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Knit Graffiti, Yarn Bombing, And Other Dangerous Hobbies

March 27th, 2011 · 18 Comments ·

A yarn bombed parking meter in Vancouver, from

And now, surprise surprise, a guest post from Tom about knitting!

What is it about yarn bombing that’s so compelling? “Knit graffiti” — it brings a smile to my face just to think about it! Guerrilla crafters wrapping yarn creations around objects in the streetscape under the cover of darkness, adding a touch of whimsy and warmth to the built environment we all share.

Part of what I love is the the way, when describing this art form, you can’t avoid juxtaposing words with a Monty Pythonesque absurdity – guerrilla crafting, yarn bombing, knit graffiti, textile street art, yarn core.

Don't mess with yarncore.

Do these purling pirates cover their faces with black hand-knit bandanas as they skulk through the streets in the moonlight? Do they hatch their dastardly plots over Earl Grey tea drunk straight with no chaser? Is there a yarn core bar where embroiderers are tossed into the alley on their ear, and brawls erupt over the relative merits of alpaca and sheep wool? (I certainly hope so!)

Anyhow… when I read that a yarn bombing project had knit round a bike rack at the other end of our own West Seattle neighborhood, I dragged us of all up there to take a look. (Then Lyanda and I got to have a little debate about whether this would make a better Bikejuju or Tangled Nest blog post – the answer is both!).

West Seattle knitter Jaesee wrapped this bike rack as her first yarn bombing project, and started an appropriately tough-sounding blog to document it and tantalize us with the promise of more of these dangerous urban guerrilla yarn actions to come.

It’s a wonderful little burst of color and flowers in our gray Seattle spring, and as we walked over through the drizzle to look at it, another fellow was also circling the bike rack and touching it. Yarn bombing is definitely a tactile art form; we also could not resist touching this installation, feeling its texture and figuring out how it had been made and attached.

Lyanda, Claire and I have all been pondering guerrilla art projects this spring, and we’re even more inspired now. Our projects probably won’t be knit graffiti, but I, for one, definitely aspire to find an art form with an equally hardcore-yet-whimsical name. Suggestions welcome.

PS: Higher-resolutions versions of these photos available for free use on Flickr.
PPS: Cross posted on

art, craft, DIY

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