Tag Archives: yarnbombing

Yarnbombing With Permission; The Town of Mendocino

5 Sep

IMG_1207Here in yarnbombing world we are all getting permission for our yarnbombing these days . Sometimes I have been asked to make something by a store or museum and sometimes I want to do something very ambitious and it seems more judicious to ask first. Or polite. I’ve learned 3 things from doing yarnbombing with permission.

1. People will let you yarnbomb almost anything if you ask very formally and gradually with good pictures.

2. Just because you have permission do not mean it won’t get stolen.

3.It’s a little boring to ask permission though you feel calmer when you put the work up.

As you know I yarnbombed The Mendocino Art Center this summer, The picture above is of their gallery yarnbomb. I’m using handmade felt now for my installations but I’m going to just keep cavalierly calling it yarnbombing. I thought it would be interesting to include some places in the town of Mendocino as part of the installation . I’ve always like to mark places that I love and enjoy with some of my color.

IMG_1248This is “The Moose Cafe ” , a restaurant that I revere for it’s chocolate pudding. It’s different sewing up panels of felt rather than knitting, it’s more like dresssmaking, it all has to be pinned and stretched tightly.

IMG_1249I’ve been coming to Mendocino for many years, when you vacation in the same place over and over it gives you a connected peaceful sense of time and a feeling of childhood.IMG_1269I recently found a new place to stay in Mendocino, ” Alegria “. It is heaven , I recommend you go up and stay there right away. To be able to do something wonderful for a long time you have to keep finding new ways to do it.

I yarnbombed with my handspun knitting for 2 years and i did more than any reasonable person who ever do-, ‘The Russian and I did well over 100 installations all over California. But I got tired of the problems, knitting getting taken , vitriolic arguments about yarnbombing on the internet. I also think we did everything we could think of to do. So I didn’t yarnbomb for months.

I thought a lot about what I liked about yarnbombing, how it interacted with the hardscape of the city in such a beguiling and colorful way, how you could show your art immediately with no intermediaries, how much media interest there was compared to gallery art. Eventually I came up with the idea of using my handmade felt the way I had used my knitting, make sheets of painterly felt and put them up on trees, buildings and street furniture.

I’m really liking the new look of the felt and it’s speed but I know for some people it has to be knitting or crocheting to relate. But you have to go where you feel the passion.

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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 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

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