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Make Cool Stuff: Yarn Bombs

Photo by Mindy Holahan

Have you seen something like this around your neighborhood lately? Any trees or parking meters grow sweaters? Welcome to yarn bombing, the knitting and crochet version of graffiti.

I saw this yarn bomb in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square a few months ago. The Rocky statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art also got hit:

These works of sticks and string are popping up all over the place. There’s even someone working on a documentary about yarn bombing: is a great place to see lots of yarn bombs, like this and this and this.

I’m of two different minds on this. I love the color and the whimsical display of my favorite craft, but the rule-following nerd in me worries when I see sweaters on trees. The yarn can easily get waterlogged and promote fungal growth. Metals can rust for the same reasons. Still, most of these works of art are taken down pretty quickly. As graffiti they’re easier to remove than paint and a lot more huggable than a regular bomb.

Have you seen any yarn bombs in your neighborhood?

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  1. Mot says:

    I don’t get it why are those ladies knitting in a store????!!!!!!??????!!!!!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!,?
    Bbbggfvbbbnb i

  2. Jennifer Casey says:

    I found a yarn-bomber in Mobile Alabama that does some great stuff. Check her out!!!!

  3. stormarela says:

    June 11 is also Knit in Public Day! Just think, you can get your friends together and knit in public, then yarn bomb something on the way home!

  4. BarodaFett says:

    FYI – International Yarn Bombing Day is June 11th. Write it down…

  5. Jackie says:

    Ha! Cleaver and neat.its also a new form of performance art to!o

    <– that guy
    Can we yarn bomb some homeless people and poor kids? Ugh artists are so impractical

  6. orangewaxlion says:

    Actually, if I remember correctly there are random posts in the U-District that might still have some knitting on them. though given Seattle weather I did always wonder how quickly they’d get all mildewy and/or taken off. Granted they were never as elaborate some of these so I’m not sure if whoever takes care of this stuff would be more or less inclined to leave them up.

  7. Alyscha says:

    A local Seattle blog did a story on these, though I have yet to see them around downtown. Pretty ingenious if you ask me.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Here are a bunching lining S. Lamar in Austin, TX:

    Tends to happen during festivals, whether it’s Fantastic Fest or Fusebox 😀

  9. Summer says:

    Here is a pic of the statue that sometimes is warmed by a graffiti scarf

  10. Summer says:

    I’ve heard of Knitta Please. In Charleston, WV, there is a statue of a man in front of the Nelson Building on the Boulevard, which usually gets a graffiti scarf in the winter

  11. smartbunny says:

    In NYC we’ve seen stuff by Knitta Please.

  12. Matt wilson says:

    Noodle Stories

  13. kijan says:

    i just learned about this in my women studies class!

  14. @Eileen: I love the way they covered the bike racks at the Berkeley library! Thanks for sharing that link! That seems really practical as long as they stay dry. It would keep bikes from getting scratched by the poles.


    @E.C.: I would love to see your Nerdist-themed project! I’ve made my own and am working on another. I’ll see if I can get a Flickr gallery going or something.

  15. E.C. says:

    As a knitter/crocheter, I’m totally fascinated by this movement. I’m even considering a couple of Who-themed bits with which to decorate a place on my local bus stop.

    Until I am thusly emboldened, however, I continue to knit away at my Fourth Doctor scarf and labor over my Nerdist-themed project currently in the works. XD

  16. Carol says:

    They also yarnbombed the El in Philly. Makes me smile 🙂

  17. blair says:

    Wow! Someone just did one and posted it on
    Maybe they won’t stop until the world is covered in yarn craftyness.
    What a wonderful world that would be!

  18. LesserBeing says:

    Rocky does look pretty cold in the philly winters, Im glad somebody thought of him and helped him out. Seriously things like this do make me smile