Monday, February 20, 2012


When I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, I came across this park where the trees had been "yarnbombed".  I had heard about this phenomenon but hadn't seen it in person before, so I made a special trip back to this spot to get a close up look at it.
Yesler Way and 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA
Wikipedia describes yarnbombing (also known as "graffiti knitting") as  "a type of graffit or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk".   Much easier to remove than painted graffiti (of which there is a lot in Seattle), the knitted fabric can simply be cut off if necessary but is said to be "about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places."  These colourful wraps in Seattle certainly did the job for an otherwise rather grey and winter bare landscape.

Yarnbombing may have started in the Netherlands as early as 2004 or Houston, Texas in 2005 and has since spread worldwide.

The seagulls in this park didn't seem interested one way or the other and none of the humans appeared to even notice but maybe they were all locals and used to seeing it there. I was the only one taking photos and/or examining the trees, which appeared to be wrapped in the knitwear and sewn together with one seam.  It was a very thin fabric and seemed to my untrained eye to be knitted out of a synthetic fibre rather than cotton or wool.  Here's a closeup:

A brief search of the Internet revealed this website:, which has some hilarious photos of decorated statues in B.C., as well as stories about various installations around the world.  The Nov 17th post with photos of sculptural knitting is particularly cool, check it out!

I haven't seen any examples of yarnbombing close to home but will definitely start paying more attention. Might have to get my knitting needles out and starting putting something together!

1 comment:

TesoriTrovati said...

Just found out this is about to occur in our little town! The local arts center is yarn bombing a tree and maybe a bicycle against the tree in April. I am going to see if I can squeeze in learning to crochet squares between now and then ;-)
Enjoy the day!