Love it or hate it, yarn bombing is here to stay.
“Yarn bombing,” or the act of street art where knitters and crocheters put swatches of knit or crocheted yarn on public objects, first began in 2004 in the Netherlands. It has since spread to become a worldwide phenomenon, with yarn bomb installations as small as a swatch of yarn wrapped around a tree, bike rack, or railing; or as large as public statues covered in yarn cozies.
While yarn bombing is becoming an accepted form of street art, there is still a “guerrilla” aspect to it. Some municipalities still frown upon the practice (which is technically illegal in many areas), and installations are removed immediately. Not everyone is a fan, either. The Atlantic Cities puts yarn-bombing on their “Urban Trends We Hope Die in 2013” list, citing how easily yarn cozies quickly turn from cute and colorful to gross and grungy in the elements. Other installations are taken down because yarn artists don’t have permission to put them up.
Are you interested in doing some yarn bombing of your own? If so, there’s a few things to consider.
- Have a plan! Yarn bombing should be temporary. If you’re going to put something up, set a date to take it down that’s a few weeks out to avoid the “But the yarn gets yucky!” arguments. Don’t be surprised if someone takes it down before you – that’s part of the fun of street art.
- Get permission! Before you yarn bomb anything, make sure you have permission from the owner. While it’s fun to surprise people with yarn, it is even more fun to legally surprise people with yarn. Start with your own property and then branch out to others. If you have an idea for a much larger installation (like leg warmers on a sweater), talk to the local government or art council to gain permission.
- Have fun! Above all, yarn bombing should be fun for everyone – both you and the public. Bluprint crochet instructor Vickie Howell has written a nice “how to” guide which is a great place to start. As she says about yarn bombing…”the sky’s the limit! Literally, you can’t yarn bomb the sky.”
I have big plans to yarn bomb a pole that lives in front of my house protecting our water meter. Have you yarn bombed anything? Tell us about it in the comments!