Street art is a movement that fascinates me. (New to my blog? Please take a look at: Art in the Streets and Graffiti Fashion) Just when I think I’ve seen everything, some takes me by surprise. And I just learned that graffiti has a crafty sister: yarn bombing.
As the pictures illustrate, yarn bombing is a less permanent type of street art. Colorful yarns are knitted and then installed onto public objects. The effect is strikingly different than graffiti. Yarn bombing has a warmng effect – the environment is transformed into a more personal space. One where you could, quite literally, cozy up with a nice blanket and drink tea.
The start of the movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg – who is from Houston, TX. (Awesome!) The idea clicked when one day she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom made yarn creation. Since 2005, she hasn’t looked back. Sayeg started a clandestine movement in knitting circles. She created a yarn bombing knitting circle called Knitta Please.
The movement has spread globally, and many knitting artists are gaining recognition. Aside from Magda, another notable knitter is Streetcolor. Streetcolor describes the impetus to create street art, and give us insight on how it differs from graffiti:
I’ve gotten interested in how art gives us this power in the outside world . When I first put up yarnbombing on a street I was startled by how the street changed , the domestic colorful knitting made the street look new . A lot of people stopped and fiddled around with the knitting for a moment , they would get in a more cheerful state . I thought you had to go through layers of permission to change a city-with yarnbombing you don’t. Yarnbombing didn’t hurt anything so I continued on with my strange new power.
July 11, 2011 was the first International Yarn Bombing Day. The aim of this new holiday is stated clearly on the Facebook Fan Page:
Fiber artists of the world uniting on one day to bring color and beauty to our urban landscape