In the crafty world, you’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about yarn bombing – or as I call it, knitty graffiti. Although popular items that typically get yarn bombed are telephone poles, mailboxes, and bicycles, to name a few, it was reported in the Toronto Star that on August 11, the Yukon Transportation Museum in Canada will be unveiling a knitted cozy on a 70-year old DC-3 plane.
Knitters from across the continent have been submitting squares for the project and the museum has enlisted a local construction company to wrap the cozy around the plane. The knitted plane will be on display for two weeks before it will be deconstructed into blankets and donated to charities and shelters (I hope Oxyclean can get the fuel stains out of those).
Personally, I first became aware of yarn bombing last year when the Astor Place Cube sculpture in New York was covered with crocheted fibers, but its roots go back about 7 years. Magda Sayeg is considered to be the first yarn-bombing artist, having knitted a small door handle cozy for her Houston boutique, Raye, in 2005. According to the New York Times (yep, it even caught their attention), Sayeg moved on from that door handle to bigger projects and founded the graffiti crew, Knitta Please. After photos of her graffiti art appeared online, she started receiving requests for larger installations. Below are two of her awesome projects (check out the Knitta blog for more).
After 2005, yarn bombing steadily became an international phenomenon. In London, the group Knit the City has been guerilla knitting (or yarnstorming as they call it) all over town. Their mission? To paint the gray London streets in tons of color. They’ve yarned over phone booths, decorated a fountain in Piccadilly Circus with little creatures, and surreptitiously hung knitted bears, snakes and frogs in Berlin.
It’s kind of sad though – so much work is put into this street art, but they don’t last that long. Knitters have to be careful of what type of yarn to use – acrylic is best since colors won’t run. And since projects are exposed to the elements, the yarn disintegrates within a couple of weeks. Luckily there are plenty of photos documenting this expressive graffiti on blogs and Flickr: