Tag Archives: crocheting

Yarnbombing and it’s Gifts

30 Dec

154673-004-0779C27AI was reading around the web about yarnbombing and I found an article in Encyclopedia Britannica about yarnbombing from 2011. There was this tiny picture of a very nice yarnbomb with a little tag on it. I kept looking and looking at the tag and yes ! That nice yarnbomb in Encyclopedia Britannica was my yarnbomb ! The Russian and I put them up in 2011 at The Berkeley Rep theater. It funny and pleasing to find out you are slightly famous and don’t know it at all. Here is the story Here

In 2011 and 2012 I did lots and lots of knitted yarnbombing and the media was trending on it so we got lots of attention and articles about us. As time went on and I began to look for new things to try I started doing installations with museums. More time passed and I wanted something more and wasn’t sure what it was. I began to apply to artist residencies and grants and spent a lot of time struggling with on line applications, portfolios and deadlines. And then I had to cope with rejections which I did not have to with my streetart. Then something very good happened to me.

I was accepted to be an artist in residency for yarnbombing at The de Young Museum for one month for Dec 2014. It was announced in The Fine Arts Magazine that comes from The de Young museum so it feels official. I found out 3 months ago.

I’m so happy about this and it’s recognition of yarnbombing as part of the art and textile world. This residency is an open studio -Kimball Studio – at the museum.I will be there knitting and felting and setting up projects that will be available to the public to participate in a museum yarnbombing installation. I hope you will come by and yarnbomb with me.

IMG_0129IMG_0156Yarnbombs from a guerrilla knitting that The Russian and I did in 2010 at The de Young Museum in San Francisco. These images were used in my residency application.

Extremely Large Yarnbombs

3 Sep

andy-warhol-knitted-bridge-designboom-06This is the Andy Warhol bridge in Pittsburgh , Penn. by the Pittsburgh Fiberarts Guild . There are 600 crocheted and knitted panels, it will be up from Aug 12 to Sept 6 2013. Image source

There’s some nice symbolism here, art on a bridge named after an artist, the yarnbombing was meant to bridge the different parts of Pittsburgh, it all went up during a huge fiber arts show. Very ambitious and sustained work.1175629_10151847541028523_101957608_nhere are 153 yarnbombed trees made to welcome The 2013 Seniors Games in kamloops, British Columbia on Aug 19 2013.This was organized by The Kamloops Art gallery.  Image source

I really like anything that ties together yarnbombing and senior citizens. There has been so much ridiculous snickering about grannies and granny graffiti and knitting being silly because traditionally older woman have knit. And knitting and older woman are both wonderful, powerful and useful so no more silly remarks. Please.

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This is The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles yarnbombed by Yarnbombing Los Angeles ,it was up May 25 to June 1 2013. 500 knitters and crocheters made 14,ooo granny squares to cover this building, 2 people made 600 a piece. There were even square that were smuggled out of Iran. Image source

This is so wonderful, covering a whole building and turning it into an act of playful imagination. It’s also another example of yarnbombing netting together people all over the world by using social media to communicate instantly and lavishly.

Fun And Playful Yarnbombs

1 Sep

923334_10151673849680844_2062194838_nHere we have a yarnbombed wooly mammoth brought to you by the folks who yarnbombed an airplane – The Yukon Yarnbombers. They made it for The Canadian Museums Conference in May 2013 . Image source

Some people would say all yarnbombing is by it’s nature fun and playful but some pieces have a more outrageous playfulness and remind us that there is no greater meaning in our days than having a little fun.

Marcy_Kraft_yarnbombed_self_r620x349This is Marcy Kraft of Crochet Grenade who made 3 crocheted Rubik cubes as a guerrilla action for Comic Con in San Diego, Ca on July 29 2013.  As you can see – she also yarnbombed herself. Image source

1069938_562588147136954_2023441764_nThis is a giant knit croquet set by Suzanne Tidwell made for Carkeek Park in Seattle , Washington called ” Half Court Croquet ..  .Anyone ?” it went up July 13 , 2013 image source

Suzanne Tidwell has solved that perennial urge to make ever larger art by employing a knitting machine and some minions to help her run it. I admire the scale in which she works and the cool commissions she gets,  she just did a big commission yarnbomb for the new Google office in Seattle and she has sold yarnbombs to collectors.

I’m always interested in what people do with their yarnbombs when they take them down, I know Suzanne repurposes them into wine cozies and art objects.

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: A Yarnbombed Tank and The Destruction of Dresden

12 Mar

574615_528045500581052_1017550865_n  Image source

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.

486086_427846617290566_827529608_nimage source

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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.

ok one more picture

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

Yarnbombing , Giant Plastic Slugs and Rubber Duckies

25 Oct

These enormous immovable slug sculptures are called ” Slowslugs  ” and are made of steel , netting and 40 ,000 recycled plastic bags . They were made for the Accroche Coers Festival in Angers, France and they were up for 10 days , Sept 7 to 17 , 2012 . The artist is Dutch street artist Floretijin Hofmann .

The slugs are placed so that they appear to be crawling slowly up the hills of Angers toward the towns’ big Catholic church . They are meant to symbolize mortality , religion , natural decay and the slow suffocation of commercial society .

Ok .  This image of these gigantic plastic bag slugs appeared suddenly , mysteriously and annoyingly with out any information on Facebook and it is my holy quest to document these sort of things .  I thought it was an astonishing sculpture , heavy and ponderous and also light , silly , childish and scary . The artist  Florentijin Hofman has made many of these cheerful , goofy and overwhelming outdoor animal installations – the most well known is probably  ” Rubber Duck ” in Osaka harbor ,  Japan in 2009 .

Hofman and his interns work for months on his outdoor sculptures and they are often up for only a few days . He tells his interns that in the end they will only remember the completed art and the time of work will fade out of mind .

His motto is  ”  Work Big ! “

He also likes to use local materials and objects that are very familiar and normal to the viewer like the flip flops he used to make ” Fat Monkey ”  for the Pixelshow Conference in Sao Paulo in 2012 . The flip flops are his reference to pixels .

Work on this scale with such confidence ,  playfulness and swagger  gives a real rush of energy to create . It  lets us see yarnbombing street art in the context of other art made to be outside , made to be  interacting with people unexpectedly , art made to be  put up for a short time  and then  taken down . { My favorite story about people interacting with his art unexpectedly was that a woman in Osaka stopped to take a picture of ‘ Rubber Duck ” and her car drove into the harbor . }

This is a quote of Florentijin Hofman that is interesting :

” That’s how my work comes full circle: you change a public space by adding something new, then you change it back again by taking it out which is when you start to miss it. It really changes how people perceive public space. I can tell you countless stories of activists collecting signatures to keep the artwork in place, but like I said, missing it is part of the concept! “

More here and here

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