Much to my surprise, my first yarn bomb project is still up . . . technically. My beautiful yarn sleeve for this post started out snuggly wrapped around the post. Then gravity took hold and pulled the sleeve to the ground. Then it started slumping down the pole, aided partially by some rainstorms. Now it looks like the post is wearing a leg warmer instead of a sleek sweater. But it’s still there!
I’m surprised no one in the neighborhood has decided it’s an eyesore and cut it down. For me it’s become a question of how long will they leave it there. I see it every day when I walk my dog. The yarn is 100% acrylic so I don’t think it’s really at risk of growing mold or fungus. We’ll see how long it lasts.
I’ve learned a few valuable lessons from this experience.
- If you put a yarn bomb in an area that doesn’t get much foot traffic, it’s likely to stay up longer. It’s on a corner and not directly in front of anyone’s home so I think it’s less likely that someone will take offense to it being there.
- When you sew the seam of your yarn bomb, do it as tightly as you can. Consider using multiple shorter pieces of yarn instead of one long piece to do the seam. Yarn stretches over time and will loosen, causing your project to fall.
- If you’re yarn bombing a metal object, consider using magnets to help hold your project in place.
- If you want your yarn bomb to stand out, pick obnoxiously bright yarn. I thought this yarn was bright enough, but I think it had too many earth tones and blended in to the surroundings too much.
Yarn Bomb #2 In Production
I’m already working on my next yarn bomb. It will be in the Scottsdale Civic Center Park next to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on October 26th, the same day as Ignite Phoenix #13. This project will be a challenge because I’ve selected a tapered lamp post. I measured the diameter post as its base, the diameter as high as I could reach, and the distance between them. My plan is to create a rectangle based on the larger diameter and the height and to overlap my project to account for the tapering of the pole. The result will be a diagonal seam running down the post. I’m looking forward to seeing this final project.
I did my first yarn bomb this week!
For those of you who don’t know, yarn bombing is a type of public art where you knit or crochet a cover for an object. I think it’s so whimsical and charming.
My crochet skills are limited, so I only feel comfortable yarn bombing objects that can be broken down into a rectangle or a combination of rectangles. I decided to yarn bomb a street pole for my first project. I picked this because the pole is a uniform cylinder which is essentially a rectangle with the sides sewn together. I also picked this over a stop sign because stop signs in my neighborhood have reflective tape on the post and I didn’t want to be accused of interfering with a traffic sign or causing a safety hazard by covering it up.
I measured the pole one day while it was still dark out. I didn’t want arouse suspicion by measuring the diameter when others would see me. I selected a colorful variegated yarn. I wanted the final product to stand out and look cheerful. Then I crocheted a large rectangle to fit the dimensions of the pole.
My project was done months ago. I didn’t want to put it up to have it be immediately rained on during the Arizona monsoon season. I had a few failed attempts at putting it up. This was a simple project to hang. I just had to wrap the rectangle around the pole and sew up the seam. The first time I tried to do it, I didn’t think to consider the length of the yarn I was using to sew the seam and it got tangled with itself. The second time around, I made the length shorter, and it was still too long. It was also 3am when I tried to hang it, so that probably contributed to a lack of hand-eye coordination.
I finally got my project hung this week. I put it up at 7pm – after sunset but not quite dark. I live in a quiet neighborhood so few people saw me, and those who did, didn’t seem to care. I was really pleased with how it came out. The biggest lessons I’m taking away from it is selecting a length of yarn to sew the seam that’s twice as long as the project itself was a good length to work with, I could cover a few inches with every stitch sewed, and it’s important to pick a bright color of yarn so the completed project stands out from the surroundings. I thought I picked an obnoxious color of yarn, but next time I’m going for something even brighter.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This blog should not be viewed as legal advice. It is simply my experiences, opinions, and information I looked up on the internet.
Image by Twilight Taggers via Flickr
A few months ago, a friend sent me an article about yarn bombing. It involves knitting or crocheting covers for public statues and sign posts. It looks so whimsical and charming! It looks like the best way to do it is to measure the item you want to yarn bomb, determine how many pieces it will take to cover the item, make the items, then go back to it and stitch the pieces around it to give it a snug fit. At first, I thought this would be something that could only happen under the cover of night, but I was pleased to see pictures of yarn bombing happening during the day time.
I have been crocheting for over 10 years. When I heard about yard bombing, I immediately wanted to grab my tape measure and run downtown to start measuring things to yarn bomb. I think it would be so much fun to drive down the street and see the post for every sign covered with colorful yarn. My next thought, of course, was whether yarn bombing was legal.
Is It Trespassing?
It depends. If what you want to yarn bomb is on public property, like a sign post on a street corner or a statue in park, it’s not trespassing to walk up to it. If you want to yarn bomb a statue or monument, there might be a sign posted on or near it that says, “Do Not Touch” or “Do Not Climb.” If what you want to yarn bomb is on private property, such as a lawn jockey in front of someone’s house, it’s trespassing to go onto their property without an invitation. On the flip side, if the person who owns the private property likes what you did, it’s more likely to stay up longer than yarn bombing on public property.
Is It Vandalism?
I doubt it. When I think of vandalism, I think about graffiti spray painted on walls. To get rid of it, you have to power wash it and repaint the wall. Yarn bombing is less destructive and completely non-permanent. I would argue that it is not even defacing property but rather a type of unsolicited public art, like artists who draw with chalk on the sidewalk. Yarn bombing art can be removed in minutes with a pair of scissors. I’d say, at most, it’s more like littering than vandalism. Regardless of what you call it, I doubt the police would waste their time tracking down and citing a yarn bomber as long as they didn’t create any type of public hazard.