Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yarnbombing: Sweater-Trees and More...

There is nothing about that title which you should immediately understand...well, except the word 'more.'

So, what is yarnbombing? Probably not what you think...

...but maybe kind of what you think.

I don't


this... a yarnbombing in process. It's a lot slower than regular bombing, and unlike a regular bombing, it's kind of awesome.

Wikipedia, the fount of all modern day (mis)information defines it as this:
Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, graffiti knitting or yarnstorming is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk. While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or knit bombs – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide.[1]

Trees are often the chosen target of the yarnbombers...

Impact Lab

However, yarnbombers do not limit their restless needles and hooks to shivering flora. Anything's game in their eyes:

Take THAT, Partridge family! I bet you're not so smug about your multicolored bus now, are you?

Thread Bear's Picnic

^This is my personal favorite. It's a really interesting dichotomy of images and ideas.
Mustashe amazingness by Sara Mcguyer
Image copyright of Theresa Honeywell

Things like this are whimsical. They allow us to break from the mundane, and, if only for a moment, tilt our heads, and smile. I mean, every once in a while, who wouldn't like to step into a world where Dr. Seuss had some creative input?

Truffula Trees

Of course, as with all art, yarnbombing has sparked controversy. Naysayers decry it as wasteful, a squandering of resources which could be put to better use: make sweaters for the homeless! knit gloves for the aged! crochet hats for children with cancer! Should those things be done? Yes, of course! But, they should be done out of the goodness of one's spirit, not because to do otherwise is somehow 'wrong.'

However, the problem with the argument as far as I'm concerned is that art, does not function as a commodity...yes, it is a commodity, but that is not its function. Art's primary function is expression...and its result is response. A painting, a sculpture, or a drawing is rarely 'beneficial' outside of what reaction it ignites. However, I do not think that anyone would condemn Michelangelo's use of marble for the Pietà simply because it could have gone towards a more civic purpose.

Some things are food for the soul and that is the only defense they need.

(I'm going to go ahead and put my art degree back in my pocket now...because...whoa.)

So here's Mothra:
Knit The City: The Knit the City Yarn Corps



Deadly Knitshade said...

Mothra and I thank you. :)

Elizabeth Douglas said...

Mothra is wonderful and I love what you're doing! :)

JafaBrit's Art said...

I love that mothra, AND that moustache :)

As for the argument about knitting for the homeless,they obviously haven't looked at the priority needs list of shelters, knitting isn't on the list.

yarnbombers ROCK!

Elizabeth Douglas said...

It's all just fascinating to me! I think the yarnbombing thing is just so fanciful and awesome. I hope to come across some in my own city. :)