Yarnstorming, Yarn Bombing, or Graffiti Knitting It’s Happening!

In the last few years, barnstorming, yarn bombing, or graffiti knitting has become a wide-spread phenomena.  From what I can find, it started in London in 2009.  I’m just going to show a very small sampling of yarn-bombing here.

According to Knit The City “Yarnstorming (also known as yarnbombing) is the art of enhancing a public place or object with graffiti knitting”.  Knit The City started in London in 2009.  I think they tell us their mission succinctly by writing, ” It’s a street art that harks back to woolly stereotype of grandmas, itchy jumpers, ill-fitting socks and nice cups of tea by the fire, takes it by the blue rinse and drags it kicking and screaming into the street to blanket a bollard in beasts, swathe a signpost with stitched silliness, or cover a corner in wild woolly creatures. (You understand we’re dragging the stereotype and not the granny. We heart grannies. They taught some of us to knit. All hail the grannies.).” Their site is a must visit!  Wonderful graffiti done with needles and hooks.  The phone box is just one wonderful example.  Knit the City: A Whodunnknit Set in London is a book about the first few years of Knit The City, it tells the tales behind the items.

March 25, 2011 West Seattle Blog: Random acts of knitting: West Seattle gets ‘yarn-bombed’.

On May 18, 2011,  The New York Times online posted this picture of  WOOLLY BULLY “Charging Bull,” near Wall Street, was covered in crochet by Olek, an artist, last December.

August 28, 2011 thedailygreen posted this picture of a shelf fungus found in a woods in the Netherlands.  Wouldn’t you love to be a hiker that ran across this!  They also posted the below picture.  “A gray day at Diamond Hill in Ireland’s Connemara National Park is lit up by this whimsical pile of knit cairns. Such arrangements of stones have long been used to convey mindfulness and purpose, as well as a welcome to travelers.”

Then there are the Bombshells in Cinncinati, Sept 22, 2011.  Who go around the city graffiti knitting.

Now to our beautiful San Diego regarding yarn bombing.  We have a plethora of yarn bombings. The first picture is of a yarn bomb in Hillcrest, a San Diego neighborhood.

Yarn bombing has become a HUGE issue in San Diego, this is the official word: “This form of street art does technically meet the city’s definition of graffiti and is therefore illegal.” Also, it is against California code to put anything on stop signs and only allows reflective tape on stop signs. This is an example of yarn-bombing on a stop sign which has caused a HUGE brouhaha:

These are the headlines:

Yarn-bomber strikes in Clairemont, stopping traffic– April 25, 2012

Stop Sign Yarn Flowers Must Be Stopped, San Diego Officials Say

Knitting Guy given 10 days to remove stop sign flowers

I am curious, has yarn-bombing created a huge legal fight in your area? If not, I wonder if it is because the other places have winter and these bits of color replace flower and green color which we have all year?

4 thoughts on “Yarnstorming, Yarn Bombing, or Graffiti Knitting It’s Happening!

  1. I haven’t seen much yarn-bombing where I am – maybe I’m not just in the right area, so maybe why I haven’t seen any legal fights either. I missed the one of the bull in Wall Street – I don’t think I was aware of yarn-bombing then. Maybe I should yarn-bomb, then we’ll find out if there’s any legal actions coming from it.


  2. I haven’t seen much of it around here. The odd scarf around a lamppost. I doubt anyone would flip out about it though. You are lucky to have so much in your area! Have you done any yarn bombing yourself? I would love to but am not a fast enough knitter to make any real impact. Maybe something small like that fungus. Or next year when I learn to use the knitting machines. You guys on the other hand seem to knit up a storm, I bet you could do something really interesting. As long as you don’t get caught, hehe.


    • No, I haven’t yarn bombed! 😎 I don’t knit fast enough. Also, I’d be quite annoyed if I went to all that work and someone removed it because “it’s graffiti!” How can that be when it is not permanently defacing something? Sigh….


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