Some Beautiful International Yarnbombs

31 Aug

998706_420986534684591_1011980083_nThis sublime yarnbomb was crocheted by File Tag File for Le Lot +la Laine Garden festival at Musee de Cuzal in South Western France. Yarnbombing has inspired so many knitters and crocheters do think on a bigger and freer scale. Image source.

601931_497568256965173_1150489422_nThis is The Basel Stadt ferry boat project- Rhine river ferry boats were yarnbombed by baselfarbARTigverstriggt on Sat June 9 in Basel Switzerland. The boats were designed by Kathrin Stalder , Ute Lembeck, Miriam Schaffer and Madeleine Hunziker . Image source

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Yarnbombing And A Little Fun, Yarnbombing The Mendocino Art Center

31 Aug

IMG_0883I thought it would be fun to yarnbomb a 25 ft tree at The Mendocino Art Center. I thought maybe I should apply for a residency there so I could yarnbomb the whole art center but the residencies are for 9 months. I wrote the art center and inquired if they would like to be yarnbombed and after a long time and many e-mails to many different nice employees and a couple of meetings they agreed.

There are a lot of kinds of fun for me, I like to read, eat salted chocolate, knit , make felt, make botanical drawings in a sketchbook, go to Greece and eat . I always have always enjoyed a little fear in my fun and I think that has been why yarnbombing was particularly fun. I had sort of lost the fear in putting knitting on bike racks and I wanted to yarnbomb trees.  But I didn’t want to knit for a year to cover one tree . Then have someone steal it. So I decided to make handmade felt panels and put them up on trees.

When I went up to measure things at The Mendocino Art Center I saw this tree and was very attracted to it. I wanted to make something extremely big, spectacular and new so I decided to make a 25 ft yarnbomb. I went home and felted 3 8x 5 ft panels.

IMG_1145This was a lot of fun – there is nothing like a clear defined art project that needs to be made in a short sustained amount of time . I had 9 days to make the felt bombs for the tree , the Mendocino Art Gallery , a sign and the Mendocino Theater. I felted very fast. After 9 days I drove up from Berkeley to Mendocino. It was 108 degrees. I poured liters of water all over myself.

I got to The Art Center. and borrowed a broken 25 ft ladder. My goal was to not fall off. After much contemplation I decided to tie the ladder to the tree before I climbed it. I had cam straps in my car from my white water kayaking days and I used those. I pinned 2 panels to the tree and then I got scared to climb any higher. The tree did not look thrilling or right with out all 3 panels so I repinned  the first 2 panels sewed them and climbed up to the very top of the ladder, you know – the part where it says ” Do Not Stand Here !!” I realized I could wrap my arm all the way around the tree and sew the  3rd panel with one hand. I felt very close to that tree.

When I was finished the tree really did look right and very excellent. People stopped and said ” Fantastic ! ” I felt like I had done something that hadn’t been made before.

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Yarnbombing: A Yarnbombed Tank and The Destruction of Dresden

12 Mar

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This Leopard 1 tank was yarnbombed at The Military Museum in Dresden on the anniversary of the destruction of Dresden in World War 11. Feb 13 2013

The Story

This yarnbombed tank was created by Kristina Kromer and Barbara Niklas working with the studio group ” Louise Combined seam eV “. There were 60 people knitting and crocheting for 6 months , from Sept 2012 to Feb 2013, meeting every Tuesday and Wednesday. They eventually produced 36 kg of material. The group included survivors of the firebombing and young people. Originally the plan was to cover a Russian tank but this met with protest so it was decided to yarnbomb The Leopard 1 . It will be up indefinitely.

We humans try to manage catastrophe and suffering in many ways. Artists use their imaginations to try and bring meaning and healing to experiences that injure us.  I mostly know about the destruction of Dresden from Kurt Vonneget’s experience  in his book ” Slaughterhouse 5 “

I’m trying to imagine a survivor of the bombing sitting with a group of knitters making this tank yarnbomb . I think it is affirmation of our constant efforts to bring comfort, creation and love to the flow of life and time.

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Yarnbombing Merry Christmas

25 Dec

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A yarnbombed house made by Michelle Schwengale in Mililani , Hawaii  , Dec 10 2012 .  It’s Michelle Schwengale ‘s own house and her secret is her Ultimate Sweater machine .

This will be a new trend in yarnbombing in  2013  I predict .  We will all start yarnbombing our own houses . The whole house .  Art always wants to get bigger and create a surprise and we aren’t really surprised any more by knitted stop lights .

2012-12-22-14-20-39A yarnbombed Christmas tree in The Plaza del Pilar in Zaragoza , Spain .  Dec 22 2012 made by the great Urban Knitting Zaragoza .

This is not crocheting over a tree – this is a tree made of crocheting sewn over a metal frame . The City Council of Zaragoza asked Urban Knitting Zaragoza to do a project with them , the collective got right on it and made this tree in 10 weeks starting in Oct 2012 . They held 2 children’s yarnbombing workshops to assist in the crocheting .  This is a great idea , children are totally capable of knitting and crocheting elements of big installations and why should grown ups get all the attention ?

I believe the ornaments will be given away at the end .

Knitting and crocheting have always been a big part of gift giving at Christmas and they are very warm , relaxing and unpretentious .  To take something so connected to family and home and comfort and make a huge outdoor tree sculpture with it , this is the joy and trickiness of yarnbombing .  It’s very wonderful that city governments all over the world are commissioning yarnbombing to embrace their cities .

The Plaza del Pilar has had a Christmas tradition of being decorated with ornaments and a creche and now it has a new tradion. I like this , put up your creche , your garland and lights and your yarnbombs ! more here

398683_545251025486687_1310944902_nYarnbombed Christmas tree in Plaza del Pilar , Zaragoza , Spain by Urban Knitting Zaragoza , Dec 22 2012 . Photo by Pasaje del Ciclon .  more here

Yarnbombing And Doing Good

21 Dec

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This jacaranda tree outside of Durban , South Africa was yarnbombed by Woza Moya crafters to mark World Aids Day Dec 4 2012 . Photo by Adrian Boule

Woza Moya crafters are woman who work along with the Hillcrest Aids Centre in South Africa to raise funds to care for those with AIDS . Usually these woman make bead work  and each of them supports around 10 family members . For this tree the Hillcrest Center raised special funds to pay them to crochet thousands of crocheted squares so they could yarnbomb .        more here

This is very moving to me . First – it’s a very beautiful yarnbombed tree , the crocheting is so confident and lavish .  Second – I was sitting in Berkeley Ca . and saw a picture of this tree in South Africa a day after it went up and was in touch with Paula Thomson who organized this yarnbombing with in 20 hours . This is a very wonderful aspect of social media .

And yarnbombing

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These are yarnbombed trees from Bloomington , Indiana . This yarnbombing was organized to raise money for Domestic Voilence Awareness  Month . This went up Oct 5 2012 and will be up until the spring

This happened in an interesting way . Last year a local yarn shop ” Yarns Unlimited ” yarnbombed a tree outside of the shop . The shelter  Middle Way House  was intrigued by this and asked the owner Mary Ann Gringle to help come up with a yarnbombing fundraiser they called ” Knit to Heal “

Local businesses where asked to each adopt a tree and pay for it to be yarnbombed  . The yarnbombing raised more than 10, oo0 dollars . 23 trees were yarnbombed .  more photos here

the story here

When I read the blogs of people who participate in these big city wide yarnbombings they talk about how excited they were to make something really big , to go out with a large group on a given day and create a city of knitting and crocheting , how exciting it was to see all the different trees – this is a great kind of community . Knitting and crocheting have always been made to give to people we love – this is a big , local , personal and also universal kind of love.

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561010_497287436978420_1955234517_n2 trees yarnbombed for the Bellvue Campus of Hillcrest AIDS Centre by Woza Moya  Durban South Africa International AIDS DAY  Dec 10, 2012

Yarnbombing The Planet – Nov 2012

7 Dec

Here we have 37 yarnbombed bollards in Madrid created by the wonderful and productive Spanish yarnbomber Adriana Turmero on the occasion of her one year yarnbombing anniversary . Nov 2012

I love Adriana Turmero , she is a yarnbomb chroniclers dream . She works very prolifically in an original , recognizable style with her confident and beautifully balanced crocheted squares . She yarnbombs everywhere she goes { She was on vacation in Maimi recently and yarnbombed and then went on to Caracas and did the first yarnbomb in Venezuela that we know about . } And she writes all about it in Spanish and English ! With dates and locations and every detail I want .

So here is an astonishing little detail – this whole installation was up for only a few hours and the city came and took it away . This news shook even such an experienced yarnbomber as myself.

” Oh Adriana ! ” I want to say ” Can’t you hide in wait and then run out and tear the yarnbombs out of their crabby little hands ? “

Adriana is so unfazed that when she made a video of this action she used a song that said

‘We won’t stop until somebody calls the cops and even then we will start again

And pretend that nothing ever happened .”

well that is strengthening .

more here

And here we have 83 trees yarnbombed in red and white for Christmas in Geelong Australia by The Norlane Yarnbombers . Nov 18 2012 .

I love how aggressive and ambitious everyone is getting. I remember when I was so impressed that I yarnbombed  one pole .

Onto France – 700 seniors yarnbombed The Jardin des Plantes in Nantes France as part of The Recontes Autumn Nov 14 2012 . more here

When I wrote about this on Facebook someone asked me what a senior was . A senior is an older person .

What is so ironic about this for me is here in the states yarnbombing keeps getting called ‘ granny bknitting  ” or converseley written about as  ” Not Your Granny’s Knitting ” Well all this is so silly , every age likes to get together and eat cake and knit and crochet and then go out and dominate the town with it .

And finally here is ” Dancing With Wool ” at The Riverfront on the Waccamaw River in Conway , South Carolina . Up until Dec 1 2012 . more here

This was Lion Brand yarn , Create Conway , Conway Glass and Conway Downtown Alive !

There is a good story for this . Barbara Streeter owns Conway glass in Conway , S.C .  She had a friend yarnbomb a tree for her outside her shop . It was pink crochet I believe . Apparently there was a complaint and the city forced her to take it down .

So now several months later she helped arranged this very extensive and exhilarating lamp post yarnbombing installation , involving  and charming the whole city of Conway .

This is a very good revenge .

Yarnbombing And The Future – Yarnbombing The Entire City Of Genova , Italy

19 Nov

This is the  18th Century staircase of the Palazza Ducale , – yarnbombed by the Argentinian  artist Licia Santuz as the prelude  for the yarnbombing of the entire city of Genova Italy . Nov 15 2012

So this is the plan – in March 2013 the entire port city of Genova will be yarnbombed or as they say in Italy ” bombarded with yarn ” . The city has set up more than a hundred different locations for people to meet and knit -  including libraries , senior homes  , civil service buildings , youth organizations and even a prison .  A prison ! Oh I’d love to see the prisoners yarnbombing.

It’s expected that hundreds , probably thousands of people will participate . The stated goal is to overcome discord between many different generations and use yarnbombing as a method to weave them all together .  And the prisoners too .

This is very moving to me . I wake up every morning thinking I really should get a more reasonable  interest than yarnbombing to dwell on .  Like phone apps . Or industrial welding .  Then as I read about this  yarnbombing plan I feel everything that I hold as so important – how yarnbombing includes everyone as an art form , how it expands this pleasurable social activity of knitting into some thing grander and more heroic , how enveloping a city in the every day creativity of it’s inhabitants is so appealing and magnetically attractive .

Maybe I’m not so silly after all.

You have to keep wondering how much further can yarnbombing go  ?  Maybe a continent ……

yarnbombing by Licia Santuz

more here

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