what is yarn bombing?

yarn bombing, aka guerrilla knitting or kniffiti, is a relatively new type of street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn instead of traditional paint or marker in public spaces.

some hardcore yarn bombers see the act as a socio-political statement as they transform otherwise cold and impersonal zones into colorful and warm spaces. others find yarn bombing to be a fun and creative recreational activity where they can use up leftover yarn.  either way, there is a definite divide between knitting and graffiti which often times makes humor a major component of yarn bombing.

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while knitting is often associated with concepts such as female, granny, indoors, domestic, wholesome and soft, graffiti is associated with quite the opposite, such as male, young, outdoors, public, underground and edgy. yarn bombing recontextualizes both knitting and graffiti, both of which on their own are artistic endeavours, but together make up a new and exciting artform that breaks all boundaries.

one awesome pro of yarn bombing is that it is perhaps the most environmentally friendly form of street art because it can easily be removed with a pair of scissors leaving no damage behind.  nonetheless, yarn bombing, like graffiti, is technically illegal unless it is commissioned.

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it is unclear exactly where yarn bombing came from, but many believe that it originated in texas when knitters were trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects.  the start of the movement is attributed to MAGDA SAYEG, who first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a koozie made of leftover scraps from a knitting project.  yarn bombing has gained popularity throughout the world with yarn bombing groups popping up in countries like australia and germany. an artist out of alberta even founded international yarn bombing day, which was first observed june 11, 2011!

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check out this yarnbombing group based out of los angeles, YBLA.

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