Yarn Bombing: The Guerrilla Knitting Movement
Who knew that knitting is responsible for one of the most talked about street-art and design movements of the last decade. It might have been only associated with cute grannies hand making socks and beanies for their grandkids for years but recently yarn has left Nan’s lap and ventured out onto the streets, literally
So, what is Yarn Bombing I hear you ask. Well let me break it down for you. Essentially it’s knitting and crocheting large pieces of yarn to public (and sometimes private) objects like cars, poles and trees. They are usually colourful, eye-catching and if they are created without permission, done in the dead of the night. The origins of yarn bombing are a little iffy but most people agree it was first started back in 2005 by Texas woman Magda Sayeg. Really anyone can give it a go! It’s a skill that can be taught and I’m sure if you’ve got a Grandma around somewhere she’ll be able to show you how this handmade craft it’s done.
Left: A Toasty Warm Thomas Jefferson in Missouri in hand made and designed leg warmers
Right: Yarn Bombed Park with handmade trunk warmers
Newtown in Sydney’s Inner West had it’s very own yarn bombing bandit back in ’15 and even though it’s adorable and kind to crochet a sweater for a bicycle or tree, you need permission to do it. So don’t go all vigilante and start knitting beanies for every lamp post you see. Yarn Bombing is not all about making tea cosies and sweaters for park benches, some yarn bombers do it for a cause. Back in 2014 Polish-American artist Olek got herself into some hot water with Mexican authorities for allegedly tampering with their underwater museum while she yarn bombed the landmark in a bid to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.
So whether you’re knitting for fun or for a cause, make sure you get permission or at least take it down before people start complaining! Here are some of the best yarn bombing installations from around the world:
A Yarn Bombed London Telephone Booth: Knit The City, http://www.whodunnknit.com/graffiti_knits_explained/
Above: A Yarn Bombed Wall Street Charging Bull, Artist: Olek
Below: London Bus Yarn Bombed for 7up promotion by artist and ‘urban knitter’ Magda Sayeg