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.
I love this idea and am sharing it with my craft circle. I thought it would be a wonderful idea for our town! However, I just read today that the City of Clairemont is taking them down! Over 100 flowers have been ordered to be removed. Residents are petitioning and writing letters to the city but the city law is clear that city signs must not be tampered with! I think the flowers are a great city tourism promotion idea … but the city feels they are stuck with a law they must carry out!
Hmm… maybe there will be enough support to amend a bylaw… I’ve seen a community where all the fire hydrants are painted colourfully, under a city program… i.e. perhaps tampering is no longer tampering, if the municipality approves the beautification! Good luck to Knitting Guy and his neighbours!
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