Yarnbombing? Sounds violent, but it’s completely the opposite. It’s a sweet, whimsical way to beautify your community and let your neighbours know you care.
At least, that’s how Knitting Guy sees it in Clairemont, California. This dad of a girl learned to knit and purl so he could teach the skill to his daughter. Now he “yarnbombs” the streets where he lives by outfitting stop-sign poles with knitted stems and leaves, turning a traffic control sign into… well, a pretty flower.
“This project has brought smiles across my community,” Knitting Guy told me. “I think it resonated with people because of its ubiquity, density and accessibility.”
Yes, his neighbours seem to like the skinny green sweaters. As he points out on his blog, it wouldn’t be difficult for any owner of sharp scissors to remove his work, yet no one has.
“After they were installed,” he recalls, “people in the neighborhood quickly adopted them and treated them as their own, sending sending e-mails defending ‘their’ flowers once they were threatened by the city.”
He hopes the blooms serve to brighten people’s day. (Knitting Guy also points out that although it’s rare for males to knit, gifting the ladies in your life with handmade scarves and dishtowels is not a bad way to impress them. Take note, men.)
Incidentally, KG is not the founder of the yarnbombing movement. At this moment, all over the world, people are outfitting phone booths, tree trunks, statues and parking meters with multi-hued handiwork.
Sure, technically it’s vandalism, and I wouldn’t go on record as a promoter of unlawful activity. But it’s hard to argue when the result is colourful… and kind of cozy.