Friday, 25 November 2011

Urban Knitting: Fire Hydrant Sweater

I've seen some urban knitting around Ottawa, usually on trees and road signs, and have always wanted to give it a try. I knit the 'sweater' for this project a while ago (it's actually more of a corset), but hadn't found a suitable object to try it on. This week, I sized up the fire hydrant at the end of my block and decided to give it a try

The knit piece is just a square, but I left holes about two inches apart on both sides to lace it up.

Just a knitted square
Side detail

I also made a lace out of some red wool so that it would stick out against the black.

Twelve feet of braided wool roving
Then I set about trying to put this little sweater on the hydrant. Wow, was that ever a lot harder than I had expected. After 20 minutes of squatting in the snow, I got it laced halfway up.  It was windy out there, and things were flying everywhere. I hadn't marked the middle of my lace, so I ended up running out on one side. When I tried to fix that, I couldn't tell anymore which part of the lace was which, and I was just pulling at random and making it worse. By then I was frozen and sore from squatting, so I decided to go back home and plan things out a little better.

I laced up the sweater all the way at home. Sigmund couldn't have been more happy to help.

With the sweater laced up, all I had to do was slide it over the top of the hydrant and then tighten up the laces. There was far more traffic than usual all of a sudden, and people were slowing down to see what I was doing. Oi!

This time, it all worked out, and the result is a cozy looking hydrant for people to walk by and maybe even talk about. This is the city's property, so I will be removing this project shortly. I'm just glad it turned out to be so cute!

I would also like to reassure everyone that I did make sure the little sweater could in no way interfere with the functionality of the fire hydrant in case of emergency. Compromising the accessibility of an active fire fighting device would be completely unacceptable.

I knit several of these little sweaters in different sizes, so you can look forward to seeing more of my urban knitting installations as the winter progresses.


  1. what a great project. I really love urban knitting and wish it would catch on here in Norway to :)
    Wish you a good weekend!

  2. Oh my gosh, this is adorable! I wonder if I could get it to catch on here in my little corner of the world. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love it ... I've been wanting to do some yarnstorming. So fun and it must make people smile to see it!