Author Topic: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.  (Read 11473 times)

McGrupp

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Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« on: September 11, 2013, 04:49:33 pm »
So, I noticed trees, telephone poles, parking meters, and half of a bridge covered in yarn in my town. I also noticed that new ones kept showing up. I thought it was awesome and after investigating I found out that apparently 'Yarn Bombing' is a worldwide thing. This may be old news but I had never heard of it and it seems really awesome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn_bombing

Some of my favorites from looking stuff up online:







Anyhoo, I think it's super neat. Also International Yarn bomb day happens at the beginning of June. I really think I might try my hand at knitting because this is so awesome and fun.

More pics here: http://weburbanist.com/2012/03/16/yarn-bombs-51-victims-of-knitted-graffiti/?ref=search&utm_campaign=googimages&utm_source=images&utm_medium=other

Cramulus

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 04:52:30 pm »
I think this shit is great. Anything that uses public spaces for fun creative purposes is fine by me.

I don't knit so maybe this is a dumb question, but I've always wondered how they get the material onto an object like a tree or something? Do they knit most of it at home, then wrap it around the tree and stitch up the seam?

tarod

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 05:03:10 pm »
I think this shit is great. Anything that uses public spaces for fun creative purposes is fine by me.

I don't knit so maybe this is a dumb question, but I've always wondered how they get the material onto an object like a tree or something? Do they knit most of it at home, then wrap it around the tree and stitch up the seam?

I'm curious about that part too.

McGrupp

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 05:24:50 pm »
The one's I see on my street seem to have a seam that gets stiched up once the rest is complete. I don't know enough about knitting to know exactly how, though.


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 05:33:03 pm »
I think this shit is great. Anything that uses public spaces for fun creative purposes is fine by me.

I don't knit so maybe this is a dumb question, but I've always wondered how they get the material onto an object like a tree or something? Do they knit most of it at home, then wrap it around the tree and stitch up the seam?

Yes, that is exactly how it's done.

We have some fairly active yarnbombing groups here, I was just in Kenton and they've covered most of the bike racks and poles there recently.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cramulus

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 05:47:19 pm »
that's awesome.

Does the yarn ever get moldy and gross? What does a yarnbomb look like years later?

when people speak out against yarnbombing, what are their arguments?

McGrupp

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 05:55:51 pm »
that's awesome.

Does the yarn ever get moldy and gross? What does a yarnbomb look like years later?

when people speak out against yarnbombing, what are their arguments?

I just moved to Ypsi in July and the ones I've seen have been out in the elements since at least then. I don't know if they use special yarn but they still look really nice and don't seem to smell. Ypsi is pretty cool about it too. The city doesn't take them down even if its on a telephone pole or parking meter.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 06:05:58 pm »
that's awesome.

Does the yarn ever get moldy and gross? What does a yarnbomb look like years later?

when people speak out against yarnbombing, what are their arguments?

Yes, eventually the colors fade and it becomes kind of a crusty grey mess, and someone replaces it or takes it down. The great thing about yarnbombing is that the cheaper the yarn, the better: $2 acrylic Red Heart crap yarn, being essentially made out of plastic, is going to hold up better outdoors than just about anything else you can use. It's also a fun way to use up odds and ends.

There are cranky people who don't like yarnbombing and for the most part, their argument is that it's "distracting", that it just isn't right, or that it's annoying because hippies. However, there are some complex, valid arguments against it, but mostly directed to the WAY most artists apply it rather than the art form itself.

Here are three of the most cogent arguments I've seen against yarn bombing:

http://blog.vandalog.com/2012/11/yarn-bombing-you-cant-sit-with-us/

http://ohwhatatragiccost.tumblr.com/post/26147440026/laceninja-asked-me-why-i-hate-yarn-bombing

http://ourcatastrophe.tumblr.com/post/26355953451/hello-there-i-saw-your-reply-on-yarn-bombing-and

« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 06:07:53 pm by What The Fox Say »
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 06:09:25 pm »
I would argue that there's a difference between "yarn tagging" and "yarn bombing".

Mostly, though, people seem angry at it for political reasons. It's a way for middle-class white people to feel subversive. It's cute and fun. I don't mind it at all, honestly.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


McGrupp

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 06:27:12 pm »
Here are three of the most cogent arguments I've seen against yarn bombing:

http://blog.vandalog.com/2012/11/yarn-bombing-you-cant-sit-with-us/

http://ohwhatatragiccost.tumblr.com/post/26147440026/laceninja-asked-me-why-i-hate-yarn-bombing

http://ourcatastrophe.tumblr.com/post/26355953451/hello-there-i-saw-your-reply-on-yarn-bombing-and


Those links are really interesting. It didn't even occur to me that people would have a reaction other than 'oh cool. neat!'

I get the frustration about how it is seen as more legitimate or 'safe' than other forms of street art but I really can't get behind the rich white art student gentrification angle. Not that middle class art students aren't probably behind a lot of it but I think its odd that the bloggers are projecting the need to feel 'subversive' on yarn bombers. Is it so hard to imagine that someone did it because they thought it would be fun and neat?

It seems ironic that one of those posts calls them hipsters for doing an art form they deem not 'cool or edgy' enough.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 06:54:08 pm »
Here are three of the most cogent arguments I've seen against yarn bombing:

http://blog.vandalog.com/2012/11/yarn-bombing-you-cant-sit-with-us/

http://ohwhatatragiccost.tumblr.com/post/26147440026/laceninja-asked-me-why-i-hate-yarn-bombing

http://ourcatastrophe.tumblr.com/post/26355953451/hello-there-i-saw-your-reply-on-yarn-bombing-and


Those links are really interesting. It didn't even occur to me that people would have a reaction other than 'oh cool. neat!'

I get the frustration about how it is seen as more legitimate or 'safe' than other forms of street art but I really can't get behind the rich white art student gentrification angle. Not that middle class art students aren't probably behind a lot of it but I think its odd that the bloggers are projecting the need to feel 'subversive' on yarn bombers. Is it so hard to imagine that someone did it because they thought it would be fun and neat?

It seems ironic that one of those posts calls them hipsters for doing an art form they deem not 'cool or edgy' enough.

Yep, totally.

However, in my experience the majority of yarn taggers ARE well-off white women who think of themselves as activists or subversives. Two of our local groups are called "Yarn Knot Bombs" and something something about yarn anarchy.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 06:54:39 pm »
It's silly, but you know? Fuck it. Silly is OK and they aren't hurting anybody.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 06:56:38 pm »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/05/us-yarn-bombers-idUSTRE71427O20110205

Quote
Anonymity remains a hallmark of the yarn-bomber. One known locally as Slip Yum Yum, who recently moved from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, would only contact Reuters via email through an anonymous third-party associate.

"We work hard to keep a low profile and only communicate digitally," said the go-between, who in turn would only self-identify as "Knit 1."

One reason for all the secrecy is to avoid any potential brush with the law. But so far the authorities in Portland hardly seem to be in the verge of a crackdown.

Kelli Sheffer, a Portland Police Bureau spokeswoman, said yarn bombing could be considered littering, but added: "If folks think putting a scarf on a statue is risky behavior, then we're glad they get a sense of doing something daring without being more destructive."
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cramulus

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 07:01:22 pm »
However, in my experience the majority of yarn taggers ARE well-off white women who think of themselves as activists or subversives. Two of our local groups are called "Yarn Knot Bombs" and something something about yarn anarchy.

yeah, I'm with you, I don't think the taggers race/class is relevant

public spaces are for the public

Kai

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Re: Yarn bombs. Craftivism is awesome.
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 07:02:40 pm »
However, in my experience the majority of yarn taggers ARE well-off white women who think of themselves as activists or subversives. Two of our local groups are called "Yarn Knot Bombs" and something something about yarn anarchy.

yeah, I'm with you, I don't think the taggers race/class is relevant

public spaces are for the public

I think the critics in the links Nigel posted have a good point: /which/ public?
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