Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Person Very Rarely Sees…

…a poem as lovely as 99 trees -- all covered in yarn.

Yesterday, our men’s knitting group (Ravelry Link) set up our contribution to Magda Sayeg’s art installation in the Blanton Art Museum’s courtyard entitled A Knitted Wonderland.

Now, I have to admit, right up front, that although I cringed and whined about the color spectrum that we were asked to use, I have to say that the effect is really quite stunning. If the color palette had been any less vibrant, I don’t think the effect would have been nearly as dramatic. It was amazing seeing all of these trees all gussied up in snuggly warm yarn. The range of techniques and ways of combining color were really quite amazing. Several groups included pockets, appliqued snake-like things and all manner of knitting and crochet stitch patterns. So I stand corrected – this really does look quite cool.

99TreesDoug and I got there around 4:30 and got to seaming our group’s contribution to Tree #65. I think that Guys in Austin with Yarn should be pleased with the job we all did. Ours was the penultimate tree at the northern end of the installation, really closer to both UT’s Jester Dorm and the Perry-Castañeda Library than the museum. The diagram to the left shows the area of the 99 trees, and the little yellow star shows where our tree is. In this position, we were uniquely positioned as unofficial spokesmodels for the installation, fielding questions from all the curious passersby. Several people commented on how the whole thing had a Dr. Seuss vibe. I have to agree. Magda came by at one point and told us how pleased she was that we had participated and what a great job we had done.

Doug was prepared, of course, armed with all the tools we needed for seaming our creation, plus a step-ladder. We came up with a plan for attaching the whole thing together and got cracking. It was a snug a fit in a few places, which was our plan. It only took a little over an hour of using crochet hooks to pull all the loose ends up through the selvedge edges and knotting strands together at the color changes to make sure that it all stayed put. I’m quite pleased with how it all turned out. All five of the guys who worked on this (plus Doug’s mom!) should be proud.

When we left, there were still a few trees that had yet to be bedecked. I’m going to try and get down there in the next few weeks to take some more pictures with something besides my phone. The pictures I’ve taken of this can all be found in my Knitted Wonderland Flickr set. It’s up until March 18th, so if you have a chance to check it out, do so.


  1. I totally agree with you, Steven - what was atrocious up close comes to life at full scale. The effect IS Seussian, and I love how whimsical and fun it is.

    Maybe I will have to bomb a tree around here one of these days...

    What a fun group project!

  2. you put cozies on trees?!?!?! Silly queens! Still, you're right, the final effect is gorgeous. Uncle C