Recommended Read – Yarn Bombing

Title: Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti

Author:  Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain

Overview: (taken from “On city street corners, around telephone posts, through barbed wire fences, and over abandoned cars, a quiet revolution is brewing. Knit graffiti is an international guerrilla movement that started underground and is now embraced by crochet and knitting artists of all ages, nationalities, and genders. Its practitioners create stunning works of art out of yarn, then donate them to public spaces as part of a covert plan for world yarn domination.Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti is the definitive guidebook to covert textile street art. This full-color DIY book features 20 kick-ass patterns that range from hanging shoes and knitted picture frames to balaclavas and gauntlets, teaching readers how to create fuzzy adornments for lonely street furniture. Along the way, it provides tips on how to be as stealthy as a ninja, demonstrates how to orchestrate a large-scale textile project, and offers revealing information necessary to design your own yarn graffiti tags. The book also includes interviews with members of the international community of textile artists and yarn bombers, and provides resources to help readers join the movement; it’s also chock full of beautiful photographs and easy step-by-step instructions for knit and crochet installations and garments.”

Thoughts/Comments: When I picked this book up at work It was a new concept to me. I had not seen stuff like this around Edmonton at the time so I was naturally intrigued. After flipping through the first few pages you are given the impression that Yarn Bombing is a form of street art. “Yarn Bombing can be political, it can be heart-warming, and it can be funny” – Pg. 18. The question of why on should Yarn Bomb is explored on Pg. 20 with points such as “It provides opportunities for self expression”. If you are still a little unsure about what it is, on Pg. 21 they give some examples of what Yarn Bombing looks like. It can be things such as car antenna cozies, doorknob covers, and sweaters for trees. They also compare Yarn Bombing to traditional graffiti. From here they go on to showcase all sorts of different types and examples of Yarn Bombing. I really like the ones done on street signs, fences, poles, etc. They seem like a neat addition to urban settings.They do however showcase ones done more in a natural setting such as sweaters for trees. I cannot help but wonder if/how these types of projects would effect a living and growing tree. would wrapping a knitted piece around the trunk and branches of a tree hurt it or inhibit growing in some way? I have to say that my favorite project they show in here is the hanging shoes/shoes on a wire on pg. 170. Everyone knows that image of old sneakers hanging from telephone wires in urban settings. This is a play on that with knitted shoes. Overall I think this book is wonderfully creative. I do wonder though if this type of work would be accepted by society since traditional street art is often frowned upon and even illegal. Also, who cleans it up when it starts to fall apart and get dirty?