Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ninja Knitters

Have you heard of yarn bombing yet?  Guerilla knitting?  I’ve heard the phrase before but only recently started paying this new form of urban art the attention it deserves.  Now I know many of us can be very old fashioned fuddy-duddies when it comes to urban art, believing spray paint belongs in the in the hands of professionals, not in the hands of kids tagging whatever wall they come across.  But this new urban experiment is not about vandalism or expressing despair at one’s lot in life.  On the contrary, it is about livening up our sometimes cold and sterile world with the warm, personal touch of a hand-made cozy.
Yarn bombing is thought to have started as recently as 2004.  Like most forms of urban art, this textile tagging was often done anonymously and under the cover of darkness.  Knitters had code names and were known by their unique style or a signature stitch.  However, as the projects became larger and more ambitious, knitters began to join forces and small communities were formed.
While yarn bombing is still technically illegal, many groups of grandmothers and hip moms have developed all over the world, knitting and crocheting their personalities into public spaces.  While the most common items to be bombed are trees and lamp posts, my personal favorites are the public statues of stone and metal which are given new life through a scarf or a pair of socks.  I love the woman who knitted a red sweater for the statue of Mr. Rodgers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  After all, who is Mr. Rodgers without the red sweater?
Like almost everything else, yarn bombing is taking it’s time getting to the more suburban areas like Arlington, TX.   Personally, I have every intention of aiding the cause, by finally listening to my grandmother when she tries to teach me to knit.  It should only take a few years for me to learn enough to tag the Brownstone right?
Knit one, Purl two…

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