Once upon a time there were four sneaky stitchers who lived in a secret wool-lined Bunker in the heart of the ancient city of London. There they knit and crocheted and made magic with their needles which they sent out into the world to seek its fortune.
One quiet London night there was a thud thud thud at the Bunker door. The stitchers crept to the window and peered into the dark tunnel beyond and there they spied a large and rather hairy bear thumping on the door with his great paw.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachtung!!!” the bear roared through the woolly letter box, “You have been invited to Berlin, the City of Bears! Come and impress the Bears with some of the magic yarnstorming we have heard so much about! Or we’ll eat you.” And with a grunt and a growl he was gone.
So three of the stitchers packed up their bags, and their giant squid, and leaving The Fastener behind (she was creating a top-secret not-so-woolly project that prevents her from travelling afar) they hit the road to Berlin stitching as they went.
Arriving in the shadow of the magnificent Brandenburg Gate the KTC girls could spy bears in every corner, peeking from under woolly hats, poking their heads out of doorways, and peering out of windows. Despite the biting cold they removed their woolly gloves, took a deep breath and began to conjure up a Grrrimm Bear-flavoured fairytale complete with bobbing luftballons for the watching bears of Berlin.
It began with a story-telling bear…
and a few barefaced bearfaced friends who gathered to hear his tales.
As they waited for the story to begin the Yarn Corps waved their magic needles and a powerful ancient magic picked them up of the ground and made them dance in the air.
Curious at the sight of the bobbing bears more stitched bears joined the parade.
The arrival of the second Grrrimm Brother was heralded with an excited growling, for now the fairytale telling would begin!
They began with the tale of The White Snake:
One day the servant, who took away the King’s dish, was overcome with such curiosity that he could not help carrying the dish into his room. When he had carefully locked the door, he lifted up the cover, and saw a white snake lying on the dish. But when he saw it he could not deny himself the pleasure of tasting it, so he cut off a little bit and put it into his mouth. No sooner had it touched his tongue than he heard a strange whispering of little voices outside his window. He went and listened, and then noticed that it was the sparrows who were chattering together, and telling one another of all kinds of things which they had seen in the fields and woods. Eating the snake had given him power of understanding the language of animals.
But the snake was somewhat reluctant to be ‘tasted’.
Then they tried out The Frog Prince.
A frog put its head out of the water, and said, ‘Princess, why do you weep so bitterly?’ ‘Alas!’ said she, ‘what can you do for me, you nasty frog? My golden ball has fallen into the spring.’ The frog said, ‘I want not your pearls, and jewels, and fine clothes; but if you will love me, and let me live with you and eat from off your golden plate, and sleep upon your bed, I will bring you your ball again.’
But the Frog Prince was too busy singing German Beatles songs to really feel his part in the role.
How about that old classic no one has heard of The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage?
Once upon a time a mouse, a bird, and a sausage formed a partnership. They kept house together, and for a long time they lived in peace and prosperity, acquiring many possessions. The bird’s task was to fly into the forest every day to fetch wood. The mouse carried water, made the fire, and set the table. The sausage did the cooking…
There was a bit of an argument between the three main characters over housework. Oh dear.
The sneaky stitchers looked up at the fairytale flurry they had created and shook their heads at the squabbling, wiggling, giggling and showing off for the camera.
A tiny voice at their feet coughed politely. It was a knitted currywurst without a story. So sad. The Yarn Corps gave it a whole book of wonderful woolly stories to read.
The Berlin bears came out from their corners and slapped the three sneaky stitchers on the back with their great hairy paws. “Wunderbar!” they cried. “Da Capo! Encore! Zugabe!” More? Well, ok…
TO BE CONTINUED…
The Bobbing Bear-lin Luftballons was yarnstormed in a rather chilly Pariser Platz by the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, in front of a scary amount of press and a lovely crowd, on March 5 2011 by Deadly Knitshade, Shorn-a the Dead and Lady Loop. The square was yarnstormed to celebrate our brand-new book Knit the City, Knit the City –Maschenhaft Seltsames being released in Germany. Woo hoo!
For more on the Berlin Book Launch check out:
Frankfurter Rundschau – Interview mit Strick-Künstlerin “Mit heißer Nadel”
Berliner Zeitung – Wollkraken am Baum
Zettt’s brilliant Knit The City – Yarnstorm Berlin video
A huge woolly hug to Ulla, Susanne and the team in Berlin at our lovely publishers, Hoffmann und Campe, for making us so welcome in your wonderful city.