I last posted about the arrival of spring, but according to the Weather Network, we’ll be getting some flurries late next week (ouch – I just took the bike out of storage this weekend!)
In any case, I thought I’d share these photos I took of these knitted toques used as advertising in Montreal. Having been alerted about them, we were on the lookout for these pieces as we walked about during the city’s Nuit Blanche festival at the end of February.
Here’s a video of the toques being put on the advertising columns (by the way, the toques are made of wool stretched over an aluminum frame). You’ll spot where some of the columns were located:
The toques and knitting in general have been used by le Lait (Quebec’s milk company) to conjure up cozy feelings and nostalgia associated with drinking milk as part of their winter 2010 campaign. A grandmother who knits is the star of the TV spots (most in French and one in English – as well as her knitted motorcycle.) Apparently it took a dozen knitters and 500 working hours to complete set decor and costumes used in the TV ads. More photos can be found here and here.
While the link between grandmothers and knitting is not so novel (although it was done in a playful, ironic manner), what’s interesting are the methods used to link milk and knitting in interactive ways: online, within bus shelters and in metro (subway) stations, and social events out. Bus shelters around Montreal dressed with a knitted toque have jacks where passerbys can plug in their headphones and listen to comforting stories related to milk. Or a free Facebook and iPhone app called Tricot Mania where you knit stitches to score points and create a superhero costume for a milk-drinking septuagenarian. The reconfortant.com website also features a create-your-own knitted portrait page.
I’m not sure if the toques and ads are still running, but if so be on the lookout for them. There’s no doubt that knitting has moved beyond being a private hobby to a social outing, but made me wonder, to what extent has it entered public (or private) space when companies start using it in their ad campaigns? And what does this mean for the future of knit graffiti…