Friday, 28 June 2013

Yarn Bombing FAQ

If you've never heard of a Yarn Bombing, your first question might be, "what's a yarn bombing?"  For those who've heard a little about this phenomenon/fad, here's some more information for your arsenal.

1. What's a Yarn Bombing?
A:  It's a form of graffiti that uses colourful yarn that is knit or crocheted into various shapes, and then anonymously affixed to objects in public spaces.  There are other names emerging for this spontaneous craft: yarn storming; guerrilla knitting.
Yarn bombing rarely has gorey after-effects

2. Who does this sort of thing?
A:  Artists, crazy yarn types, charity groups, anyone with some "string" and spare time.  Yarn bombings have been sighted all over the world, and only a few people have taken credit for their actions.  Even kids are being encouraged to get in on the action.
Yarn is easier to remove than spray paint...

3. When & where did this all start?
A:  The first recorded yarn bombing took place in the Netherlands in 2004.  Beginning in 2002, Oregon artist Shanon Schollian knit stump cozies for clear-cut forests. Texan wool shop owner Magda Sayeg was inspired to cover her shop door with a cozy in 2009. Several knitting collectives have since sprung up throughout the US and the UK, and a group in Lethbridge, Alberta founded the first International Yarn Bombing Day on June 6, 2011 (and it has indeed been celebrated worldwide since then).
Stump Cozy by Shanon Schollian

4.  Why??
A:  That depends on the motives of the 'bomber, really.  It's not exactly a political social activism movement, but it can be.  Generally, yarn bombing takes place for the betterment of the world, the beautification of the landscape, to make a point of public art, and just for the sake of having fun.

5.  Is it legal?
A:  Not really.  Because it is still technically defacing public property, yarn bombing is a form of graffiti.  However, it is ultimately removable and rarely damages the item/object it covers, so we have yet to hear of any major legal proceedings resulting from a yarn bombing anywhere in the world.  Sadly, there has been a recent theft:  a woolly mammoth sculpture has been robbed of its knitted onesie in Whitehorse. The group Yarn Bomb Yukon is asking that the blankets be donated to charity by the thieves, as per the organization's original intentions.
Yarn bombing done to coincide with museums conference in Yukon.

6.  Has it happened here?
A:  We have yet to hear of any yarn bombings in Newmarket.  (Do send us pics if you find something!) The Fall 2012 Creativ Festival downtown had yarn-bombed columns outside the entrance doors.
Creativ Festival Fall 2012 - yarn bombing site

7. How do I do one?
A:  There are lots of resources for the wannabe yarn delinquent, including books like Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, websites like KnitTheCity, and you can even find some friends on Facebook.  If you're shy, start with Wikipedia. Check this out if you're looking for a yarn bombing community. Basically, if you've got yarn, needles or hooks, go find yourself a target and have a sense of humour!
Yarn Bombing warrants actual print publications!

The Yarn Store doesn't necessarily endorse the activity, but we'd love to see fibre making a local impression.  Send us pics if you find a yarn bombing site!

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