Yarnbombing & Community Inspiration – Interview with The Grange Range

Due to a glitch and some miscommunications, this article was delayed for quite some months. Fortunately the lovely artist behind this post had gotten a hold of me and had finally given her approval for me to post on here.  Featuring Ms. Geraldine, here is my long overdue interview!

An embarrassingly long time ago, I wrote about the first part of Yarnbombing by addressing the three main methods to go about it.  Leaving off at  the Quilting, Cozies & Covering method, I have yet to decode the ideas behind “Interactive” and “Combination : Covering + Interactive” method.

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range

What better way is there than to illustrate a stunning Interactive yarnbombing project through our guest?

Meet lovely fibre artist, yarnbomber, creative blogger, fundraiser and all things awesome:
Ms. Geraldine from The Grange Range.

Aside from being part of a management team at Hackness Road Surgery–a small family oriented clinic in North Yorkshire, England, Geraldine is the brilliant mind behind the creative event Charity Yarn Bombing. With the theme “Fantasy Garden”, Geraldine thought to herself, “It would make our patients smile if we could yarn bomb the place with colourful flowers and wild animals”.

Fantasy Garden: A Yarn Bombing Reality

Geraldine found out about yarn bombing on the internet while browsing through patterns. Inspired by the concept, she felt an urge to participate.

“When I first mentioned [my yarn bombing] idea to my husband, I think he thought I was a bit crazy! One day, my husband (a GP at our clinic) saw a patient knitting in the waiting room so he mentioned my idea to her.”

Seeing how enthusiastic the patient was, Geraldine’s husband became one of the key support for this project. By offering the surgery grounds for after hours workshop and the venue for this event, the project began to take its shape.

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range.

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range.

Geraldine made her yarnbombing for charity announcement online in June 2014, calling for contributions to turn her “crazy idea” into a reality.

To go a step further, Geraldine inspired community members to give towards local hospital and hospice by auctioning off the lovely masterpieces.  Utilizing existing landscape and structures, Geraldine and her friends were able to create a vibrant atmosphere through fibre arts.Placing crochet birds & nests in the trees, creating a crochet animal picnic area and fairy woods are just some of the highlights.

Interview with Geraldine, Founder of Charity Yarn Bombing

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.



Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.








The Fantasy Garden reminds me of a children’s storybook. In addition to the fun, imaginary elements, audience can also see all the hard work that’s involved behind the scene. I’m curious, roughly how many participants were there?

Locally we enjoyed the support of so many people it is difficult to give a figure, everyone helped in different ways: Some patients contributed yarn, others crafted at the yarn workshop. One patient helped coined the term “Fantasy Garden”, and another patient has also become an unofficial Secretary. She is a good copy writer and helps keep my flighty mind on the point at hand. There was a constant core of about 10 who attended every craft session and managed responsibilities for pulling the nitty gritty of the project together.

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.

Globally, we were supported by dozens of incredibly generous crafters from the land of bloggers. It was so exciting opening the post, we received something nearly every day at one point from around the world!We received so many animals, birds, floral contributions and metres of bunting from as far as Singapore, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium and America and as close as Bridlington and Pickering just a few miles away.

A global involvement to support a small community cause? That’s fantastic! Were you expecting this level of participation when you first made the artist call? What were your thoughts when your project began to come together?

Amazed, stunned, exhilarated, delighted, humbled…………. I find it almost impossible to express my feelings on this point. In my head I was happy to just create some woolly creatures and floral pictures and decorate a small area of the surgery.


Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.











With the support of everyone who gave generously of their time, what started as a little idea received such fantastic support it grew to be 5 displays in the surgery car park and gardens.

Uniting communities while supporting hospital & hospice, that’s incredibly inspiring. Do you intend on doing something similar this year?

Yes, by popular demand we are doing the yarn bombing again this year on August Bank holiday weekend again. The displays will include Dinosaur Parl, Teddy Bears Picnic, Down on the Farm, Jungle Capers and beside the Seaside.

Additional Thoughts on Charity Event & Creative Giving

Apart from crafty supporters, Geraldine also mentioned the amount of support she had received from donors in “just about every county across the UK. Curious about how a charity auction works without the traditional table & bidding sheets, I asked about the format.


Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.


Turns out Geraldine and her team allocated a numbered ticket to each item. They then set up a sealed box in each area so that visitors could then complete a slip using the number corresponding to the piece of work they wanted to bid on, then post it into a sealed box. The boxes were opened the following week and the highest bidder for each item contacted to arrange collection and payment.

When asked about some of the fondest memories about this project, Geraldine mentioned,

“It was lovely to join together in delivering the project. So many people who would otherwise never have met including patients, staff, friends and the local community. We had great fun and lots of laughter at the crafty get together.”

Of course, a project like this is not without is challenges. The mastermind behind Fantasy Garden shared,

Used with permission. All rights reserved by The Grange Range & associated artists.

“Getting the pond covered was the biggest nightmare! The original arrangement to cover it fell through and with just one week to go before the event.

Opposite the surgery is a pub called the Rosette.  A chap was stood leaning against a builders van watching this gaggle of ladies wandering and pointing, trying to discuss alternatives for our duck displays. One of our group gestured for him to join us.  Long story short, his mate joined him and they were delighted to jump in and do it for us. We were so grateful to them.”

As for a word of advice for regarding yarn bombing, creative visions, and charitable cause, Geraldine encourages everyone to “Just go for it, it is truly amazing what can develop once you get going.”

If you’re in the UK, be sure to check out the event this summer:

You can also visit Geraldine’s blog at The Grange Range to keep posted about her work!


The Making of My Gnomies: For Project Gnome Diplomacy

IMG_20150407_083225 (1)I like gnomes. Not necessarily the super tacky kind, but they certainly did make an impression.

For one, I watched The World of David The Gnome religiously when I was a child. Another contributing factor must have been from early childhood brainwashing. My mother, Mrs. Taffy, used to conduct quirky show and tell sessions about art and literary works at home. Ok fine. It sounded odder than it really was, because I was genuinely fascinated by everything.  Regardless of the eccentric early education style that was conducted at my household, Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet stuck out to me.

My dorky fascination with gnomes had remained secret until I saw this guy at a discount store. For some stupid reason, I had to muster up the courage to get a gnome… just to chill with it.

Instead of getting tanned, he’s now monochrome due to the constant sun exposure in the yard. Yes, this picture was from just month ago when I was chilling with him inside the flat.

Project Gnome Diplomacy

When I first saw Mochimochi Land’s work, I recall becoming absolutely enlightened and ecstatic. I am quite enamoured by Anna Hrachovec’s knitted gnomes and the colourful fantasy world. Mochimochi Land made a gnome call to knitters and crocheters to participate in Project Gnome Diplomacy in March.

Sending gnome diplomats as a part of Mochimochi Land installation in Seoul? Fantastic! I can’t procrastinate any more. I’m going to CROCHET my own gnomes!

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Jelly Adoption Edition: Barry’s Road Trip

pogo Dear Barry, 

I heard you end up staying with Molly and her sister. That must be fun! I was nervous at first, but my new family turns out to be awesome! They are a super sweet couple. 

Come visit me in California soon. My family said you can stay with me when you visit. I miss you bud!

Say hi to Molly and Holly for me!


 Story of Pogo and barry

When they were just polyps, Barry and Pogo knew they were different from other jellyfish. After all, imagination-powered jellyfish are not exactly common in the ocean. They travelled everywhere looking for adventures as kindred spirits until one day:


“Whoa! I’ve always wanted to do that, ” both jellyfish exclaimed and decided to make their way towards the Jelly Adoption Hub.  Unfortunately the waves were too strong and they were separated.

Arriving a year apart, Barry was thrilled to know that Pogo was adopted by a family in California. As for Barry? My partner was charmed by the blue jelly’s inquisitiveness, love for food, and easily excitable personality and took on the role as the adoptive parent.

road trip!!!!

Barry wouldn’t stop bothering my partner about the amazing road trip upon receiving Pogo’s letter. Finally a few months ago, my partner arranged for a road trip to California with his friends and took Barry with him:

Simon: A lesson in waiting, monster of encouragement

I have nearly forgotten about Simon, one of my personal favourites. Yet I haven’t bothered to give him arms and legs for years.

From the time I started to design Simon to subsequent years, I was undergoing what seemed to be a never-ending streak of loss: the termination of a long relationship, the passing of a well loved pet, the loss of a dear friend to terminal illness, and other not-so-good times.

I am finally willing to acknowledge that I’ve been putting Simon off. I haven’t been ready to be reminded of the tougher times.

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Myths, Legends, and the Year of Caprinae

2015: Year of Caprinae

IMAG2525Year of the sheep, the ram, and the goat: I’m not going to debate, so I wish you happy year of Caprinae. According to South China Morning Post, scholars believe that it’s the year of the goat based ancient illustrations.

Today marks the 8th day out of the 15 days of Chinese New Year celebration. Why does it last this long? Just imagine celebrating Winter Solstice, Seasonal religious holiday, and Valentine’s day all in one. In fact, the final day of Chinese New Year is a version of Valentine’s day (元宵節)–the first full moon of the year.

The two-weeks celebration can also allow people to return home in time to meet with alllllll the relatives. After all, I remember hearing stories about how my Great-Grandfather sailed on a junk boat from Sydney, Australia all the way back to Canton, China.

Legend+Folklore Highlights

Speaking of stories, festivals aren’t complete without their legends and folklores. Even though there are multiple versions of these stories, here are some of the highlights from my childhood:

1) New Year Day 1: The Red, The Fire Crackers, and the “Passing of Year”
In case you haven’t noticed, Chinese New Year is usually bombarded with red and gold. Maybe you’ve learned from somewhere that red symbolizes good luck and happiness, while gold means wealth. It’s true…but there’s more.

CNY01Just like Green Lantern having a weakness to things that are coloured yellow, a horrifying beast called “year”  (年 – Nian) was terrified of the colour red. Each year, the beast would come out of its hiding place to terrorize villagers. Apparently the beast had hypersensitivity issues: In addition to the colour red, the beast really disliked loud noises.

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Greatest Achievement of 2013 (is a lie)

snowconebrothersHere peeps, open your mouth so I can feed you a lie.

The epic Ms. Taffy “greatest achievement of 2013” came as a painful pun. It always starts like this: I wake up and I’m not cranky. On the same pulp-less, zest-less days, I have painfully punny cartoons running through my head. While some puns are worse than others, this particular pun has materialized.  Now comes the truth: Puns aren’t achievements at all. Nonetheless in the name of our jolly holiday, here is what I’ve done:

I’ve always had a fondness for the Abominable Snowman. Out of SNOWwhere (Ha got you), a game show scenario came into my head where the blob monster host says “Behold, the Abominable Snow cone!”

Sh*t son, that’s awesome, I thought to myself. Despite the game show prize being a friggin’ Abominable Snow Plow, I don’t think I have the balls to come up with that. Before I know it, I scribbled the ideas onto the Ms. Taffy Book of Madness and started to come up with the shapes. Continue reading

A week late–but Thanks, Congrats and Stuff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I didn’t win the contest, but that’s totally fine!

I’m super happy that the 3 contestants won since they are ABSOLUTELY AWESOME–and totally deserve the popularity vote! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can see the hundreds of amazing creations here at amigurumipatterns.net contest entries and be amazed by the winners here.  I swear I voted for a couple of them myself, so it’s great to know that others share similar sentiments towards the winners! Continue reading

So I grew some balls and…. made it?

For most people, entering an online contest is a piece of cake right? I mean in a first world country, competitions and taking initiatives are the new Pavlov’s dog reaction. Ding ding–do your thing, get a thing. Simple.

Half my life ago, some kind of phenomenon emerged: An incredibly common yet inhibiting pathology had surfaced–something that could turn any T-Rex into a cowardly mouse. Since then, I have been battling with it and nothing was ever the same.

Reality Check through Imagination

ImageAfter taking some time to learn and slowly let go, I found out about a design contest on amigurumipatterns.net. Immediately, I was inspired to rework a concept that I had from a while back by incorporating my dormant passion for music & a cartoon sh*t storm that brewed in my head. Essentially, it’s about a bunch of anthropomorphic cats of different breed names & origins (mirror various ethnic & geographical origins) coming together to play in an international folk band.

“His name is Jeremiah Johnson”, I said to Mr. C while doodling this and hearing a walking bass line in my head– “He is an Abyssinian + North American Short Hair Cat”.  Within minutes, I went all  “Harold with his Purple Crayon”  and came up with more crudely drawn characters.

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