Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The New Graffiti: Yarn Bombing!

“I think a lot of people are doing these things to show that handmade crafts can make a statement and have a meaning behind them.”

-Anonymous yarn bombing "craftivist", Vancouver BC.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t knock knitting so quickly.

Your grandma's sweaters are sooo yesterday.

(Check the bottom for the links to the pages I lifted these photos from.)

1. I can't seem to find anything to support this photo is real.

Do Kiss members really knit? Let me know!

It seems that the history of knitting has changed in recent years, transforming from grandma’s-after-dinner-hobby to young super-stealth-ninja-like ladies taking-back the streets armed with a ball of yarn and some knitting needles. Introducing Yarn Bombing (Or Yarn storming as they like to call it in the U.K., as bombing is a taboo word to be throwing around freely in public these days.)

2. Photobooth

It started out with a Texas store worker, Magda Sayeg, who on a weekend decided to knit a sheath for the doorknob of the store out of sheer boredom. Then she started looking out doors at the ugly concrete and steel construction around her and decided knitting a sheath for the stop sign out front would add a little colour to her world. When people stopped their cars to have their pictures taken in front of it, Sayeg was inspired to take it to the streets, and thus yarn bombing was born.

3. Tree bomb. I once saw a knitting installation in Nisantisi, Istanbul.
The one day I forgot my camera at home. Damn!

Two Vancouver yarn bombers, Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain have recently put out their book “Yarn Bombing” which covers installations internationally. Since they’ve just finished a rash of Yarn Bombing talks in Vancouver I look forward to spotting more guerrilla knitting as I am out and about in the city.

4. Parking meter in Chinatown, Vancouver.

Yarn bombing as a post-modern concept is about challenging our conceptions about how public space should be portrayed created and viewed. Traditionally male dominated graffiti art is permanent, damaging to public property, and often negative and sometimes offensive in nature. Yarn bombers however, are largely female. Yarn bombing installations are temporary, non-damaging, cheeky in nature and meant to bring a smile to the faces of people who come across them for the time that they are installed. There is more humour than aggression in this form of graffiti.

5. Crocheted bus.

One thing traditional graffiti and yarn bombing have in common is that historically both have been considered “craft” and have never been considered “art.” Yarn bombing challenges the audience to reconsider what public art is exactly and challenges our notions of how we view this sort of non-harming and fuzzy tagging. Just because it’s heart warming does it mean it’s not a valid form of art?

6. Knitted tank

Yarn bombing challenges us to review our pre-conceived perceptions of art, graffiti, public space, craft and gender as well. A few of my favourite yarn bombing pics lifted from all over the web (My own form of public graffiti!)

7. Knit dress Muses.

Links to pictures:

Links to a few Yarn bombing sites:



  1. just learned about yarn bombing yesterday. I sent on this info and your link to another great (focuses on literature, poetry, music, etc but Ernie likes to also put up other fun stuff to keep things interesting and attracts a lot of just generally smart and sassy people--kind of like an NPR of blogs)
    He liked what I sent him about yarn bombing and said he'll be putting up a post on it. EVERSE has a large following so you might start to get some hits here too.

    Great stuff! Thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks so much for sending on this link! It's funny, This post seems to get the most hits, but you are the first person to ever comment. Thank you for the support!

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