Yarn bombing…

A number of years back my Nan knit me an afghan… one of those traditional blankets crocheted using bits and pieces of leftover wool and outlined in black.  I love it.  It resides on the side of my couch and is used daily… parts of it torn and unravelled (somewhat like myself) but cozy with a taste of “home” (like a hug from Nanny).

As a young girl, I wanted to desperately learn to knit.  Unfortunately, Nan did everything to teach me but her right handedness and my left handedness never translated… or maybe it was my impatience.  Either way my aunts would make these wonderful 80’s “lopi sweaters” and I couldn’t for the life of me “knit one pearl two”.

Through the years I’ve treasured the times my Nan sent sweaters, hats and mittens to my babies… but as she aged… the knitting went by the wayside… “lost” inside her beautiful mind.

Knitting and crocheting is no longer for Grandmas creating exquisite baby sets with ribboned booties, home knit socks, barbie-dress toilet paper covers and hanging planters.  In the last few years it has exploded through cities… function cast aside and suddenly “artistic”… equally as lovely as the baby booties all three of my children adorned.

Yarn Bombing or Guerrilla Knitting are terms used by modern day knitters and crocheters to turn urban concrete and metal into cozy art displays.  Graffiti with wool.  Folks “tagging” anything from light poles to park benches to fence posts and everything in between.  Graffiti that sometimes takes weeks to install… other times done under the cover of darkness… easily removed and hardly offensive as it’s difficult to pass a knitted hydrant without smiling.

Just this Christmas Eve, Olek, a yarn bombing artist, covered Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” making him a little less hard and a lot more cherry… possibly representing hope for the year ahead.  It’s wasn’t only colorful… but simply delightful.  Sadly, scissors were used to remove the darling Christmas sweater… throwing the colorful concoction to the trash before folks could truly admire.  Worse yet, he wasn’t warm and fuzzy when a snow storm hit New York the following day!

Yarn Bombers have been hitting the streets, installing art, for the last few years and if I could figure out how to knit, I’d head downtown and cover every anchor, chain and grappling hook on the harbour front… possibly even covering the “Wave” or putting a pair of pants on the “Winston Churchill” statue at the public library.  I’d use my Nan’s blanket but for the fact that I wrap myself in it nightly… and like my Nan… would miss it every day!

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Knitting and Crocheting classes are alwasy happening at The Loop Craft Cafe in Halifax. 

For anyone who knows how to knit… my kids could do with a few pairs of mittens.  Or… head out and wrap a tree to keep it warm.

Check out a few of these sites for fabulous, fun images of urban knitting.


2 Replies to “Yarn bombing…”

  1. You should check out the facebook page for The Phelted Bag. Beautiful works done by a Nova Scotia born artist who spins the wool she uses in her creations and recycles items for the remainder. Interesting stuff 🙂

  2. It makes me so sad that they immediately cut the sweater off the bull…some people have no appreciation for non-destructive creativity.

    If you want to learn how to knit and have a little patience, I highly recommend checking out a few books on the subject from your local library. I taught myself to knit through books, and even though I only do very simple projects, I still find it to be a very relaxing and useful hobby.