This past Saturday morning, I was grumpy. Both the L and the 7 subway lines were shut down all weekend, making the process of going from my Brooklyn home to my Manhattan workplace just about as inconvenient as possible. I was unhappy about it, even though I was heading to work for a fun reason: the first spring handmade crafternoon (it was a great time, with guests from the New York Guild of Handweavers; you can find pictures of the weaving we did here).
But after maintaining a mood of quiet disgruntlement for most of the journey, I had to smile because Sophie Blackall‘s subway knitter was there to greet me as I embarked on the last leg of my journey. This spikey-haired, snaggy-tighted maker is one of a great crowd of characters in an MTA Arts for Transit poster that Blackall created to make people like me happy on our commutes. Here’s a snap (of about two thirds of it) that I tried to take as discreetly as possible while trying not to freak out my fellow riders.
I first learned about Sophie Blackall from Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, and though I’d read about Blackall’s MTA art a couple of months ago, I had not been lucky enough to spot it until Saturday morning. Blackall is known both for her children’s book illustrations as well as for Missed Connections, a work illustrating a series of posts on craigslist, and her work is well worth getting to know. Knitters and New Yorkers, keep an eye out for this poster because it will make you smile. Additionally, you can watch this little video that’ll explain the man in the bear suit’s plaintive expression. And finally, do your part to keep knitters front and center in artists’ minds by knitting on your ride. (Now, back to my own knitting projects…)