Yarn Bombing: The Knit Graffiti Movement

This international stealth subculture has been wrapping itself around urban structures for the past few years, and I, for one, can't get enough of it. I'm an avid lover of urban art to begin with so when you add a covert, colorful, crafty, non-destructive element to the streets, it's like having machine-spun maple cotton candy at the local county fair.

Yarn bombers target anything they find from sleeves on parking meters, trees, statues, to cars and buses. Like most graffiti artists, this group of knitters often tag covertly in the middle of the night. Some troupes, like "The Ladies Fancywork Society", wear crocheted masks while they work, and although it is technically illegal, the police have yet to make any knitter arrests.

I'm sad to say that I haven't had the good fortune of seeing any really great acts of yarn bombings in person, so I get my kicks by frequently checking the sites of my favorite bomber troupes. Here are some fantastic pieces I'd like to share with you. Enjoy!

Top Row
• I love this bright and colorful striped tree by Knitta Please.
• A knit picnic in Texas by Knitta Please.
• This bathroom is part of a fully crocheted room installation by Olek done for the Christopher Henry Gallery.
• Olek's homage to Banksy as seen in The NY Times article "Getting Cozy in Public".
• A knit bike in Brooklyn. Image by Steve Faust

Bottom Row
• The leg warmer on this Parisian statue is a piece by the founder of Knitta Please and the mother of yarn bombing, Magda Sayeg.
• "Wooly Bully", the bronze bull statue near Wall Street is another piece by Olek. You can see the video of her installation here.
• This mural piece incorporates knit, spray paint and stenciling and was created by Minneapolis knit artist Eric Rieger who goes by the moniker HOT TEA. You can also see the video of him installing this piece here.
• This Parisian pothole was decorated by activist Juliana Santacruz Herrera.
• This yarn bombed army tank is from the book Yarn Bombing compiled by the artists of yarnbombing.com.

If yarn bombing is rocking your socks off be sure to keep tags on the documentary "Yarnana - A Love Story" slated to be shot this summer about Olek's "Crochet Madness".

Images: As linked above

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.

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