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Yarn Bombing

Do you know about yarn bombing? I’m personally a huge fan. It started out as sort of graffiti lite, with small (or sometimes big and involved) knitted pieces surreptitiously attached to items in public spaces. Sometimes it’s anonymous and sometimes a calling card is left on the scene. Yarn bombers have traditionally taken on fake monikers for themselves as single artists or as part of a group.

Yarn bombed Einstein
Yarn Bombed Einstein the U.S. National Academy of Sciences building
yarn bombed tree
Yarn bombed tree in Sweden

While yarn bombing started out as a sort of random-seeming, anonymous knit-and-run, some artists have turned it into careers. This isn’t the norm however and many people continue to secretly cover small public objects with bits of colorful knitting.

yarn bombed sculpture
photo: CAHairyBear

Tricot Pirate

Magda Sayeg, credited with starting the whole movement, is one of my favorites and is enjoying a prolific career from her work.

Click on it to go to her site and check out her work. This is one one of her newer pieces in Austin’s Faulkner Plaza:

This next one’s by Agata Oleksiak; click on the bull to check out her site.

Technically, most yarn bombing is considered vandalism as the bombers are defacing public property, but I have yet to hear of anyone offended by or actively anti-yarn bombing. I’m sure there are some crabby old haters out there.

blue and white yarn bombed trees

Suzanne and Beth ( ’2fibrefriends’), Sammamish, WA

It’s hard to plan a sighting since they tend to pop up unexpectedly. It’s the sort of thing you really just happen upon. Fen and I saw some wrapped bike racks a year or so ago and she was pretty excited. If I had seen something like this as a kid, I would have been totally blown away. Isn’t this the great thing about street art? It’s discovering the unexpected. And with yarn bombing it’s such a cozy unexpected moment.

This is the kind of art I love to hear reactions to- because it’s not the Van Gogh and Picasso we’re used to talking about. It’s current, edgy, unexpected, controversial, and there’s no preconceived idea of the art being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Reactions are completely natural.

Check out these links:

Yarnbombing.com – I have their book, and it’s wonderful.

KnittaPlease.com – Magda Sayek’s site. Definitely worth a look around.

NY Times article on yarn bombing from last year.

What would you like to see yarn bombed? I think any large monument, like the Statue of Liberty or Washington Monument would be pretty fun covered in knitting.

Maybe more fire hydrants could use sweaters; definitely public statues found in many small towns and suburbs that look more creepy than they should.

What do you think?

Written by The CraftWhack Team

I'm Jeanette Nyberg: artist, author, introvert, creativity-pusher, color-lover.

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  1. I love yarn bombing and was inspired from Magda to do it myself. I yarnbombed a fence near my house … in a few days it was gone. I was sad but glad I did it.
    Now following!

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