Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing
Yarn bombing, also known as knit
graffiti, guerilla knitting, yarn
storming, urban knitting, or graffiti
knitting is a movement created that
accessorizes, or “softens” the hardscape of urban environments. This
eccentric movement was started by
Magda Sayeg, who in 2005 wanted
to enhance the look of her Houston
boutique by knitting a custom cozy
for the shop’s door. Since then, Sayeg
has been yarn bombing everything
from cars to trees to parking meters.
Yarn bombing has gained popularity
over the years and is now an international movement that is 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.
Participants of this movement often
describe yarn bombing as a way to
add a touch of whimsy and warmth
to the built environments we all
share. It also creates new opportunities, new knitting designs, and opens
up new ventures for experimentation.
There are patterns for hats, sweaters
and socks but none for bike racks,
fences, statues and bridges. Participants declare they do it because it’s
fun and it makes people happy, and
as knitters, there is something challenging and interesting about knitting for something public. Last year,
yarn bombers participated in the
first International Yarn Bombing
Day on June 11th.
Though yarn bombing is embraced by
many, it is a somewhat controversial
movement. Occasionally, yarn bombing is considered vandalism or littering. Still, the police seem to tolerate
it. Yarn bombers say they rarely have
run-ins with the law. And in the
few instances when they are stopped,
yarn bombers say, the police are more
likely to laugh at them than issue a
summons. Whether yarn bombing is
an art form or graffiti is still debatable, it all depends on who you ask.
Those who consider it art, argue
that it is not defacing or permanent,
while those who see it to be graffiti
argue that it violates property.
The VAC yarn bombing project will
be on display through May 2nd. After then, the VAC will properly deinstall and dispose of the used yarn.
If you would like to learn more
about this unconventional art movement, please attend the public lecture tonight, hosted by VAC. Magda
Sayeg will be speaking about today’s
installation, her approach to yarn
bombing, and more about the art this
evening at 6 pm.