GROUP PICTURE KNITTING or PICTURE KNITTING BEE
This means taking the photo/picture you want to make, cutting it to blocks/pieces, and having a different person knit each block. Then, another person puts them together and does light final touches.
We found that yes, it works and if you keep the blocks to about 4″x6″ or a bit bigger, people can finish their blocks in less than 4 hours.
The key for the success of the piece is leaving the middle block to the very end. Pin all the blocks on a board (leaving the middle empty) and figure out which colors to use for the middle block in order to have balance, harmony and connection between the blocks.
In order to do the group pictures I developed a way that bypasses knitting a gauge piece and using a grid. Here’s how:
1. Choose the photo/picture you want to make.
2. Consider the knitters: can they knit the complexity of this picture, or should you simplify it? For example, in the ‘youth sahavas’ piece (above, right), some of the knitters learned how to purl while knitting their blocks, so the picture had to be as simple as possible.
If you need to make it simpler, do it now.
3. Enlarge the simplified drawing to real size (the size you want the final piece to be).
4. Cut the enlarged version to blocks/pieces.
5. Put the middle block aside for later.
6. Divide the other blocks between the knitters. Each block they knit should match one to one to that paper.
Each knitter, once they have their block, should:
1. Choose yarn and needles to use, preferably of similar size needles to the other knitters. For example us #7-9 or 5-6. It does not need to be the same size, just close enough.
2. Knit 10 sts, with their yarn and needles, for 5 rows (it’s a mini gauge).
3. How many sts does each knitter need? Take the 10 sts piece, spread it and measure at the base of the paper you have – how many times does it fit in? Twice + 3 sts for example will mean 23 sts. for that knitter.
4. Cast on and start knitting. At the end of each row put your knitting right on the paper and see what you need to do/change in your next row. When starting/finishing with certain yarn leave tails of about 15″ , in case some corrections will be needed later.
5. DO NOT UNDO. Resist that temptation. Unhappy with your block? FINISH it, then KEEP it and you can do another one and see which block fits better in the end.
When it’s all done:
1. Pin the pieces in the right place on a foam board, like puzzle pieces.
2. Knit the middle block. Try to get the colors to match all the sides around it.
3. Pin it in the middle.
4. If you want to, crochet around each block. Attach the blocks while making sure they are in the right location and the right way up.
5. Do the corrections needed by embroidering over the knitted piece. For example, if the tree in one picture is thin and in the block above it it’s thicker, embroider to enlarge the thinner tree.
6. Make the framing by crocheting or knitting around the picture, or by mounting it.
7. Make a lottery to decide who gets the picture…