treehuggers! - student project


I live in a mountain town called Baguio, north of Manila, Philippines.  It is a small city on top of the mountains, with a much cooler climate than the rest of the country, known as the "summer capital of the Philippines."  It draws many tourists (and migrants) yearly and that has sparked a rapid development that sometimes threatens the very reason why people love this place.

I'd like my yarnbombing project to highlight the remaining green spaces in the city, the trees, the public parks; to draw attention to the things that people might take for granted and to help make people appreciate, take care and preserve/protect these spaces more.  I'd like to encourage people to slow down to stop and smell the.....  (I haven't thought of what my knitted piece will be yet, I'm still looking for a perfect spot to begin with and design something appropriate for it).

I'm still searching for a location (and will be posting photos of these possible spots in the next few days).  Some of the things I am looking at are trees along Session Road (central mainroad with lots of pedestrians), or maybe a park bench in Burnham park (where we all used to go as kids and where families still go to this day).  The city government is planning to cement some sections of the open field (where people play football, etc) and there have been local protests here in the past few months.



I've decided to start my yarnbombing project in the most natural place - trees.  Instead of plain color blocks, I'd like to use a pattern of papercut dolls that wrap around the trees (like treehuggers!), as the main band, with other coloful patterns/blocks along its length :)


My original location was Burnham Park - located at the heart of Baguio City.  It was designed by American Daniel Burnham.  As a kid, I remember coming here for boat rides on the lake and to rent bicycles to ride around the park.  Gates around the park have been recently put up and the city plans to cement the Melvin Jones field to give way to night markets.  The people in the city have been making a conscious effort to use the park more, to protest and show the government that they want to keep it green.

treehuggers! - image 1 - student project

treehuggers! - image 2 - student project


Beyond the Rose Garden is Burnham Lake where people can rent boats :)  Its mostly tourists who take the boats out, but I still love sitting by the lake and watching the boats :)

treehuggers! - image 3 - student project

Next to the lake are a row of trees and benches, and this is where I found my spot.  A tree and a bench with a great view of the lake :)  I love that peole sit under the tree when the sun is shining outside! 

treehuggers! - image 4 - student project

treehuggers! - image 5 - student project

Now I'm thinking of yarnbombing both the tree and the bench! 


I have made measurements on the tree above and started knitting my piece.  I've decided to add bands to the "treehuggers" to represent all the things I love about my new home, Baguio - being able to ride my bicycle,  all the pretty flowers and birds, watching sunrises and sunsets.  

treehuggers! - image 6 - student project


As the piece got larger, I starting thinking twice about my original location.  Although I do want to do my yarnbomb in a public place, I was worried that it wouldn't survive a night there - either the park security wouldn't even let me yarnbomb, or it would get taken out, destroyed or stolen.  

So I waited and waited and waited until I found a perfect spot.  And here it is!  It is a 2-hectare lot, with an old Baguio house re-purposed into a hip new restaurant with a beautiful garden!  It is a public space on private property - it was perfect!  YEY! 

The only downside was that the piece was measured against a different tree - so it limited my choice of where I could put it in the new location (lesson learned!).  It made it a bit more difficult to seam the piece together - I used a mattress stitch to make it cleaner, less obvious and tried to keep the pattern the same so I didn't seam in the middle of the design/pattern but kept within the gaps.  It worked out in the end :)

treehuggers! - image 7 - student project

treehuggers! - image 8 - student project

Achievement unlocked! :D  This is probably the first yarnbomb in my town (or even in my country) - hopefully people will begin to have an appreciation for public fiber art, and this opens doors to more . yarnbomb projects!  

instagram: @candyreyes, @knittingexpedition