Colouring a corner

stories about small splashes of colour in society

19 notes &

Bombing the streets with colour

Last week I wrote about the people who’ve blown the dust from their knitting boxes, polished their needles and pitched into a very touchable form of street art.

Urban crocheters, knit graffiti artists or “yarn bombers” as they’re becoming known, have been making their presence felt in cities across the world; stitching up railings, dressing statues and hugging lamp posts with layers of lovingly-handled wool.

         

         Photo by streetcolor. All rights reserved

Gradually, their (usually nocturnal) activities have become a movement. Guerrilla knitting - the practise of covering or decorating outdoor objects with woollen covers and creations - is so named because, once their work is done, the yarn bomber will disappear into the night and landscape, leaving their urban target to wait patiently for morning and the first bemused passer-by. 

Although I admire the creativity of the concept, championed in the UK by Shauna Richardson’s Lionheart Project, in Australia by Twilight Taggers, in the USA by Magda Sayeg and Yarn Core and internationally by Yarn Bombing, I’ve observed it only on the internet, never on the street.

Which is why I was thrilled when these dropped into my inbox. 

Found by Olwen in Bow, London, they are the first instances of yarn bombing I’ve come across in this city, and were snapped snaking up a drainpipe and tacked to the front of a wool shop. 

If, like Olwen, you happen upon some guerilla knitting, send a picture along to colouringacorner@gmail.com or use the comments section to let me know.

If, on the other hand, you’ve been inspired to join this secret society, you can find your handbook on how to build a bomb below.

1. Start small: Start with something small like a small pole piece or a granny square and work with quick, basic patterns. Then move on to bigger projects.

2. Make your yarn bomb tight: Make your tags smaller than your object and stretch the piece so it hugs the object tightly and doesn’t slide off.

3. Colour and contrast: Go for lots of bright colour or contrast with the structure you are bombing so that it gets noticed. Maybe a white lace bomb on a tree, or lots of colour on a bland metal light pole.

4. Types of yarn: Don’t buy expensive yarn for these projects. Use leftover yarns or cheaper yarns. Acrylic yarn typically lasts the longest against the outdoor elements.

5. To tag or not? Some yarn bombers leave a calling card. Cards and labels can be found at any stationery store. You might want to laminate them to protect them from the elements.

6. Take a photo! Be prepared to know that your bomb may not last a long time. Take several shots with varying angles.

Source: Twilight Taggers

Now, only your fellow bombers, your flights of knitted fancy and, of course, your urban targets await.

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Filed under Guerrilla Knitting art community craft initiative internat international knit graffiti lionheart project magda sayeg project shauna richardson street twilight taggers yarn bombing yarn core

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