An indefinite future for a giant blue ball and chain made out of yarn

Categories: Art

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In the quiet hour of 4 o'clock this morning, the Ladies Fancywork Society struck again. The organization, devoted to epic works of guerrilla knitting, brought to completion what is arguably its biggest project yet (or at least since it knitted leg-warmers onto Borofsky's "Dancers"): knitting a giant ball and chain onto Lawrence Argent's "I See What you Mean" -- otherwise known as the Big Blue Bear -- in front of the Colorado Convention Center downtown. And it was massive. Comprising some fifteen miles of blue yarn, it took several Convention Center workers and a golf cart to haul away in the wee hours of this morning, well before more than a few early risers got to see it up close. What the future holds for it now is uncertain.

"It was a little heartbreaking," admits Fancywork Society lady "Lucy Lynn" (all members go by pseudonyms taken from their grandmothers). "We had started calling it our baby, just because it took so long to wrap it" -- "it" being the giant beach ball that provided the core of the ball part of the piece. "We were definitely hoping this one would stay up a little longer, but we're not shocked at all that it came down. We always expect our stuff to come down -- that's just the way of our art."

And overall, the group was pleased with the results. The Ladies had been working on the piece for about two months, but the actual installation of it, Lynn says, only took about twenty minutes. "We're excited about how smooth it went," she says.

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It didn't even take that long, though, to take the thing down. As of now, the ball and chain are hanging out with security at the Convention Center, awaiting pickup by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs tomorrow. Rudy Cerri, DOCA public art administrator, is the guy who's in charge of that, but as of yet, he's not certain what he'll do with it.

"When the Ladies tagged the Borofsky," he recalls, "we donated the yarn to a homeless women's shelter -- I think they used it as blankets. But we don't know yet. We know we don't want to just throw it away; that would be a waste of yarn." Cerri also said he wouldn't take putting in on display somewhere out of consideration, but he has no idea where it would go if he did. "To be honest, I don't think the Ladies would like that," he speculates.

As for the Ladies, they have no plans for any major future installations in the works -- yet -- but as always, they're involved with smaller projects. Tomorrow, for example, they'll appear at MCA Denver for a Feminism & Co. discussion called Craftivism, also featuring Frau Fiber and Allison Smith and starting at 6 p.m.

They were also kind enough to send us a few photos of their preparations:

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On the road.

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And done.

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