A Commission…

Well, this was something I wasn’t expecting! Recently, I was approached by a marketing company and asked to make a yarn bomb for use in the AXA graduate scheme advertising. After a few discussions about what would be viable and effective, we settled on making a lamp-post cozy that would later be photographed and used in the advertisements, under the theme ‘add your colour’. It’s the first time I’ve ever made a yarn bomb to a brief before, and it was quite a strange, and difficult, experience.  Under the brief I was asked to incorporate the iconic AXA ‘stripe’ into the yarn bomb, and also given a colour palette of AXA’s colours. I tried to stick as close as possible to the lamppost cozy I installed outside Browns last year as that was successful and the marketing company seemed to like that one. Probably the biggest difficulty I had was not knowing the specific site I was targeting, and thus the actual size I had to make it. I was really worried it wouldn’t fit! I went for ‘generic lamppost’, which turned out to be a bit big when it came to installing it, but no matter. In total it took me about 25 hours in total to make and was a combination of knitting and crochet, with a few buttons added here and there. I started by using my new-found colourwork techniques to do the knitted AXA stripe, a section which took absolutely aggges to complete. After that I was able to fly through the crochet sections before I pulled and stitched it all together into one big piece ready for wrapping.

Installing this yarn bomb was the most surreal experience of my yarn bombing exploits to date. I met up with some of the guys from the agency and we headed out in the photographer’s van to a lamppost near Asda in Bedminster. Although I don’t tend to yarn bomb alone, I’ve only ever been out with one person – not three others! This was also at 10am in bright glorious sunshine at the side of a busy road – again not my usual yarn bombing hours. My task was to stitch the piece on to the chosen lamp post and then I just stood back and watched! They had fancy cameras, lighting, lighting boards – the lot. Usually I get a blurry snap on my phone but this was the whole works! It was like watching a modelling shoot without any models. Utterly bizarre.

Once they had a few photos they were happy with we parted ways and I heard no more.  Out of curiosity I visited the careers fair at Bristol University in later October. And there, on a poster, was my handiwork! About three times its original size (and ‘upside down’) was my little yarn bomb for the whole world to see. The ad company had superimposed a plain brick wall background behind it which looked all a bit odd to me given that I’d seen it in-situ on the side of a road.  It also didn’t seem to look as colourful and tactile in photo-form as it did in real life, especially not when printed on matt paper. Still, I can’t quite believe my yarn has become famous! I hope it enjoys its little tour round the UK with the AXA graduate team and I look forward to hearing how it gets on!