After months of fussing over it and scoping locations, I finally put up my Lorax inspired Truffula Tree Yarnbomb at our local library. This was the biggest yarnbomb I’ve done by myself, so of course, there were a lot of opportunities to learn lessons.
I thought I was prepared…
After I convinced this kiddo they weren’t pillows, I bordered each piece with wire so they would have some stability and I could put each component of the Truffula Tree up with black zip ties (I took 50, just to be safe). Since I just got a new (yard sale) bike, I thought my best plan was to put what I could in my basket and cycle over to the library. I had planned out the order in advance on my living room floor and took a picture to refer to at the fence. I even wrote “PrOBP” on my hand so I’d get the order right, and I tied a snip of yarn to each trunk that matched the appropriate top so I could keep them in order as well.
I thought it made the most sense to do this one on a Saturday night so I could admire it Sunday before the library reopened on Monday (and potentially decided to cut it down. around). A little after 8:30, I started for the library.
Beware of nebby neighbors…
I parked my bike and start unpacking. The fence was brightened by a nearby streetlight, and I was glad I didn’t need the headlamp I packed. I quickly knelt down to put up the first trunk. Almost instantly, stinky mud soaked through my jeans. When I got to the second trunk, I realized that in my excitement I forgot about the identifying yarn I put on the trunks to keep things in order. Shoot.
On the fly I reordered them and kept zipping. I was deciding on how twisty and bendy to make the trunks when I saw a figure across the street. I could make out a middle-aged woman tapping her foot and looking toward the corner. I don’t think it was just paranoia, but I assumed she was waiting for the cops – there was just something about the way she was standing. I tried to work a little faster, not because I could finish before they arrived, but I hoped I would have enough up to show them it was cool (I don’t think I have a very good handle on how law enforcement works). In my haste, the bends on the stems weren’t quite what I planned.
I occasionally kept tabs on the woman behind me, and eventually I see her walking toward me with a guy and a dog. Of course – that wasn’t the “waiting for the police” stance, that’s the “Where the heck is my slow-poke husband?” stance (I know it well). I immediately say “hi,” and their faces soften. They are just the friendliest folks, and I pull out the tree tops and show them my plan, and we have a nice little chat about yarnbombing and libraries and crochet in general. I think I won them over a bit, and they were relieved that I wasn’t some crazy vandal (even though I kinda am, but whatever). I was trying to work and talk, which increased the general wonkiness.
The moment I realized I am short…
I’m 5’6″, which is above average for a woman, but not nearly tall enough for this project. The treetops were over my head, and after a few stretches, I realized I couldn’t pull a zip tie without a boost. I leaned my bike against the fence, climbed up on the pedals, and reached as high as I could. I thought about standing on the seat, but I imagined I would be found unconscious the next morning, surrounded by yarn and zip ties, pinned beneath my yard sale bike. Plus I didn’t want to ruin my new crocheted cover (made of Hello Kitty t-shirt yarn). I really had to stretch for the blue one, but I still got it to a semi-circular shape.
Is there a hardware store nearby…
I was convinced that 50 zip ties would be plenty, but I realized quickly that it wasn’t going to cut it. Luckily I had packed a few extra clear ones, which I really didn’t want to use, that allowed me to finish. Honestly, I probably could have used 10-20 more ties to fix the Truffula Tree trunks, but at this point I was beat and didn’t think I could make it to Lowe’s and back.
Why you shouldn’t bike at night…
I stepped back to admire my work and see a text from Craft Husband, wondering if I’m still alive. That’s when I see that it’s after 10. I look around for any trash and hop on my bike. I’m zipping along when I see a police car, about a block ahead, accelerating toward me. I assumed (why?) he was coming for me, so I turned onto a side street into a winding development that I never made it through. I kept hearing a dog bark, and I couldn’t tell if it was getting closer or farther away. I made turn after turn but the occasional street signs said I was still on the same road. Eventually I gave up, got a hold on my exhausted paranoia, and headed back.
Now I just had to bike through the park, which was pitch black. Thank goodness for that headlamp! I cannot imagine what I looked like on the bike, breathing heavy, covered in mud, with a big light on my head… but I don’t really care. I finally made it home and got out of those stinky jeans as soon as possible.
Was it worth it?
Um, yeah! It was great to see the kids interacting with the trees, and for all the trouble and mistakes, I like how they turned out. It’s given me the confidence to start on another big project. And it seems the library really likes them.