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Yarn Bombing – What Is It? – The Mysterious Fiber Artist’s Graffiti

Have you come across random objects in public spaces with a knitted covering? Like graffiti but with yarn! How I love the wonderful unique art of yarn bombing.

Want to know the history, and how to do it? Read my guide and learn all about it!

Yarn Bomb Feat Img

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Table Of Contents

What Is Yarn Bombing?

Img Of A Blue Yarn Bomb With Fish On A Gum Tree

Yarn bombing is a street art involving covering surfaces in public places with knit or crochet designs. It’s used to make a statement, or add fun and whimsy to an everyday object.

It’s called Wool Bombing, Yarn Storming, Yarnbombing, Guerrilla Knitting, Kniffiti, Urban Knitting, and Graffiti Knitting.(1)

What Is The Purpose Of Yarn Bombing?

Most yarn bombers see their work as street art that’s temporary, non-destructive, and often interactive. The people who do it are also called yarn bombing crews, Fiber artists (fibre artists), and Guerrilla knitters.

Yarn bombs are a way to bring people together and build community spirit. It’s often used to raise awareness for a cause or make people smile.

For many yarn bombers, it’s part street art, and part one of the many new and creative forms of activism. The Twilight Taggers use it as a fun way for drawing attention to feminist ideals and anti-consumerist causes.

The Craft Club, in Essex, the UK, became Guinness World Record holders for the largest yarn bomb ever! It took place at a children’s hospice, involving 13,388 crocheted objects!

Where Did Yarn Bombing Start?

The earliest known instance of yarn bombing was in 2005. Magda Sayeg knitted a cozy for the door handle of her Houston boutique. She’s often credited with starting the yarn bombing trend, but it’s likely that others were doing similar things before.

Once, she and a team yarn bombed an entire bus in Mexico City! That would certainly draw attention to the craft!

Here’s her TED talk discussing her adventurers in covering objects in public spaces around the world.

YouTube video

It’s a great insight into the mind of a yarn bomber and how the global community has grown.

A fiber artist, Lauren O’Farrel, (AKA Deadly Knitshade), founded the group Knit the City in London in 2007. They create warmth through public art in their local area.

Who Invented Yarn Bombing? 

The term “yarn bombing” was coined in 2005 by Magda Sayeg, who’s credited with starting the yarn bombing movement. She inspired the formation of many groups, resulting in yarn bombing crews founded in Europe, Australia and Canada.

How To Yarn Bomb

Img Of A Colorful Yarn Bomb On A Plain Tree

If you’re new to yarn bombing, start with something small and simple like a doorknob cozy or a plant pot cozy. Use cheap knitted or crochet yarn like acrylic.

  • To choose your target, pick an object that’s easy to cover and that won’t be damaged by yarn
  • Make your piece of yarn art by knitting or crocheting a square or rectangle. Make multiple squares and sew them together. You’ll need something that’s big enough to cover your target.
  • Attach your piece to the target, this will often involve hand sewing the ends of the knitted fabric together that go around the object.
  • You can attach embellishments like tassels, pom poms, small knitted creatures or flowers to add interest.
  • Stand back and admire your yarn bombed handiwork!

Congratulations, you’re now a yarn bomber. Remember to do it safely and get permission for your installation activities.

Pin For Later

Yarn Bombing Pin

Yarn Bombing Ideas

Yarn bombing can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Doorknob cozy
  • Plant pot cozy
  • Knitted or crocheted hat or scarf for a statue bust
  • Words or phrases crocheted or knit into a blanket or scarf and hung on a fence
  • Bench cushion
  • Mailbox cozy
  • Park bench blanket
  • An old bicycle
  • A street lamp cozy or one for lamp posts
  • A whole car!

There are many possibilities and creative forms for yarn bombing installations in an urban environment.

Avoid doing it on public property like a stop sign.

Here is a video tutorial by Hooked by Robin on just one example of creating a yarn bomb. 

YouTube video

It’s a fascinating look at the process.

How To Yarn Bomb A Tree

Always get permission before yarn bombing a tree.

Most people recommend only leaving them on for a few weeks, and do it in the colder months, not when it’s warm.

How To Yarn Bomb A Chair

This is a great way to add a splash of color or pattern to an otherwise boring chair.

Crochet or knit a large rectangle and drape it over the back of the chair.

How To Yarn Bomb A Bike

Make sure the bike is part of a garden or art installation before you start yarn bombing it.

Pick a color scheme and knit or a piece that’s big enough to cover the seat or handlebars. Attach the piece.

Img Of A Blue Yarn Bomb On A Gumtree With Fish

Q&A

How Is Yarn Bombing Different From Graffiti?

Yarn bombing is seen as a more whimsical form of street art. It’s temporary and doesn’t damage the surfaces it covers.

Does Yarn Bombing Hurt Trees?

Only if it’s nailed to the tree. If it’s just wrapped around, removed after a few weeks, and done when it’s cold, it’s fine!

What Is Yarn Bombing Day?

It’s celebrated on June 11th every year, as a way to encourage people to get out there and make something colorful!

Is Yarn Bombing Legal?

It depends on where you are and what you’re covering. Always get permission before you start yarn bombing.

Is Yarn Bombing Vandalism?

It depends on your point of view. Some people see it as street art, while others see it as vandalism.

How Does Yarn Bombing Differ From Traditional Street Art?

It differs because it’s usually temporary, non-destructive, and often interactive.

Hope you found this article helpful! If you have questions, leave a comment below.

Happy yarn bombing!

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors. 2022. “Yarn Bombing.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. August 16, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Yarn_bombing&oldid=1104748702.

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Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

Jodie Morgan Profile Pic

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

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