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.

16 Join the Discussion

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    • YIPPEE, we are so excited that you enjoyed learning about yarnstorming, Mrs. Bayko’s class! :) We Wonder if any of your SUPER students have done some knitting or yarnstorming of their own?

      GREAT guessing for tomorrow’s Wonder… we cannot wait to discover what it is, either! We look forward to WONDERing with all your awesome students again tomorrow! Have an AWESOME day at school! :)

  1. Hello everybody! Thanks for telling me about the wonder what’s next thing. I never noticed that there. Anyway, I think tomorrow’s is about the three little pigs.

    • Hooray– we love that you’ve discovered our clues about the next day’s Wonder, WONDERman! :) We think your guess is a huff and a puff in the right direction!! Have a WONDERful day! :)

    • We are so glad to have you WONDERing with us today, Mrs. Foster’s Class! It’s amazing what you can accomplish with yarn and your imagination! We Wonder if any students have favorite stuffed animals– do you recall if any of them are made from yarn? :)

      It takes a great deal of practice, creativity and time to create works of art, including monsters made of yarn! We Wonder if you can continue to research tutorials and videos on your own to learn how to create a yarn masterpiece of your own! :)

  2. Well I guess my precognition didn’t work this time, but I will try again with saying tomorrow’s wonder will be about a different version of the three little pigs!

    • Not to worry, Zachary, your guess was a SUPER one! We predict that you are quite close to guessing tomorrow’s Wonder! We can’t wait to discover something new with you, Wonder Friend! :)

  3. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We really enjoyed the Wonder about yarnstorming. We are going to try some yarnstorming in our class!

    We predict that tomorrow’s Wonder will be about the three little pigs and the big bad wolf.

    See ya tomorrow!
    Ms. Davidson’s Third Grade Class

    • We are delighted that you enjoyed learning about such a creative and colorful kind of storm, students in Ms. Davidson’s class! :) We Wonder if anyone in the class knows how to knit, or knows someone who does?

      Your guessing is SUPER– do you have ESP? We can’t wait to discover tomorrow’s Wonder with you– have a SUPER rest of your day! :)

  4. Thank you for the WONDERful wonder today Wonderopolis!! Me ‘n’ my friend think tomorrow’s wonder will be about THE BIG BAD WOLF BLOWING THE THREE LITTLE PIGS’ HOUSE DOWN!! :) I hope we are right, you guys are so much fun and give us HEAPS to learn about! So thank you! :)

    • We would huff and puff… but we’re SMILING instead, A ‘n’ A! :) Thank you for WONDERing with us– it’s great Wonder Friends like you who make WONDERing so much fun! We are tickled that you enjoyed learning about yarnstorming today… we Wonder if you’ll start knitting?

      Great guess for tomorrow’s Wonder– we are so excited to find out what it is we can hardly contain our excitement! Thanks for joining us in our Wonder adventures! :)

  5. I have seen pictures of yarnstorming, and I think it is a really cool way to be creative.
    My grandmother taught me how to knit, and I would love to participate in yarnstorming!
    I think that tomorrow’s Wonder will be about The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf!

    • WOW, how cool that you know how to knit, Tori! It sounds like it’s a talent passed down from generation to generation! Maybe you can find a yarnstorming event in your area! :)

      Great guess for tomorrow, we can’t wait to find out what we will be WONDERing about together! :)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis,
    I love to knit so I’m going to try to do it with my class, Ms.Davidson’s Third Grade class. We are really going to try this out with our desks.
    Denazha

    • WOW, how AWESOME that you already know how to knit, Denazha! We hope you and your classmates create some cool, creative pieces of art for everyone in your school to enjoy, including your teacher, Ms. Davidson! :)

      Thank you for sharing your awesome comment with us, Wonder Friend! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is yarnstorming?
  • Who invented yarnstorming?
  • What can you make with yarn?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to yarnstorm? OK, if you don’t know a lot about knitting, you may not be quite ready to yarnstorm yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun making some nifty crafts with yarn!

Check out the projects below and choose one or two to try. Invite a friend or family member to help you. Make sure you check the supplies list first, as there may be a few items you need to buy before you begin.

When you’re finished, share your yarn craft with your Wonder Friends by posting a picture of it on Facebook. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Still Wondering

In Illuminations’ Measuring Me lesson, children use yarn to measure lengths such as arm span and height.

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day takes a fresh look at the relationship between pigs and wolves!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.