Monday, February 16, 2009

You saw it here first!

Originally I wasn't going to blab about this 'cause guerrilla knitting is supposed to happen on the Q-T, you know? However, this wasn't exactly guerrilla knitting since we got permission from the Old Sydney Society and all, so there's really no reason to keep mum about it. :) Hmm, what do you call guerrilla knitting when it's officially sanctioned?

That's good ol' DesBarres, lieutenant governor of Cape Breton from 1784 to 1787, resident of the little park on the corner of Dorchester and Esplanade streets, and poster boy for the 2009 Knit-a-thon. The whole idea of the knit-a-thon is to get together and knit things like hats and scarves for folks who need warm things during the winter, and who needs warm things more than a big metal guy who lives on a street corner, I ask you?

This all started a couple of weeks ago when we were brainstorming ways to bring attention to the knit-a-thon. We were sitting at the Bean Bank, sipping our tasty coffees, when Chris mentioned that her husband had sent her an email with a picture of knit-graffitti in it. I'd seen tons of it online as well, so we started comparing notes and the next thing you know, Chris and I are out in the snow taking rough measurements of Himself.

By "rough" I mean I put my hand next to various bits and pieces while Chris took pics with my cell phone:

Gettin' an idea of the scale of this guy now? The span of my hands put together like that is 15" so I was guessing his whole head had to be around 35-40" around. (Ron and I went back later with a measuring tape and verified: 36" around. Am I good or what?)

This was like holding my daddy's hand when I was a little girl. :) Except that it was a whole heckuva lot colder! Ever held a bronze guy's hand in the snow? Brrrr!

After his measurements were taken, I made a quick trip to le Valu and picked up a hand knit sweater. Wasn't quite sure what I'd do with it but I figured inspiration would strike - and so it did! Chris provided the scarves and I whipped up the hat on Sunday (and tried it on for size late Sunday night just in case alterations had to be made).

As of this afternoon, DesBarres is wearing a fetching green hat and not one but two warm scarves:

He is also sporting the hottest new fashion accessory in park statue attire, the cabled legwarmer:

Aren't they great? Man, I'd like a pair of leg warmers like those! Note also his well turned (i.e. incredibly meaty) calves: they're 19" around, for anyone who's interested in his vital statistics. They're every bit as big around as his thighs. Not that I was feeling his thighs, no ma'am.

I made a wild guess as to what size hat he'd require but then had to skimp a bit on the rows before I started decreasing 'cause I only had just so much of this three yarn combo. Good thing his head is so much wider than it is tall: those rolls of hair on the sides of his wig add a lot of width but not height, you understand. I finished up with only two yards of yarn to spare and a hat that was just barely big enough but still looks quite nice on him, ifIdosaysomyself:

He looks happy about it, anyway! I suspect he also quite enjoyed having his leg warmers sewn on:

That's Chris and Sidney working on his right leg. I had the pleasure of sewing on his left leg warmer a bit earlier. And no, that's not a satellite in his right hand, thank you so much for asking.1 It is, in fact, a giant ball of yarn with giant knitting needles through it:

Who knew that DesBarres was such an avid knitter? Must've learned at the military academy along with map making and the like, I GUESS.

Here we are, the four mad knitters. Sidney on the left, Chris in the middle and, yes, that's me on the right with the pink needles stabbing through my head. DesBarres getting back at me, perhaps?

This pic was snapped by the very obliging guy who came to take pictures of the entire enterprise for tomorrow's Cape Breton Post. I'm hoping that we'll get on the front page so that it'll be in colour but I'm not holding my breath. There may also be some t.v. news dudes by tomorrow to interview Himself - will be very interested to hear what he has to say!

Hopefully between the paper, the news and all the folks driving by, Col. DesBarres will help us get the word out about the knitathon! This being the word in question:

So there you have it: a full confession by Sydney's newest officially-sanctioned-so-not-really-guerrilla knitter!

Oh! I should also mention that Col. DesBarres is not the only poster boy for the 2009 knit-a-thon! By now, Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel are also spreading the word about our sister event in Baddeck from their perch on a park bench. :)

1. I kid you not: at least two people have said that the yarn and needles look like a satellite. I'd no idea satellites came in hot pink. Maybe I ought to make another yarn/needle combo and crash it into the first...


Knittycat said...

Hooray, he looks stunning! The ball of yarn with PINK needles does look a little odd though LOL.

Janet said...

Well, of course! It's an oddball, like the rest of us.

Hey, that'd be another good knit-a-thon team name! The oddballs, the knitwits... now we just need a good team knitting sport to play on the day!

As for the needles, I bought them expressly for their freakish pinkness. It matches the scarf and the sign, OF COURSE. I really hope they don't sprout legs and take off on me - I'm developing a fondness for giant knitting and those hummers are size 19s!

Laura said...

Hi Janet,

Our guild is planning a 'knit in public' event for June. Since we dressed Mr. PG in a pink tutu for the arts festival a few years ago, maybe we need to knit him a shawl or something and turn him into a guerilla knitter, too????



Sue said...

Very, very fun. Hope the library's room is big enough for everyone who shows up! What a great problem that would be! OXOXO Mom

Janet said...

It's not just one room - it's the WHOLE library! Last year they even put signs up to designate some seats as no-knitting zones so that there would be enough room for regular library patrons.

Of course, there was a blizzard that day and only 24 knitters came, but you can't fault them for planning big! We'll fill up a little more space every year and before you know it, will have knitters hanging from the rafters and freezing out on the front steps. Good thing they saved those signs...

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha! He looks amazing! You guys have done a great job promoting the knitathon. See you on Saturday (or at Friday's set up!)