The woolly eagle has landed! Stitched Science at London’s Science Museum blasted off last weekend and brought a galaxy of woolly stars with it.
There was a giant Stitched Solar System, over 250 Stitched Self handmade mini mes, over 60 Stitched Science Specimens sent in from around the globe, and eight cosmic crafty workshops areas teaching everything from Martian making to knitting planets from plastic bags.
If you missed it here’s a glimpse at some of what went on at the Star Spangled event:
The countdown begins. 5...4...3...2...1...
We have Stitched Science lift off!
When Stitched Science was dreamed up and we were shown the space there was to fill, I decided ‘space’ was certainly the word for it. The only thing to do would be to fill it with something sciencey and giant, and what’s more giant than the solar system we’re currently floating about in?
Bringing the wild idea to life took three planet wranglers (myself, Natali O’Farrell and Gary Northfield), 25 knitters (knitting long strips to make up each planet), and the kind donations of giant balloons from Signature Balloons and most of the yarn from Coats Craft. Here are our planets…
Our sun was over two metres wide and covered in over 8 metres of handsewn felt.
Here comes the sun
Tiny Mercury was wrapped in yarn to make a giant ball of wool in grey Mercury colours.
AGH! A giant ball of yarn!
Venus was rolled in handknitted strips and sprinkled with real poisonous gas (honest).
Cough! Cough! The poison gas!
Earth was fashioned from many, many plastic bags with plarn (plastic bag yarn) knitted up and shaped into the continents. The moon was handknitted too.
Plarn-knit Earth and a balloon moon
Handknit Mars began life with three Manic Mars Martians wandering about its woolly surface. More Martians would be added throughout the event. Things were going to get crowded…
Whee! The planet is ours!
Jupiter went up half-finished and it was up to our knitting jenny cord makers to complete it.
Half-naked planet *blushes*
Saturn was surrounded by a bare-naked ring ready to be filled up with pom poms to form its icy particles.
Simple Saturn awaits pom pom pals
Uranus (snicker) was conjured up on a knitting machine and then handsewn into a swirly shape.
The rudest planet there is. Poor thing.
Neptune was made up of some crazy handknitting and featured a white spot just like the real thing.
Have I got a spot coming up?
And because we didn’t want to leave him out here’s Pluto, the almost-planet. He was knit by hand in the round with a few purly rows thrown in for decoration.
I am a planet! Dammit!
Finished travelling the Solar System? We’ve got lots more to share!
Over the past couple of months people have been sending in Stitched Science Specimens from all over the UK and the globe. We wanted to make sure they were treated with the proper respect they deserved so we tucked each of them safely into official Science Museum showcases for the event. There were 64 Stitched Specimens in total and they were all absolutely astoundingly brilliant. We’ll blog them in more detail later on but here’s a view of a few.
A woolly welcome from a case of Stitched Science Specimens
Nebula, ovum, DNA to name a few...
Rockets, planes, paracetamol...
We had some science celebs in too.
The marvellous Marie Curie
A xylophone-playing Patrick Moore (and his cat)
A purly Professor Brian Cox with volcano crater in tow
And a little Galileo, telescope in hand
And there was more from the sublime to the silly…
A hand embroidered radiotherapy mask and hot-air balloon start our second wing of Stitched Specimens
Amazing embroidered and crocheted bacteria
Vacanti's Earmouse! Ewwwww and yet awwwwwwww!
A spritely Bacteriophage
A giant handknitted plug
Lego, DNA, a Space Invader...
Knitting infused with scents to tingle the senses
Artificial heart, blood cells, pencilliium...
Astronauts, experimental peas, Sputnik and telescope...
Aparatus for the lab, molecules, pills and cells...
A blue-screen computer, mathematical equations...
...lightbulbs and star-gazers...
and who could forget Plarchie, the handknitted squid?
Plarchie reclines at the plarn table
And we weren’t alone in our cosmic craft! We had crafty friends there too.
There was some Cross Stitch skill being passed on by manbroiderer Mr X Stitch and his folks:
Manly stitchin' abounds
Yay! Computery cross stitch!
There was some brainy knitting going on with the Knit a Neuron crew:
The KAN gals
Woolly Thoughts were wowing the crowd with their illusion knitting:
Team Woolly Thoughts squashing maths into knits
Sneaky stitched science
Wizard! Ain't that young Harry Potter?!?!
The marvellous Materialists created a technological tapestry:
The lovely ladies of the Materialistics
Hard at work handmaking
and The Make Lounge went monster mad!
Jam-packed with monster makers
Tiny monster maker goes for the shiny things
Aaaaaaand that wasn’t all. Your 255 Stitched Self handmade mini me were there too!
Wheeeeeeee! Stitched Self par-tay!
It was fun, fun and more fun. Here are a few highlights…
A pleased pom pom maker
Putting pom poms on the planet ring
Plarn-knit Earth knitters getting to grips with their needles
Adding plarn to the planet
Martian-making stitching sisters
Releasing the Mars Martians
Plarchie meeting the plug: fried calamari for all!
And we met some of the makers too.
Knitted Nebula maker, Lisa Bentman
Lego-stitcher extraodinaire, Linda Laidlaw
Partick Moore purler, Clare Tovey
Plant Cell stitcher, Becky Button
Stitched Self makers Gary, Thomas and Susannah Northfield
Stitched Self maker, Katie 'Hoxton Handmade' of Electric Sheep podcast fame
When it was all over our Solar System was mostly stitched, the Martians had totally taken over Mars and a cosmic crafty time had been had by all. Phew!
Stitched Science. Ta dah!
If you missed out there are more pics over at Stitch London’s Stitched Science set.
Even more pics over at Stitch London’s Stitch Up.
And we’ll be blogging each of the Stitched Specimen’s close up and in detail very soon.
Plus you can purchase the Manic Mars Martian knitting pattern for a bargain price over at Whodunnknit. All profits go towards keeping Stitch London running free events like this one. Yay!
Thanks to everyone who came along and made Stitched Science so spectacular.
Team Stitch London (Lauren and Natali) would like to thank all the people who helped put Stitched Science together:
Huge thanks to: Sue, Caroline and Katrina from the Science Museum for allowing us to run riot with our yarn.
More huge thanks to: Gary, Emma, Sarah and Jenny for Planet Wrangling and heavy-lifting above the call of duty.
More huge thanks to our Stitch Sage Stars: Maria, Monique, Frederica, Madelaine, Lisa, Stephanie, Linda, Genevieve, Honey-Lee, Lucy, Amy, Kate, Brigitte, Miriam, Anna, Virginia, Clare, Beryl, Amy, Suzanne, Nicola, Emma and Mary.
Even more huge thanks to our Planet Knitters: Clare Tovey, Ellen Lindner, Linda Laidlaw, Suzanne Strachan, Emmy Harrup, Penny Gregory, Ann-Marie Thondrayen, Amy Shannon, Jaqui Lund, Alex Lawson, Abby Pond, Beryl Scott, Maria-Jesus Rojo, Frances Lee, Sarah Kerry, Madelaine Emberton, Nicola Cockett, Lina, Janet Baker, Sandra Ong, Karen Laidlaw, Rite Hoyle (4 rows), Jenny Willett, Emma Walker and Brigitte Onyskiw.
A tad more thanks to: Thomas B. Ramsden for bargain emergency extra yarn and tinsel planet gas.