Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy 100th International Women's Day!

Of course, I wanted to add a little celebratory yarnification to International Women's Day, and this is the end result!! Here's a link to my free pattern for the Female Gender Symbol.
International Women's Day yarnification
A chain of female gender symbols: ♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀♀, each one a different colour, strung under the eaves of the Nelson Women's Centre. My concept was that each female symbol would be a different colour and they would all be different sizes (just like us women!) but when joined together they have strength in their diversity as well as similarities. As you can see in the photo, one of the verandah posts also has an I.W.D. cosy, incorporating the official International Women's Day logo in white and purple. . .  On International Women's Day I left home at 7 in the morning, in order to get to the Women's Centre in plenty of time to install the yarnification before they opened at 9 am. It took me around half an hour to put it in place, and I wrote a quick note to explain myself, as well as leaving details of this blog. Then I just had to go away and hope the women of the Women's Centre liked what they would find! Later that afternoon I was delighted to find a comment on the blog from Carrie at the Women's Centre and it looks like they appreciated my efforts. Woohooooo! I smiled for the rest of the day!!

So that's the short version - but here's a bit more detail if you want it!

Pretty much as soon as I came up with this yarnification idea, I had only one location in mind - the Nelson Women's Centre. Even though I had never actually used the facilities there before, it just seemed like the perfect spot for the I.W.D. knit graffiti!
My target: Te Whare Awhina Mo Nga Wahine Puawai / Nelson Women's Centre
My first thought was to somehow link some knitted ♀ symbols together. Next I thought of a knitted bra with orange yarny flames coming out of it, to evoke reminders of the feminist "bra burning" in the 1960s (before I was even born!) But two things turned me away from that idea - firstly I couldn't come up with a satisfactory way of portraying "flames" with yarn, and secondly after a few minutes of research I realised that tales of "bra burning" were probably more of an urban myth than reality. . . So that idea never made it to fruition. 

However, whilst exploring the International Women's Day website I came across a logo  which I converted by hand (using pencil and paper) into a chart and then into a rectangular "cosy" which ended up adorning a verandah post on the front deck of the Women's Centre. . .

♀ under construction

The chain of inter-linked ♀ symbols posed my biggest challenge of stamina. I had no fixed number in mind, but decided to construct as many as I could before the novelty completely wore off! In the end I knitted 15 and my lovely Wifie knitted another 3. They were knitted with i-cord, using different shades of various acrylic yarns in my stash. 

As all the yarn used is synthetic and the wire is galvanised it should be fairly weather proof outside though the seasons, but could equally be taken inside the Women's Centre as an internal decoration. . .

Here are a few more photos of today's yarnstorm:
A pile of knitting!

The Nelson Women's Centre post-yarnification

The newly attached knitting

Sign beside front door

The finished installation

Mischief managed!


  1. Wow! Thank you so much - we absolutely love our Yarnification decoration over our front door:-) All the staff and volunteers here are rapt and feel special that you've "done" our entrance, and on a special day too (but we know every day is "women's day". Go you Knit Graffiti artists, go!
    - Carrie, Nelson Women's Centre Coordinator

  2. Thanks Carrie, it is such a relief to know that my "yarnification" was well-received! That was the first bit of knitting graffiti I have risked putting anywhere except the hospital grounds - so I was waiting with baited breath to see if you liked it! I'm very much a beginner with all this! Thanks very much for the comment. . . and yes, I entirely agree - every day is Women's Day really!

  3. Thanks Clare, I am really enjoying my new incarnation as a stealthy guerilla knitter! Heaps more ideas yet, so watch this space!!

  4. This is brilliant, you go girl :)