If you happen to be looking for yarn bombing ideas, it’s probably best to start with a cozie pattern (but you didn’t hear it from me– yarn bombing is illegal, you crazy hooligan). You can find inspiration on the All Free Knitting Pinterest Board for Yarn Bombing Ideas. We’ve had some important discussions raised on our blog posts Yarn Bombing with a Cause and Yarn Bombing: Would You Do It?
These rabble-rousers choose to deface property and then tag their work. They stealthily move through the night with ninja-like precision. Some use this guerilla art form as a political statement or a call to action, while some just do it for kicks. Nothing can compare to the shock of witnessing public property covered in… yarn! Who knew knitters could be so rebellious?
In all seriousness, “yarn bombing,” sometimes referred to as yarn graffiti or guerrilla knitting, has taken the world by storm. Departing from the usual grandma sweaters and knit tea cozies, knitters take handcrafted pieces and cover poles, bike racks, trees, sculptures, and even public transportation. These eye-catching knit cozies usually appear in bright and unusual colors (like this wild yarn bomb from The Dapper Toad). People usually remove the pieces quickly because they deteriorate in inclement weather. When yarn bombing had its public heyday in 2011, it appeared to be a popular and impermanent yarn trend. However, this rebellious art form has stood the test of time since its invention in 2005 and continues to maintain popularity throughout Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
Many knitters use yarn bombing to make social and political statements. As seen in a New York Times article, artist Agata Oleksiak covered Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull” in a pink and purple camouflage sweater. The fuzzy sculpture has since earned the title “Wolly Bully”. Jessie Hemmons (pictured) covered the Rocky Statue in a bright pink sweater saying “Go See the Art,” urging Philadelphia visitors to see the (often ignored) art museums near the tourist trap. Many yarn bombers want to juxtapose the impersonal, industrial, and manufactured structures of the urban streets with personal and colorful handicrafts. Others want to make a decidedly feminine mark in an urban landscape characterized by masculinity
However, the practice started as a whimsical idea by Texan shop owner Magda Sayeg. After seeing how much the public enjoyed the knitted doorknob cozy on her boutique, she took to the streets of Houston to cover other structures in yarn. Citizens loved the surprise of seeing a cozy knit on an unexpected fixture. People have been covering light polls, bus stops, and bike racks ever since.
Recently, yarn bombing has taken an interesting turn– instead of covering structures on the street, people have brought the art back into their homes. Now thrift store finds and cheap plastic chairs don colorful yarns and fluffy pom poms. We love this example from Jessie At Home.
Whether on the street or in the living room, for a bold political agenda or for a wacky idea, knitters put their personal stitch on an impersonal structure and bring joy to others. And isn’t that what knitting is all about?
BONUS! Culebra Simple Shawlette Kit
Gifted by: Bijou Basin Ranch
We are giving away one Culebra Simple Shawlette Pattern Kit–including both the pattern and enough yarn to make the project–to one lucky winner. The deadline to enter is July 09, 2014 at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time.
As a knitter, one of the things that I love most is experimenting with new yarns and fibers. Wool is a stand-by favorite, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing quite as exciting as seeing what you can make a new yarn do for you. When I discovered the Bijou Basin Ranch line of yarns, spun from yak down, I was absolutely delighted, and, naturally, couldn’t wait to get it on my needles.
What would you yarn bomb and why?