Yarnbombing and Art – Phase 4

One morning a woman in Alberta , Canada  named Joann Matvichuk got out of bed and announced “June 11 shall be International Yarnbombing Day. ”

And knitters all over the world murmured ” Ok- Good. We’ll get right on it ” and started knitting yarnbombs. Really , all over the world . This is fascinating , provocative and a little surreal.

I am one years old today- I started yarnbombing a year ago -June 2010. Like all one year olds , I am reflecting deeply on the meaning of life and I have some thoughts on the meaning of yarnbombing as an art . I went to art school and  I have theories.

Yarnbombing Phase 1.       ” Wow knitting looks great outside ! ” phase.

The first yarnbomb I made was 12 inches long and was yellow stripes. I thought it looked fantastic and looked out my door every 10 minutes to admire it. Knitting on a pole-How astonishing ! Why didn’t I ever think of that before !

Yarnbombing Phase 2.   ”   Yarnbombing Everywhere as a Celebration of Place . ”

I got the hang of spending all my time thinking about yarnbombing and knitted non stop .  I looked at all my favorite places in Berkeley and went around decorating them with knitting. It was like a knitted map of how I travel to the same gardens, shops,and bakeries. I loved seeing my knitting all over town , loved the cheerful personal look of the knitted street and loved that everyone was accepting me doing this.Yarnbombing Phase 3       ” Knitting can be Fancy ”

I loved knitted color on a pole and the  protected , soothing, relaxing sensation that I got looking at the wool.   I wanted to get more dimensional and show off some knitting tricks.  We began knitting in ruffles , loops , pleats , gathers ,bobbles and a very few cables. { By we I mean The Russian , my assistant was  too. } This was a long phase, poles look so good in ruffles -the foundation of the fashion industry! We were blitzing certain favorite Berkeley areas-putting up 5 or 6 pieces at a time. This was also the phase when newspapers and blogs started mentioning us. This is totally addicting. As if the yarnbombing wasn’t addicting enough already.

A lot if this was fueled by a long standing passion for knitting and spinning-I handspin all the yarn to get the 7o colors I want. I think a lot of yarnbombers need to knit a lot and yarnbombing gives a limitless scope. It also gives a yarnbomber an audience for knitting that is brand new and often enthusiastic. Who would have thought so many people would  like knit graffiti ?

I went to Paris twice in phase 3 and yarnbombed that glorious city. I’d never imagined a city that was a work of art and so devoted to leisure. The whole city had the exciting and peaceful quality that I loved in my knitted installations.

And finally-in phase 3 I started Facebooking and blogging and entered that world of steady , constant, shallow pleasure.

Yarnbombing Phase 4     “Yarnbombing  As Art  ”

Somebody decided that Berkeley needed bike racks on every corner and bike racks appeared everywhere. I thought it would be better if they were knitted , especially the long waving racks. The long curved shapes had more surface to cover with color and pattern. They looked like sculpture to me when they were done. I loved looking at them and wanted to camp at their base to study them . The really big racks had a presence that charged the street up. I started to think about what makes something art and I felt that the racks had   qualities of art-they were beautiful , challenging , powerful  and the knitting made them charming and inoffensive .

Yarnbombing is Art With Out Walls , a  preoccupation of art for the last 80 years.


5 thoughts on “Yarnbombing and Art – Phase 4

  1. In the first paragraph, you said July 11, but you meant June 11, didn’t you? I think?

    By the way, if I’m not mistaken, you’re the one who made the piece in front of Reader’s Books in Sonoma, and it’s still there, and still holding up pretty well considering its age!

    Thanks for inspiring me, SC!

  2. Congratulations on making TIME magazine!
    Pick up the latest copy, it has an article on yarn-bombing and has this installment pictured.

  3. Pingback: Yarn Bombing | Creating Laura

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