I never take a yarnbomb down unless I have to. And yes – I remember having to take that yarnbomb down in front of the Capitol building as the policeman stood next to me muttering ” Vandalism . Vandalism ! “
It was time to take down The Oakland Museum of California yarnbombing installation. I had been not thinking about this with a lot of concentration. It took more than 2 weeks to get all the pieces up with many knitters sewing. The installation had been up for 10 weeks with a 4 week extension. It could not be put off.
And I felt guilty about the rain . When we put up the installation I had said a prayer for it to not rain until we took the knitting down. And then it didn’t rain .
I decided to make a little film first . I turned on the camera. I walked back and forth filming the yarnbomb. It sat there . It was the boringest film I ever saw. Must think more about film making I started trying to take down the first bannister . It had felted some from being outside in the wind. The stitches were beautifully done , very tight and small. My sewing is crooked and sloppy. I tried cutting them but that cut the knitting. I tried pulling it apart with my fingers. My fingers started to hurt. I thought of slaves picking cotton.
There had do be some way to go faster . I thought of spending the next 7 days standing there pulling out every little stitch.. It came to me to get out my tapestry needle and pull out each stitch with that . That worked pretty well. I tried to make each movement of my hand graceful and easy . Oh ! That worked . Actually it was fun. OK .
Then Betsy Graham showed up . Thank You ! I showed her how to pull straight down with the needle . We got deyarnbombing really fast . She told me about how Steve Jobs didn’t bathe.
We got the whole installation down . It was very odd to see something beautiful and unusual go back to being ordinary . The opposite effect of yarnbombing. I miss this art installation. It seems sad that it is all gone . On the other hand I have lots of knitting now to do something big and high risk. So much of art is the pleasure of thinking and imagining about all the great things you might do.
This now is how to take down a yarnbomb , use a tapestry needle and make beautiful relaxed gestures out of each movement.
A yarnbombing blog post in a mysterious foreign language here