‘Knitting a community together, one stitch at at time’ is the mission behind International Yarn Bombing Day and World Wide Knit In Public Day, coinciding events which have become two of the largest non-profit organizations run entirely by volunteer knitters. June 9th is the official kick-off to the events as yarn bombers get their gear together and take to the streets bringing their unique style of graffiti to public spaces, any object that can be wrapped in wool becomes a target, streetlights, statues, trees, railings, and signposts are all popular with ‘taggers.‘ Its a growing phenomenon with roots that stretch back a decade or more, as a group of knitters endeavored to give a softer more artistic edge to their own urban landscape. Some of these knitted installations are actually commissioned by museums and community centres to bring a sense of fun, and awareness to a neighbourhood.
The week-long festivities continue with hundreds of KIPs (Knit In Public) venues set up throughout the world, to encourage knitters to socialize, and spark that passion in others. Venues include parks, museums, book stores, coffee shops, and libraries. Check with your LYS or this website for locations near you, pack up your knitting supplies, a bottle of water, snacks and you are ready to go!!
TOP TEN REASONS TO YARN BOMB-
1. To bring knitters together in a social setting
2. To relax the rigid rules of the art world
3. To help people unwind and feel at home
4. To add colour in grey spaces and soften the harsh edges
5. To draw attention to a worthy cause
6. To include all ages in the process of art
7. To encourage a tactile experience
8. To create a buzz in the newsworld
9. To create a sense of wonder, “what’s it all about?”
10. To make people smile
Knitted Steps by Magda Sayek
Magda Sayek, known as the ‘mother’ of yarn bombing, has taken her captivating installations to a grand scale, with bridges, buses, and monuments covered in multicolour strips of knitting and crocheting. There is rarely a challenge too daunting for this artist, who spends weeks at a time on one piece and has acquired commissioned work from corporate giants such as Mini Cooper, Absolut Vodka, and Smart Car.
Cambridge, Ontario became an instant tourist mecca as the Main Street bridge was transformed with a gigantic knitted ‘cosy’ in 2010, the brainchild of fibre artist- Sue Sturdy. The project began in April 2009 to enlighten visitors to the long-standing textile heritage of Cambridge. More than a thousand contributions poured in from knitters as faraway as New Zealand.
Saltburn in North Yorkshire
In March 2012, a fifty-metre stretch of knitting mysteriously appeared along the pier in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a resort town on the north east coast of England, and clearly paid homage to the athletes participating in the London Summer Olympics. The talented creator of this handknit sculpture wishes to remain anonymous.
By FrivolKnitty in the Glebe, Ottawa
An energetic group of bombers identified as FrivolKnitty, took the Glebe in Ottawa by storm last week armed with darning needles and yards of knitting in an effort to boost community spirits. Their night of installation was documented in this entertaining video.
Spider Web Bomb in Victoria, British Columbia
In the most unexpected places, a miniature yarn bomb can create an element of surprise and make a charming contrast to its natural environment. This crocheted spider web is part of a series designed by two friends who just wanted to add artistic beauty to their neighbourhood in Victoria, BC.
Castle Special Place, Pincher Creek, Alberta
During this past February, a dozen artists participated in a visual protest against clear-cut logging, creating a collection of handmade afghans as a ‘symbol of nurturing and warmth’ to cover the trees in Castle Special Place, Alberta. It was a temporary exhibit set up to show support for preserving the designated wildland park.