Modern Knitting….a new spin on an old craft!

Posts tagged ‘University of Cincinnati’

Second Installment

So, my boyfriend says that when I decide that I like something I don’t like it I love it. It’s true. I love Yarn Bombing. My second installment in my experiment was put up today. So far I have only received positive reactions but, we’ll see if they’re still up tomorrow. I intend to continue tagging my campus until I receive a real reaction, maybe that will never happen. I think I’ll be doing surveys soon to see how aware students are of Yarn Bombing now and after I start bombing more often. I hope that my work will have a warm welcome and that people will enjoy the color I’m putting on campus. If I get in trouble I’ll know to stop. In the mean time I think that this Yarn Bombing is catching on, some people are starting to get interested.

 

My First Tag

All This talk of Yarn Bombing had me wanting to try it out myself, I’ve been knitting a lot recently but never actually got around to Yarn Bombing. I was talking to my little brother on the phone about this blog and he kept asking “Have you done anything, what have you tagged?” It made me feel silly, I’ve been writing about all of this, knitting in my spare time and have not actually experienced what I’ve been writing about.

Tonight I decided was the night I’d do my first tag. Someplace where not a lot of people go and where I wouldn’t have to immediately have to explain myself. I took what I had knitted already and walked to the back of the building and knitted it up. The whole time I was going through what I’d say if anyone caught me…. “Oh, yeah this is a social experiment I’m doing for my research and resources class. You don’t like it? You want me to take it down? Ok, but can I interview you about this, this is exactly the reaction I need for my paper?” So while thinking of the worst and how I’d manage to keep out of trouble I finished my work without any interruption. My first tag, done! I even put a paper calling card on it directing people to modernknitting.wordpress.com. I feel more like a Yarn Bomber already. I got the rush, I made a place more beautiful where it’s dark and dreary and I didn’t get in trouble. I’m just glad I don’t have to explain myself to anyone.

My First Tag

After this my intention is to put more Yarn creations up around campus and see how people react. I may even do a survey, I’m not sure yet. But, after putting up my first tag I got a taste of why people do this and I like it. I haven’t even seen anyone’s reaction yet. Once again I think this is something that is just in its beginning stages and will probably go through a lot more before it becomes a fad of the past…. but I’ll keep researching to see what I can find.

My First Tag

Interview with Streetcolor

Interview with Streetcolor

I interviewed Streetcolor, Yarn Bomber from Berkeley, CA. I noticed  immediately that she was engaging and I was thankful that she picked up on my nonverbal cues that I was rushing back to my office as fast as I could to grab pen, paper and settle in for an interview.  Once I was settled I began my line of questioning in what I felt was a relaxed interviewing session.

Streetcolor has always been an artist and it’s no surprise that after seeing “Yarn Bombing” at the bookstore she was immediately drawn to the idea of spreading knit art around her community. Three days into Yarn Bombing she started up a blog, which Streetcolor says “was surprisingly easy.” Since that first post in June of 2010 she has been picking up steam and what once started as a curiosity and hobby became  an everyday art project.

Streetcolor's Yarn Bombing in front of San Jose Museum of Art

Starting out, Streetcolor decided that her rule was that she would not put her work up where it would be taken down or create controversy, this was to avoid problems with the authorities, allow her art to last in public places, and to avoid having to painstakingly take them down.  With this rule in place she started making pieces to hang up around Berkeley and soon found out that instead of just starting a project it was much simpler to plan out her patterns and colors, especially since she hand spins her yarn.  Sometimes the planning is influenced by the places she’d like to put her Yarn Bombing, other times she creates works based off of fashion, textiles, glasswork, or sculptures. She also expressed a tendency towards ruffles to add more dimension to her work.

Now, doing Yarn bombing full time, she’ll have many pieces ready to go that she totes with her ready to sew up when she finds the right place. You’ll know her work by the woven labels directing you to her blog. These labels, which where once paper and would be taken or ruined, give this artist a calling card and many people keep calling. Now, in the streets people will call out “Streetcolor!” and it’s gotten to the point that when someone actually knows Streetcolor’s secret identity and calls her by it she’s surprised. While many people have expressed an interest in joining Streetcolor or collaborating, she prefers to work as a single artist. She however has let on an assistant, The Russian, who is mentioned in many of her blog posts.

A piece with Streetcolor's label

While you can find plenty of Streetcolor’s work around Berkeley, CA, she’s been branching out farther and farther from her beloved cafes and bakeries in her area. Moving out to tag art museums and reclaim the some of the feeling of danger and adventure that she felt first starting off in Berkeley.  She doesn’t worry about the museums or people, they usually like her pieces, but the security guards don’t always know how to react and the confusion could cause a ticket or the removal of a valued art piece. The branching out isn’t the only thing new for Streetcolor she also has been receiving requests for commissioned pieces which will help her make a name for herself as a Yarn Bombing artist outside Berkeley.

We spoke about Yarn Bombing as a whole she feels that this is only the beginning. There is an attraction for both the younger and older generations, the younger ones think that its “funny and cool and like graffiti” the older ones are “delighted to see it done” and relate to it.  This closing of the generation gap is caused by the merging of two very old arts, graffiti and knitting, these art forms which have been around and adapted to society through time to finally be merged.  Not only is this appropriate for all ages but it is also egged on by the DIY movement and furthered by books like “Yarn Bombing” and the countless blogs people create.  Streetcolor states that, “things are now being democratized anyone can write, make a movie and make art. Now anyone can knit and put it out there.”

Streetcolor's tagged bike rack

From this interview I felt a great love of art and really learned from listening about her experiences. If there are more Yarn Bombers with as much spark and drive as Streetcolor, which I’m sure there are, Yarn Bombing won’t die down anytime soon. It seems to be an art in it’s infancy and it will be extremely exciting to see where the excitement takes this art in the future.

Updates

Just to keep you informed I have two of my interviews on Thursday this week, I’m very much looking forward to them. The first will be with Streetcolor at ten her time… which took me a whole day to realize was a totally different time in the eastern time zone where I am, thankfully it will be at one my time and I’ll be out of class ready to ask questions and learn as much as I can about Yarn Bombing. Then, a couple hours later, at three my time and twelve hers, I will be interviewing Leanne Prain who is the co-author of Yarn Bombing. I have also emailed Magda Sayeg‘s assistant, Karen McClellan and K1D2 questions. I know I’ve already talked about these interviews but now you can be super excited on Thursday evening, and really all through the week, to find out what I find out.

While Yarn Bombing has become an exciting and extremely interesting topic in my life I still need to find out, for my research paper, if Yarn Bombing is on the rise or soon to be forgotten among other fads and hobbies. It’s hard to think that something that yells for attention and can brighten up a person’s day will fall to the archives of local newspapers instead of becoming something revolutionary for the street art world. Will knitting be put back in its rocker or continue taking this skill to the streets? We will see!!!

Yarn Bombing on Wall Street

Exciting News

Well, I’ve been a busy bee and have been researching and reading like crazy about Yarn Bombing or knit-fitti or Guerrilla knitting or whatever you’re fond of calling it. The point is I have four interviews lined up for this week! this means more information, more insight and more inspiration! We’ll find out information from Knitta Please, the woman credited for starting this art form, Streetcolor, a yarn bomber from Berkeley CA, KTC (Knit The City), a group of Yarn bombers based in the UK , and Leanne Prain, co-author of Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti which was published in 2009. I am extremely excited to find out how these people feel about Yarn Bombing, what is going on with it and its future.

That was your update. BE EXCITED!!

A tree, Yarn Bombed, in a place near my home town

Also be aware that I may be conducting my own Yarn Bombing experiment soon to see what response I get in my neighborhood.

Yarn Bombing

A really cool piece done to a statue

So, when I first started this project for Research and Resources I wanted to do the blog and thus my interviews, and literature review on modern knitting. What I didn’t realize then was that there are SO SO many modern things going on with knitting. The first one that really interested me and the one I’ll be sticking to for the remainder of my research will be Yarn Bombing, also known as guerrilla knitting, yarn graffiti, yarn storming and graffiti knitting. This new form of graffiti really is interesting and brings so many opportunities to liven up boring street signs, bike racks, statues and really anything.

I’m extremely excited to be interviewing some of these Yarn Bombing enthusiasts soon! Streetcolor has a really interesting blog that documents her tags, gives insight to why people yarn bomb, has links to articles about her and her work and has comments showing people’s reactions. I’ll also be interviewing a member of the Knitta Please team about their Yarn Bombing work and about Magda Sayeg, the leader and founder of the group, who has played a huge role in the Yarn Bombing movement.

What started for me as a small infatuation with knitting has turned into an extremely information rich adventure. We’ll be finding out where Yarn Bombing is going, if its growing or becoming a passing fad. We’ll find out what drives people to do this, what draws people in, how to go about starting, and how much like graffiti it really is (how illegal it is too). Hopefully this research project turns into something much bigger and really tells people what they want to know about Yarn Bombing.

If Yarn Bombing seems interesting to you I’d encourage you to pick up some knitting needles go to youtube or other sites like Lion Brand Yarn to learn how to knit. You could become a part of the Yarn Bombing street art and help it grow or at least get into it before its gone.

A bicycle rack done by Streetcolor

 

Modern Knitting???

Yes, this blog is about knitting. But NO, it is not the knitting your grandma does in her rocker. This is a blog devoted to exploring what the world has to offer in knitting advancements. All over the world technology is advancing and becoming more entertaining and so are our old crafts. This first post will hopefully give you a taste of what’s to come in this blog. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to pick up some needles and start creating.
Now, I’m sure you’ve seen graffiti out and about during your travels, under a bridge, through a tunnel, on an old building, or just on some random object. While some consider this vandalism a lot of people consider it art. Knitting has gone from a hobby making baby bonnets and cuddly blankets to an all out guerilla attack on all things cold and dingy. Knitting has become an art form that helps to express the color and joy within our cold industrial world.

People are going around knitting, not for babies, not for grandchildren and not even for a nice winter scarf. They are going out and knitting for our inanimate objects. To some this is vandalism, but unlike graffiti with spray paint all you have to to is cut the yarn and the object is free from its colorful covering.

During this blog I’ll be writing more about this interesting use of knitting needles, but if the excitement of modern art doesn’t get you antsy and jumping out to your nearest Michaels there is much more to come. In fact I have even found a website that reveals 100 modern knitting inspirations. To check it out yourself go to http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/knitting-yarn . Really, this blog is here to explore where knitting is headed or if it’s going no where fast. Keep checking back for more modern uses, interviews, surveys and more. If knitting is going to have a come back as something greater than your granny’s hobby this blog will find out the directions its going.

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