At last our city has been bombed. No one has been hurt, because the bombs have been constructed with material not known to be dangerous, except to the wallets of those who buy it. I’m talking about “yarn bombs,” or what are also called “knitted graffiti.” Wikipedia tells us that the idea for creating colorful covers for urban trees, pipes, poles and phone boxes may have come from a Houston, Texas knitter. (Follow the link for photos of yarn bombs in the UK, Finland, New York City, Latvia, and Seattle.) As the story goes, people were looking for “a creative way to use their leftover yarn and unfinished knitting projects.” Whatever its origins, the idea has spread around the world. Read the New York Times article in the Seattle Times for more background on yarn bombing.
I’m confident that any knitter can learn how to become a yarn bomber after reading the “official” manifesto: “Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti,” by two Vancouver authors. Funny how “manifestos” have been part of this blog and the theme of the two earlier ones.
The knitting attack in these photos did not come about spontaneously. Our county’s arts agency has provided support as have cities and private businesses. I imagine the goal is to make public places more interesting, colorful and cheery. We need extra color in this green and gray environment, where the sun is not aggressive enough to push away the cloud cover until dinnertime. What is most fun about our light pole cozies is the element of surprise. Suddenly I’m noticing objects I have been ignoring for years. I applaud the invisible knitters who are making familiar walkways more exciting. And for friends who are always saying, “We can do that,” when they come across a creative project, my response will be to show them a photo of the sweater I once knitted for my father that would have fit an elephant.