Creative Things

Yarn Bombing

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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


Magda Sayeg, credited with starting the whole movement, is one of my favorites and is enjoying a prolific career from her work. Show your kids this knitted bus and see what their reaction is:

Knitta Please Bus - Magda Sayek


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 out there. Haters.

The thing about kids and yarn bombing, is that 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 kids’ reactions to- because it’s not the Van Gogh and Picasso they’re used to learning about in school. It’s current, edgy, unexpected, controversial, and there’s no preconceived idea of the art being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Their reactions are completely natural.

Check out these links: – I have their book, and it’s wonderful. – Magda Sayek’s site. Definitely worth a look around.

NY Times article on yarn bombing from last year.

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