Cam Bike Fest 2013: Yarn Bombing a Bike Wheel

This week I have been working on a yarn bombed bicycle wheel for Cam Bike Fest. The inaugural festival will celebrate cycling with wacky bikes, local crafts, bike decoration and a a yarn bombed treasure trail which my wheel is going to be part of. More on this later.

Pom Pom Bike Wheel

A while back I discovered local organisation You Can Bike Too in Cambridge, who are the folks behind the festival. They offer cycling sessions for those new to riding a bike and help people with disabilities or those recovering from illness or injury. 

YouCanBikeToo

They are some really special bikes to try too and their disabled members have spoken on local radio about how learning to ride a bike has changed their lives. They even have special bicycles for those in wheelchairs to give it a go. Pretty inspiring really.

YouCanBikeTooTandem

You Can Bike Too Handcycle Bike

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So if you live locally to Cambridge, I would encourage you to visit the Cam Bike Fest which takes place at Milton Country park on Saturday 22 June. And if you do, see if you can spot my wheel in the treasure trail!

Yarn Bombed Bike Wheel

It’s thanks to Willow Wanderer that I became involved. Look at this wonderful knitted bike she made to promote the festival around the city.

Willow Wanderer Knitted Bike

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Do you know of any cycling festivals or events in your area? Have a look on the Bike Week website and you may discover some!

You can read the rest of my Bicycle themed blog posts here.

Claire

P.S. Thanks to Miss Chaela-Boo for her contribution to the bike wheel project. Cable ties are so much quicker than stitching crochet 🙂 Do check out her posts on Bike Week too!

This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share local cycling events for Bike Week.

Why I love Cambridge (and a yarn bomb)

I honestly feel like I live in the best place in the country. We moved from the big smoke to Cambridge 6 years ago and I utterly love it. Probably more and more as time goes by. Today I want to share with you some of my favourite things about the city.

The green space and river

Although Cambridge is a city, unlike London, the green space and idyllic river scenes make me feel like I can breathe. There is space. And cows.

The River Cam on claireabellemakes

People row and live on boats. After the rowing races they chuck each other in the river. Good old traditions.

I am also proud to say I can actually punt (only took me 5 years to learn).

The River Cam on claireabellemakes

Cycling

You have to own a bike here. If you know me at all, in real life or through my blog, you know I’m obsessed with my bicycle. So much so, that I decorated it with bunting (tutorial here). It just makes sense to get around on a push bike.

Bicycles on claireabellemakes

Students

As much as it is busy and sometimes noisy with the students around, the city doesn’t feel right without them there. During the holiday periods the city feels oddly deserted and the buzz returns when term begins. It’s a love/hate relationship. I should be grateful, I wouldn’t have a job without all 22,000 of them.

Architecture

The city centre in Cambridge is filled with ancient buildings and inspiring sculptures. I find myself diverting on my journey to and from work some days, just to enjoy a different cobbled street or back path. Spaced along the river are wooden houses surrounded by pretty gardens and in the city centre a fun sculpture stands to pay tribute to a local eccentric who fundraised for charity his whole life.

Cambridge Architecture on claireabellemakes

A compact city

I love that you can reach anywhere in Cambridge within 30-40 minutes on foot or by bike. We never manage to leave the house without seeing someone we know. It’s friendly and compact. People stop to help each other and a good morning greeting isn’t unusual.

Creativity and that yarn bomb I mentioned…

Finally, it’s a creative city. People take up hobbies such as art, music, dance and craft. A yarn bombed lamp post or bike rack isn’t unusual.

Look as this guerilla knitting/crochet we saw today by the river. I wonder who could have put it there (*wink wink*)?! Perhaps they were inspired by Meredith of the blog One Sheepish Girl? She has declared today Sheepish Yarn Bombing Day!

Cambridge Yarn Bomb on claireabellemakes

Have you ever visited Cambridge? Or do you live in a place you love as much as I love Cambridge?

claireabelle

All images in this post are owned by claireabellemakes. Please contact me should you wish to use them.

I have shared this post on Handmade Monday – come see what others have been up to!

Happy International Yarn Bombing Day

I recently discovered that June 9th is International Yarn Bombing Day. The origins of yarn bombing (or knit graffiti) are often debated, but it is said to have begun in Texas, USA in 2005. Colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn are displayed in public places, often by anonymous crafters.

It got me thinking about whether I would ever have the confidence or skills to participate in a yarn bombing. What motivates people? Is it just a fun way to express creativity, or are there statements to be made? Whatever the idea behind a yarn bomb, it sure is a fun way to decorate a street or item, and it’s bound to make people stop and smile.

My yarn bombing research led me to rediscover all the recent knit graffiti I had seen online and in the national and local news.

Some of you may have seen the recent press about guerrilla knitwear artist Olek’s crocheted outfits for Anthony Gormley sculptures on Crosby Beach, Merseyside. Although the sculptures have been on the beach since 2005, Olek wanted to transform the sculptures into something new. She says “By covering them and giving them a new skin, I made them more alive”. Would this be the same for a tree? Or a railing? I know if I discovered a branch covered in a multicoloured plethora of yarn, it would certainly make me notice the tree when I would have otherwise walked on by.

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It’s said to be technically illegal to yarn bomb (considered a form of graffiti), but many local knitting groups are embracing the trend and I even discovered a recent yarn bomb in the nearby city of Norfolk.

The Norfolk Ninja Knitters spruced up lamposts and sculptures outside the City Hall, but sadly the council removed the yarn bombs 🙁

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These yarn bombs I found on Pinterest are really inspiring….

I love this London phone box, with Big Ben as the backdrop!

Source: www.knitthecity.com / Image © Knit the City

This one would really make people think twice about dodging parking fees…..

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I wonder how long this tree yarn bomb took?

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Have you spotted a great yarn bomb in your area? Have you ever yarn bombed?

Claire x