kittens.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Road Trip!!

Well this crochet queen has been road tripping across the country...I did not leave empty handed...


We went from CT to Cali. It took soooo long, but it left so much time to crochet/knit/take pics. We needed gas as soon as we got there, so I decided to take a little walk down to the roadside and make mischief.


Once we got to Cali, I promptly yarnbombed the sign at the corner of Haight and Ashbury.


Check out this sweet graffiti I found too!


Then we traveled to Vegas, and to the Grand Canyon. It was amazing how small it made me feel. The world is a crazy place. This was the yarnbomb that I did after being super bored in an Arizona Econolodge.


Just for fun, I made this little beauty in Albuquerque, New Mexico,


And this one is from Santa Fe. It's one of mah favorites :-) I had just learned that stitch before I left, so I had toons of time to practice in the car.


We stopped at Third Man Records, which is Jack White's new recording studio, so that was really neat...


And we ended our trip in DC...before going home. I believe this is my masterpiece.


All in all, it was amazing. I saw a lot of the country, and I'm pretty sure the country saw a lot of the KGC.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Life Experiences

I have plenty of excuses for not blogging in such a long time. But odds are if you're reading this, you know me personally. Therefore, you know those reasons.

Life in Flux!

Anywho, after all these delightful oils have been sitting around/moving with me for months, I decided to make some soap. How is this KGC related? Oh, I'll get to that eventually.

Here are my ingredients:

Organic all vegetable shortening
Organic unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
Organic (Food-grade) Cocoa butter
Unrefined Organic virgin coconut oil
Organic fragrance oil (white tea & ginger)
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

First I started by mixing the Lye and water.... very carefully. It became quite hot (and stinky) so I put it outside.

Then I melted down all of my oils to around 100 degrees. Didn't take long at all!

I mixed in the lye and stirred. There was a bit of a chemical reaction at first... you could see some soap-like suds forming - really cool.

Then I poured it into my "mold," consisting of an old cardboard box and shower curtain. This mixture stayed hot for a very long time. It eventually cooled off and solidified about 24 hours later, but still needed more time to cure.

I broke off a little chuck to see if I did everything right!

A day later I took the whole mass out and cut it up. It was a little flakier than I had hoped, I probably should have stirred it longer... but not bad for my first attempt. It definitely leaves my skin ultra soft. I'm about to take some into the shower to make sure it's safe to share... I'd rather not have to pay for skin grafts!

 The flakiness doesn't really matter... I'll be covering these babies with some local hand-spun (and naturally anti-fungal) wool.... once I get it! Thinking about taking a trip to Madison Wool to support the local shop, new friend, and fellow yarn-enthusiast!


Here's a really awesome link brought to my attention by friend and local artist, Barbara Hocker.
Here’s something wacky and awesome that I’ve never seen done before. Minneapolis yarn bombing artist HOTTEA (previously) strikes again with this amalgam of street art techniques including a canvas made of yarn, two stencils, and spray paint to create this holy trinity of non-destructive street art. How long does it take for one man to unravel 12 skeins of yarn? Longer than it takes for the sun to rise and set. Jump to around 00:45 in the video to watch the time-lapse. That guy is a yarn wrapping animal!

WILDLIFE from Hot Tea on Vimeo.


We still meet every Tuesday, and open to absolutely everyone. If you're interested in hanging out with us, shoot an email to

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wool...Movie Star!

I wish I had a 36 hour day. I do not have enough time in one day to do everything I want to do. I got a new guitar this week, but I have not played it as much as I'd like. I have silk to sew into bloomers. That I may be able to get to this week, along with the crochet roses I'm making. BTW, keep an eye out on that project. Hehehehe.

But then I see something like this:

And now I would love to knit and shoot a movie. But I know damn well I do not have the time.

Maybe if I got an assistant to help with the sewing? I can only pay in pie right now. :P

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Curb Appeal

This is basically my life right now.

In other news, I ordered new business cards. They should be in pretty soon.

As you all may know, the rapture has passed.... but not without any repercussions.  I lost quite a few family members over the course of one month, and it's something that I meditate on while crocheting. Going through my late grandfather's belongings, I found a nice wooden chair by the dumpster. Instead of throwing it away, I chucked it in the back of my car. Now it's being covered by beautiful grandpa-reminiscent yarns. Once it's done I'd like to leave it in a nice place. He always liked to sit, listen & talk to friends.

This has started a whole new yearning for curb-related crafts. I also was given this near-death wooden flower stand. Once it's finished with a new skin, it will be donated to the Hartford Farmer's Market.

We have so many ideas for this summer.... we just need a cohesive plan. Also, if anyone else has any other free time during the week to meet, that would be great. Sometime during the week I am going to put together an online photo album of all of our work.

I finished most of the baby gifts... making baby things is so much fun! Everything is so tiny and quick to make. My friend is due in July, so I'm going to take a break for a while and finish everything up for his very first New England winter.

I'd like to get some sort of conversation going about the recent New York Times article on Yarn-bombing... if there are any other crews reading this PLEASE comment with your thoughts.

Lastly just another HUGE thank you for all the donations we have been receiving. We will probably never have to buy yarn ever again. Please feel free to contact us regarding donations of yarn or things you think we should bomb at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Intense Bombing

this is on a nice corner, and it's the first square I ever knitted!!

Look at the light pole to the left!!
Above: at the skate park!

La Paloma Sabanera.

I had an itch this week to throw some yarn around some things, if you know what I mean... I've been working a third shift awake job, so I have a lot of time on my hands to create things. Also, a nice trip to home depot for cable ties helped immensely. I won't be joining you all tonight because today is the day that the paid sick days bill is being voted on in the senate. Enjoy your days, everybody!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Life and art are inseparable,"

Man, this is what I get for blogging before my 5th cup of coffee!

I meant to post this days ago, but me and my sinuses had a bit of a tiff. I mostly post this for CamusKnitty, 'cause she is a big fan of Olek! Her newest project is on display in New York until the 28th of May. Personally, I'm not sure I could go without my own bed for that long, but I am a Superbaby like that!

I do suggest that if you can get to NYC in time, go and check this out. I think if I went, I would get a major inferiority complex!

Hopefully, see y'all tonight!

Fan Mail from Some Flounder!

Ok, so it's been a little while since anyone has posted. We've been off in our little Knitty cubby hole, brewing up great ideas. We happen to think there are some horses that need our brand of TLC. Stay tuned folks...

Until that's ready, viddy this, droogs! Our first fan video! Yay!

And a request to tag Willimantic! Does anyone know a place that is just dying for a little yarn love? Because I am always up for a road trip. And more knitting!

I would most certainly love to see your lovely faces tonight at Real Art Ways. How do we make that happen...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't let this post fool you. I have more yarn than cats.

Hey! First, it's magnificent outside today! I hope that after you read this, you go and take this weather in. We all deserve it. In fact, I'm sewing a dress for exactly this kind of weather. That is another blog entry for another day...

Next. I have been threatening to post the link to this blog for weeks now. I think that the other KGC members think I made it up. But I didn't.See...

It's so much cute, you just might explode. If you are in a position to help out a kitty, please do. I wish I were. I have two right now, and my sinuses let me know, daily, that they are not happy with my decision. But they are great cats. I couldn't imagine a world without them.

This is Vince. Don't let the serious face fool you. He is a ball of love and energy.

Hope to see you tonight!

KGC takes a hike

So much has happened since my last post, including this article which may force me to change my name yet AGAIN. But hey, Captain Hook was an easy one. I'll go back to CamusKnitty, thank you very much. I'm also glad we started years ago! Here's another article about bombings in TX. While I was preparing for Low Lifes 3 at work the other day, I found the piece that Olek added to the mix last year. Any more links? Oh yes yes.
Here is Ishknits recent installation outside of the Philli Museum of Art.

OG's KnittaPlease hit up 99 Trees in Austin, TX.

Now for a little tour of my vacation.
I found the most beautiful tree on the beach in Maui.
And I made it better.
Then I went to another beach....

And another beach... black rock by Barbara!

And this one went in the downtown area.

Here's some work from the Maui locals. Looks like they need some help!

And then we went to San Diego!

Now it's back to Hartford.
 This one went up across from the Wadsworth, but the one by Arch St. is still standing!

Meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). Same time, same place.