Yarn Bombing Trees

Forget the spray paint, chalk or any other grafitti medium.  Yarn bombing has hit the streets!

Livermore, CA is home to vineyards, agriculture, bicyclists, outdoor cafes and yes, yarn bombing.  The trees lining the main street of town are surrounded by a public display of knitting.  Trunks are adorned with a variety of pattens and color and create a friendly community atmosphere.  Supposedly the practice of knitting public objects began in Texas 8 or 9 years ago and has since spread around the world.  If you search the internet you’ll find bridges, road and wall cracks, tanks, busses, bike racks, bikes and statues all sporting the fine art of guerilla knitting.  Sometimes it’s not appreciated, so check with your local city if you feel drawn to cover something with fibers.

Having taken a trip to CA to blog, we accidentally came across the town of Livermore and were excited to document and share this outdoor art space.  Being an avid knitter myself, I’ve knit plenty of shawls, scarves, hats and sweaters, but I haven’t yet found an object that begged to be cozied in yarn.  Maybe this introduction to the art form in California will inspire some creative activity.

Enjoy the photos of this installation and please let us know where else you’ve seen yarn-bombing in your town or your travels. I’ve started a Pinterest board in order to direct people to places where they can be found.  Click here for my Yarn-bombing board and map and feel free to contribute photos you find around the world.

Enjoy the trees in Livermore, CA.






























At the end of the street was this beautiful fountain, arbor and green space.  What a great day for lunch in small town America, and I got a couple of rows knitted on my own project too.





That’s all for now.  I can’t wait to get home to Minnesota to see what needs a friendly covering of knitting (besides the grandkids).  Just imagine how beautiful the bright yarns will look in our snow covered landscapes this winter. I think I’ll start small and work into it.  The bridges of St. Paul are safe for now.



Google It

LiveDan330.com goes to San Jose

I think we’re getting close!




A recent trip to California provided us the opportunity to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, close to San Jose.  Driving by Charlston Park gave us our first glimpse of the monster sized company.


Charleston Park View of Google

Who doesn’t know what this red pointy thing is?  Well, maybe a few people who are even older than me (I’m in my 6th decade).  Apparently we were there as this sign pointed out, and we looked around for a main entry space, as the blocks surrounding the Googleplex are filled with more Google buildings, parks, ball fields, and playgrounds, teaming with activity.


There are commuter buses for getting around the campus and of course, Google bikes in abundance with which employees can transport themselves.  I wonder how many people are in charge of maintaining the bikes, as we saw a few broken chains and bikes without seats.  They were playfully left anywhere and everywhere, well loved and well used in Googles signature primary colors plus the secondary green.  Sure hope orange and purple don’t feel left out.





Bike-dumpsterWe arrived on a weekend so we had the place virtually to ourselves, which was fun and allowed us take pictures without bothering the Google people (Googlerites? Googlees? Googlers?) Whatever you call them, the employees here work in a fun and creative environment.  They are definitely not stuck in a cube.  Our granddaughters 3rd grade class doesn’t have assigned desks, but multiple options for places to study.  After the initial adjustment to not having a desk to put her stuff in, Reagan seems to like the freedom to move around.  As an artist myself, I can see the excitement of being encouraged to be creative.  It’s not just thinking out of the box, but getting rid of the darned box altogether.  Whoo hoo!  I never did like to color in any of those lines in coloring books.  Just plain dumb.

Opinions aside, Google just looks like a fun place to spend your day, and even in this one photo I see some purple and orange and feel my emotional color wheel is complete.








PartnerPlexIf you want to bike with six co-workers you can get your creative going on a conference bike.

G-ConfBikeThe grounds were beautiful and even the hummingbirds were happy hovering from flower to flower.






We even met the Google Gardener who takes care of three gardens on the grounds, this one being the raised bed fruit and vegetable garden.  Kind of brings you back to earth.  With your head in the internet clouds all day, it must be a good balance to see where your food comes from.






We’ll end our little tour of the outside of the Googleplex with the latest major rendition of their android.  Now I’m not even sure what an android is, or a droid, a googlebot, or spiders, or where or how they crawl the internet, or where they store all this information or why. These are all good questions to the uninitiated, but there are lucky googlers right here who get to figure out what all that information means and make it better.  Mind boggling how recently we’ve changed how we navigate, communicate, investigate, share, connect, advertise and sell. I can’t even begin to imagine what the grandkids will experience in their lifetimes.

All I know is that this is bugdroid holding a lollipop, and giving the peace sign.  And next to him is my son who gets this whole new universe better than I do.  Now I can ask him.  He’s one of those people that’s not afraid to ask questions, read everything, learn how to implement it and create a company from scratch that actually makes money within the first year.  I’m just along for the ride and am glad to be able to take a few photos, write some content and tag along on trips.  It’s facinating.


Lollipop and human son Chris

Have more questions?  Try this link or this link on the casting call for “L”.  Or, maybe this link will help.

Bye for now and if you need an answer, humbly google it.



Stay tuned for Captain Dan as he photo bombs Silicon Valley.


Elsa Knit Crown Hat

Having 3 grand-daughters requires grandma to keep up on her kid knitting skills.   This year we had one little princess who wanted to be Elsa and needed a crown. Searching Pinterest led to lots of crochet hats, but not knitted ones.  I finally located a free princess crown pattern that would work and downloaded it from a book called Fairy Tale Knits on Amazon.  Now I needed the yarn, and it had to be sparkly.  JoAnn’s provided an inexpensive yarn by Caron Simply Soft Party named Snow Sparkle which was perfect for the hat.  The silver color was by Lincatex Gold Rush in Silver Metallic color and was $8.50 from my favorite yarn shop.  My little princess was 2, but because the yarn was heavier I made the smallest size pattern, the 6-12 month, using size 4 double points.


When you’ve gotten far enough (22 sts/dpn), you can knit each dpn onto the same size circular needles. The hat is knitted from the top down and you set it aside when the body is complete and begin the crown which will be knitted into these very stitches.



For the silver hat I cast on the same number of stitches as remained on the hat body and began to build a crown from the bottom up, making three main points by decreasing each side until no more stitches remained.  Because I was making this part up, I inadvertently made it too long but was able to decrease the height by folding the crown down into itself after knitting the hat band which fits around the forehead and has a cute little contrasting detail.  The rest of the embellishment would be made with needlepoint threads and glass beads.


edge band


With the hat and crown combined and the hat band begun, it was time to add the rest of the beaded sparkle and finish with a scalloped edge.



The braid and hair was simply sewn onto a white headband to be put on first and covered with the hat. The hair was an inexpensive bulky yarn.  A crocheted edge gave the crown needed some definition.



Here is the first try-on and then the crowning joy of being a princess!  It was a happy halloween for all.






The second hat followed the free Princess Crown Pattern where the crown is a band of same sized points, knit from the top of the points down.





Here is my 8 year old princess in her crown.




Watch for the snowflake hat post for the other 2 year old coming soon!


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