About Us 2010

?

An Interveiw

How did this start?

I saw a book  called

“YarnBombing” and saw pictures of knitting and crocheting out on the street on poles and trees and I was thrilled. I couldn’t believe I had never thought of doing that , it made so much sense to me.I intended to do all kinds of street art but the knitting is just too much fun to stop.

How many people are therein Streetcolor?

There is myself and my apprentice who I call the Russian. I dye the fiber , spin the yarn on a drop spindle, design most of the peices and knit. The Russian knits, does some design and we both sew up the knitting.

Why are you doing this?

I really like the idea of people running into art on the street while they are just in their regular life, of art being ordinary but provocative and beautiful.It does supprise the folks who notice the poles and they usually seem very pleased by them. To make art and be able to immediately interact with another person about it is unusual and satisfying. I’ve made so much art and sold it and never known how anyone felt about it. And finally, it is so much fun to do this much knitting.

What are your plans?

I want to put knitting up all over Berkeley. It’s very entertaining to look at every pole as a possible are object. I love seeing them.The street looks so much prettier with knitted poles.

Questions People Ask And That I Ask Myself

What are you doing? What does this mean?

Our stock answer at this point while we are standing out on the street sewing these knitted socks onto poles is ” This is an art installation all over Berkeley of these knitted pieces that are called yarn bombs ”  Some people are very perplexed by the term ” Yarn Bomb”, So we add ” It’s a form of graffiti”.This explanation seems to satisfy most people. But it doesn’t really say what it means, it’s just a description.

It’s street art obviously and has an excitement for me of being able to make art and put it anywhere I want to. In that way it subverts the idea that art should be inside in a gallery being judged by experts.By putting it out on the street it breaks down the barriers of what is art.

Why are you anonymous?

I want the work to be just about itself and not about our egos and being very Important. It is so freeing to be anonymous, It removes all the rules I had for myself, I wish I had made up another name a long time ago.
Tell us more about The Russian

The Russian is a young person who is a burgeoning artist who is being forced to knit more than you can possibly imagine. Actually The Russian really likes to knit and is great to discuss art theory with while we sew .

The Big Question !

What are you going to do when it rains?

The knitting should hold up to rain, wool can get wet. I guess they may swell and fall down. They were never intended to last forever,  they are like street flowers.

51 Responses to “About Us 2010”

  1. yummy supper June 24, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Say one of your sign cozies on Solano. Love it. Made me smile!!!
    -E

    • Tom Levesque September 4, 2010 at 9:11 am #

      I enjoyed watching you install your art in Berkeley tonight, as well as making your acquaintance. It was a highlight to an evening full of pleasant surprises. I am extra surprised to hear that it’s hand-spun and home dyed wool yarn. I’d love to learn a little drop spindle technique. Stay in touch.

  2. Tracey Taylor July 8, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Hi: I am one of the founders and writers at Berkeleyside. I would love to chat to you about your knitting adventures in Berkeley — anonymously if you like. Could you email me? Thank you. Tracey

  3. Margot July 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    I have a project of my own which I’d like to share with you. Not knitting but wood and definitely what my neighbors call a beautification project. Any way I can email this to you or post it? I’m not navigating this site too well.

  4. Ann Bordeaux July 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Thank you for brightening my grocery store trip on Gilman today! My granddaughter and I so enjoyed your art. What a lovely idea.

  5. Eden July 20, 2010 at 4:39 am #

    I love what you’re doing! Just wondering – are you going to hit near Shattuck or Berkeley High anytime soon? Our campus could use some beautifying :D

    • streetcolor July 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

      it’s interesting, we have more been thinking about putting pieces up in places that we love, we have been getting good suggestions for more harsh areas that need the color- a different way to look- thanks for the idea

      • Juniperinorbit August 14, 2010 at 1:38 am #

        True to your word, I saw you on Addison art alley just 20 min ago. I will email you the pic I took and the Londoner yard bombers soon.

  6. Peter Engel July 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I work in the Crixa Cakes building and my family and I were delighted to see your installation. Thanks for spreading the joy!

  7. WonderMike July 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    Really do love your yarnbombs. You have a great eye for color and composition. I think the thrummed pole at Crixa is a thing of beauty. BRAVA!!!

  8. marion July 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    just saw your yarnbombs in Colusa circle- Kensington/Berkeley. Love them, made me smile- cool. Thanks and more,more more…please.

  9. martabus July 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Thank you for bringing life, love, and colour to our streets. How inspiring!

  10. Lois Seegal July 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    How do you chose the poles you will knit? How about one at the Peralta Pocket Park corner of Peralta and Capistrano next to the Taqueria? There is a light pole in the park. Are there requirements, rules, restrictions? I live down the block and would love to see one there. I’ve also planted “un arbolito por Abuelo” a manzanita tree for my father there with the cities permission. I would be happy to participate. Thanks for your beautiful work. Lois Segal aka Lotus

  11. EmilyD July 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    What you’re doing is of the same vein as our ArtCar movement. Keep up the beauty and color! Thanks it’s yummy!

    http://www.artcarfest.com

    • streetcolor July 28, 2010 at 12:42 am #

      dear emily i just looked at your artcarfest-astonishing!

  12. Nadja July 28, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    I saw the two up by the Berkeley Rose garden. Pretty! At first I thought they were a memorial or altar to someone who had died there.

    I like the idea of beautfying “harsh” places. Hit up Berkeley High!!

  13. Susan Danis July 28, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Greetings!!!!
    Love your glorious work!!!! I was delighted to see the magic you made on Gilman with colorful streamers or tassels.
    I’d be honored to invite you & your apprentice to Crixia sometime. We can sit outside with a view of your marvelous work!
    I’m a sculptor. My website is included.
    Best Wishes!
    Susan

  14. Marcia Donahue July 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Dear You Two,
    Beautiful work in every way!
    Please come visit me in my garden at 3017 Wheeler St. in south Berkeley near Crixa. I will show you splendid textiles, plants and sculpture to pay you back for your fabulousness and to exchange for inspiration.
    Would happily join you and Susan Danis for goodies at Crixa as our guests.
    Will forward your blog to like-minded friends.
    Marcia Donahue

  15. streetcolor July 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Thank you so much for the fun invitations- for now we still have to remain totally anonymous- thanks again so much! S

  16. Janis Anton July 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    I just found your artwork at Crixa bakery!! What a delight and a surprise! It is quite beautiful and I am moved you offer it to all of us. thank you.

    janis

  17. Kerry July 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    We first discovered your yarn bombs on our daily walk to the Rose Garden. What a lovely, wonderful thing you are doing! Making people happy with public art—what could be better? Thank you.

  18. Chai July 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    I met you outside of Berkeley Natural Grocery store this morning while you yarn bombed it. It was the first I’ve seen this, but I will definitely keep my eyes open for your beautiful work around town.
    Love it! Thanks for adding beauty, color, and creativity to my morning.

  19. G. Handman July 31, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I pass your Rose Garden pole every morning on my way to work (on campus). Makes me smile every time. Thanks!

  20. floribunda August 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I just came across your Elmwood art last night — fabulous! I’m thinking my corner of Oakland might need some of this color…

  21. sannmer August 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Hey there we love your work!

    Please be a maker at the inaugural East Bay Mini Maker Faire on Oct 24!!! Check out the website at ebmakerfaire.com.

    Call for makers closes Aug 31. Write me at sannmer@gmail.com to discuss…. Super duper fun stuff you do.

    Sabrina

  22. Sky August 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Hey, we love your stuff and want to join you if you are open… my little boy is a big street art fan, and so we recently discovered yarn bombing, and being also knitters (and beginning spinners) have (barely) started making tags and putting them up.
    I would LOVE to do a “fence weave” at Berkeley High: those students could use a little beautification. Big project though, might be nice to team up.
    Let me know… :)

    • streetcolor August 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

      hi sky It’s so great that you are interested in this fun Yarn bombing. Right now we are just working on making more and more complex “art” pieces but are thinking about organizing bigger group pieces in the future .The group crew graffiti work is a cool but really different energy. I would suggest picking something kind of easy to start and have at it. Knitta also organizes larger groups.Thanks for your enthusiasm and stay in touch

  23. kass schwin August 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    I first saw your whimsical “pole socks” (what I called them) yesterday and couldn’t wait to come home and email all my knitting friends in Berkeley, DC, St. Louis and New York. What a wonderful way to bring smiles and beauty to us city folk. Thank you!!

  24. Jude August 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    I just saw one of your bombs at College & Ashby. I just thought I’d share the rapid succession of thoughts I had as soon as I saw it:

    Wow! Look at the colors on that pole.
    There are different shapes, too.
    And I can touch them.
    Did someone sew them on?

    I simply love it! What a wonderful gift to people on the street. My mind was all lit up by running into something so unexpected and beautiful.

  25. Unseelie August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    i saw your work on 4th street last night, from a distance, and didn’t know what it was about – just that it was bright and pretty and it had other pedestrians interested in it (touching it, laughing, moving on.) i thought, “Yeah, Berkeley,” and i can’t explain anything more than i liked it, i’d like to see them everywhere. i can’t say if your label was still on it, just that this morning i looked at the EastBay Express site and you’re featured!

  26. dan August 23, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    I live on the corner on Ashby and Mabel. We sure wish you could do something over here where we could use some brightening.
    Also there is a long neglected childrens jungle jym in ohlone park that has been there since it’s Peoples Park Annex days. It is the only one I know of that was designed so a disabled parent can wheel inside the structure and play with his/her children. It is ripe for something like what you do.
    Great stuff. I hope to se it on this side of the tracks.

  27. fractalecks September 4, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    yesssssss, that was so cool to come out to my bicycle and something had grown over the pole i locked it too…i must’ve been there a good half hour touching the soft petals and enjoying the colours…..thanks to the flower and vine being of the universe……

  28. Cori Kesler September 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Your work is beautiful and I smile every time I see it. Thank you!

  29. Annabanana September 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Streetcolor!
    I’m an East Bay game designer with a specific interest in “street games.” These are games that focus on the following:
    Inspire players to explore local terrain (and leave the couch)
    Educate players about their the history of their community/environment
    Facilitate random encounters and peaceful exchanges between strangers
    Provide an “alternate reality” experience in which a player can pursue a narrative
    Explore sociopolitical issues in a physical and theatrical way
    …etc.
    I’m interested in collaborating with you on an game! Perhaps the clues can be woven into your cozies and the information plays off of historical areas in the East Bay. Please let me know if you ware interested in collaborating on this project! Thanks
    Anna

  30. mattie September 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    I walked by the ferry building today and saw your beautiful art. thank you. It made me smile.
    Please keep putting them up!

  31. Bob Dylan October 20, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Don’t follow leaders,
    Watch your parking meters !!!

  32. Jennifer Werminski October 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    I came across your yarn poles last weekend when I was standing outside Saul’s in the Gourmet Ghetto in Berkeley waiting for a table to have brunch. It was a brisk autumn morning and I found myself rather envious of their knitted warmth. I can see what you mean by how they are kinda ‘warming up the city.’ It definitely brightened my day (and distracted me from being cold)! Really fun, quirky idea!

  33. Michelle November 13, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Thank you so much for the absolutely amazing pieces of art. They really brighten my day when I’m walking down the street and come across one. I love people who think outside the box; that is why I choose to live in this city! Keep up the wonderful art. Love it!

  34. artstuffmatters December 22, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing the photos of the fabulous works. It’s interesting to see that your blog serves as a forum for others interested in subversive art. I look forward to your next posts.

  35. armen January 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Laura-
    Dat you? I read about this on Burning Man website :)

  36. robyn February 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Yes it holds up in the rain… usually what brings it down is people… not the elements.

    I like to YarnBomb too and it has lead me to a lot of annonymous street fun

    happy knitting…

  37. j February 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I heard the NPR piece this evening and had to have a look. What you do is gorgeous and funny and wonderful. Thank you for making us stop and take notice of how colorful life can be.

  38. Juliana April 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Wonderful idea saw a pole next to the croker museum in sacramento

  39. vic January 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    for months I have wondered who you were. i’ve asked other cyclist but to no avail. i noticed the new one at el cerrito-bikram bike rack, with the blog address. you girls are doing a great and youthful thing. thank you. i’m guessing you girls hang out at the yarn store on san pablo ave by Actual cafe. From a cyclist, thanks for bringing color. i especially like the ones in not so colorful areas such as the Oak golden gate branch. May i buy you coffee?
    victor
    ps (straw hat/pink shorts girl looks especially colorful)

  40. SheMigi May 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    It was really cool hearing about yarnbombing, and waching you begin at the Sonoma Mueseum of Art today.
    I’m going to be out tomorrow to see it.
    Happy Yarnbombing!
    -Alicia

    • streetcolor May 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

      it was terrific to meet you too ! Thanks for writing -I appreciate it !

  41. stitchedupmama July 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Have crocheted for a long time, but only started yarnbombing this year – I just love it! Thinking about my next target … =D

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Yarn Bombing with Berkeley’s StreetColor | ArtSlope - August 10, 2010

    [...] stormers themselves remain anonymous, though one pair going by the name StreetColor has been labeling its installations, and has even started its own blog to document work. Another, [...]

  2. yarnbombing - chemistryandcloth - May 4, 2011

    [...] the hour journey to work and back each day.  I came across these great images of a yarnbombing by Streetcolor based in California who describes her work as a form of graffiti that isn’t meant to last but [...]

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