I spent this past weekend at the 2011 World Maker Faire, a massive DIY festival held on the original site of the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing, Queens. Maker Faire celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the do-it-yourself mind-set, which means tons of hacks and how-tos. My favorites! I learned how to solder for a dollar, watched a life size mouse trap, listened to musical art robots, coveted laser cut felt jewelry, and gawked at MetroCard Man.
The highlight of the fair may have been learning how to knit in 20 minutes. Seriously, in less than a half hour I was transforming a ball of yarn into rows of stitches! (Full disclosure: I still need to learn how to cast on, but I can do a mean knit stitch.) An entire area was devoted to fiber arts instruction where anyone could learn how to embroider, cross-stitch, knit or crochet. You simply told a volunteer what you wanted to learn, they grabbed a few starter materials and sent you on your way to a craft expert. I had a one-on-one lesson with a woman who owned a yarn store for ten years. She was so great. I was knitting all the way home.
And here’s another knitting-on-the-subway illustration by Sophie Blackball, a Brooklyn-based artist who recently completed a project illustrating a collection of Craigslist Missed Connections postings. These fleeting love stories are painted in Chinese ink and watercolor. I love them!