Yarn Bombing also known as Guerilla Knitting, Urban Yarning and Yarn Storming is a form of street art which aims to reclaim or personalise cold or sterile public spaces (particularly metal poles, wiring and statues) with colourful knitwear and crochet. Although technically still illegal, many local councils and cities have embraced the art form and actively commission pieces from ‘underground knitter collectives’ such as Deadly Knitshade, who created the Dial M for Monster phonebox cozy for the BT Artbox project which went on display in central London last month, just off the Trafalgar Square Roundabout. Not all local authorities embrace these freedom of expression acts, hiring local clearing squads to remove pieces as soon as they’re spotted but this only adds to the temporality induced charm of the pieces – like a majority of street art, they offer fleeting moments of joy to both those doing the adorning and those lucky enough to discover them.
Yarn bombing is now a global trend and a regular feature of many German, American, French, Australian, Canadian, Lithuanian, Danish, Mexican and British towns and cities – notably hitting the consciousness of the British main stream press last June when several of Antony Gormley’s Another Place statues were bedecked with pink and purple woolly outfits on Crosby Beach in Liverpool. Not all installations are ‘high profile’ and prime targets can include anything from benches, bike racks and pavement cracks to trees and tanks. As I witnessed last week in fishing village of Fowey in Cornwall, the yarn bombing trend is still going strong.
For the latest ‘breaking yarnstorm news’ as well as information on how to get involved in the London knitwear scene (or a yarnstorming boot camp) see Knit the City’s website
For info about the latest yarn bombing activities (and some fantastic knitted book covers) in Melbourne, Australia see the Twighlight Taggers blog