Most Wonder Friends might already know a thing or two about graffiti. But did you know that graffiti doesn’t have to involve paint or chalk? It’s true! Street art can actually be made with…are you ready?…yarn!
What are we talking about? Yarnstorming! This new form of graffiti or street art also goes by several other names: yarn bombing, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting and graffiti knitting. Instead of paint or chalk, yarnstormers use colorful knitted or crocheted yarn or fiber.
Unlike painted graffiti, yarnstorms aren’t permanent and can be easily removed. However, they can also last for years, since they can add beauty that people want to preserve.
So how did yarnstorming get started? Credit goes to Magda Sayeg from Houston, Texas, who got the idea in 2005 to cover the doorknob of her boutique with a knitted cozy. Simply making a doorknob more attractive was just the start, though. Before long, she was knitting scarves and hats for statues around town.
Lauren O’Farrell from London, England, expanded the concept by developing the “stitched story.” She creates street art under the graffiti knitting name “Deadly Knitshade.” She also formed London’s first graffiti knitting collective, called Knit the City.
The “stitched story” concept uses knitted characters to tell a story or represent a theme. Unlike other forms of graffiti, yarnstorming seeks to make boring public spaces more personal and beautiful.
Yarnstormers can get very creative in how they use yarn to decorate all sorts of public spaces. Here are a few interesting examples:
Yarnstorming has become popular all over the world. With the popularity of knitting and crocheting, fiber artists have welcomed the chance to gain greater visibility for their handmade works of art!
In the past, knitters and crocheters focused on functional items that individuals could wear and use. With the invention of yarnstorming, their works of art can now take on a greater role: beautifying public spaces for all to enjoy.