Yarnbombing With A Theme -The Oakland Libraries

11 Jul

I never thought I could feel guilty about not  yarnbombing . I didn ‘ t have the thrilling idea , that idea that makes you want to run out the door in your pajamas with out breakfast because you ‘re so excited and nervous that you have to yarnbomb right away . I had been in quite a lull .

It started when my internet connection went down 3 weeks ago and I intensely realized how addicted I was to checking Facebook . This was a slap and I decided to stay off the web ,  I felt that it was making me unhappy.

Yarnbombing had introduced me to the pleasures of the Internet , the slow heady , steady drip of attention , blog hits , Facebook friends and media attention . I got up every morning and went straight to my blog . Is this normal ? Does this make everyone happy ? I decided to look 4 times a day -no more . And then gradually I realized that I wasn’t yarnbombing anymore .

Oh I was still knitting and making art , you have to make art at all times , under all circumstances . But I wasn’t yarnbombing , putting it up . I thought of many ideas , redo my neighborhood , go yarnbomb  the Art Museums in San Francisco , drive down the coast of California and bother the people in Venice and Los Angeles . But I’d done most of that already . I continued knitting and in my spare time invented a new form of streetart . No yarnbombing .

Last night I was thinking about The Oakland Libraries -they just barely skirted a huge catastrophe this month . The mayor of Oakland had proposed almost completely shutting down the whole library system citywide to save money. Many ingenious protests erupted including a zombie walk for Libraries . Closing down all the Libraries ! Doesn’t that take your breath away ? Well this didn’t happen thank goodness but it made me pretty frantic . As  I was reading about the Oakland libraries my thrilling idea suddenly came . I wanted to celebrate Oakland ‘s libraries by yarnbombing them ,  hopefully all of them . I had the feeling -I wanted to yarnbomb in my pajamas .

This morning I printed out many maps and stuffed my purple back pack with plastic bags of knitting . I was very excited , probably too excited it turned out . I drove over the The Golden Gate Branch of the Oakland Library system , a place I had never been . I parked and noticed that I had spilled my water bottle all over my  car seat . I got out and looked all around . I wanted to yarnbomb the railing . I sewed a pretty wide strip on the railing folded up for a padded look using mattress stitch so it looks seamless . I was very nervous , there was a very clear sign saying ” No Graffiti ! ” It was fun to have that adrenaline . I thought the knitting looked fresh and clean on the beautiful old rusting railing . I thought it was the right combination of modesty and obviousness . It went so well that I decided to go off and yarnbomb again

Except I took the wrong freeway entrance and ended up heading off towards San Francisco . And in trying to get off the freeway I ended up driving  illegally onto the Bus ramp and onto the Bridge . There were lots of signs saying  ” Illegal !  Big , Big Fine ! “

So I drove to San Francisco and back and just went home . It’s so tricky to get just the right combination of excitement and sanity …..

This is a good article about yarnbombing  here .

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9 Responses to “Yarnbombing With A Theme -The Oakland Libraries”

  1. ted July 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    You do like to live dangerously, don’t you??? Were you in your pajamas?

    I recently ‘liked’ the Crocker Art Museum or Gallery, whatever, on facebook. I posted a comment asking if the yarnbomb was still out front on the street sign. I got an answer back today… yes!

  2. jafagirls July 12, 2011 at 4:42 am #

    In 2006 the news media seemed to go nuts with our chamberpot gallery in a local public loo. It was a lark, and a momentary distraction (our 15 mins) but at the end of the day I still had to wash the bog, take the dog for a walk and cook dinner, and of course do my art. It’s nice to have what you do get some attention, but I think you are right to trust your instincts and get on with what’s really important.

    It’s a lovely yarnbomb, and I love the thought behind it. Oh my, though, I don’t envy your freeway adventures, no no no.

    You take care. I love popping by and reading your observations, till next time.
    cheers from jafabrit in Yellow Springs, Ohio

  3. CrochetConcupiscence July 12, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Your yarnbombs are beautiful but don’t force it. Do what’s right for your heart at all times!

  4. Oakland Daily Photo July 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Liked this post and went down to see it for myself today. Still there. Posted a photo on my blog this evening.

  5. Postcard July 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Beautiful!

    I’m curious, when you sew up your yarnbombs do you change the color of the yarn with the color of the stripes? So far I’ve just decided on a color to sew the whole thing up so I can do it quickly, but this makes the seam so much more obvious.

    • streetcolor July 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

      I sometimes change the color with each stripe if i feel very safe where I’m installing . I try and match colors here and there by changing colors every 3 inches or so .

      • Postcard July 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

        Fantastic, you’re obviously much more patient than I am :)

  6. La Principessa July 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    Okay, you had me rolling with laughter on this one. Sometimes art does insane things to people, but keep it up – love what you are doing and love following your work.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Spreading the Crochet Link Love | Crochet Concupiscence - July 16, 2011

    [...] Streetcolor had an interesting post about the ups and downs of being a yarnbomber. She’s a knitter but of course the yarnbombing movement is really more about art than needlework technique and the post felt valuable to me. She is also quoted in a news article about yarnbombing that talks about where the movement is going these days. [...]

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