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

Are you ready? Are you pumped?

International Yarnbombing day is only a few days away now and I know a lot of Yarnbombers are preparing!

If you’d like to talk with others about their Yarn Bombing preparations or post your pictures on IYBD (international Yarnboming day) you can go to the Facebook group and like it then post away!

Sarah Gonzalez is also looking for footage to put in the Yarn Bombing documentary so, if you have a video camera and you’re taking part in IYBD think about taking it with you for extra Yarnbombing fun.

Also make sure you keep posted to and watch twitter and your other favorite Yarnbombing blogs during the coming days after IYBD there’s definitely going to be a lot going on.

Also, make sure you check out the blog after IYBD, we’ll have some of our own tags to flaunt and hopefully some reactions from people who pass by!!!

Good luck and have an Awesome Internatonal Yarnbombing Day!!!!

Yarnbombing and You

The drive behind this blog, Modern Knitting, is to monitor what’s going on in the yarn bombing community. So, for this week—and for however long you’d like—we’re asking you to submit links to your blogs or links to pictures that you’ve taken of your yarn bombing. Plus, we’ll put you in our blogroll to help everyone find artists in their area. People want to connect with like minds, and Modern Knitting would like to help bring artists closer together.

If you don’t have a link to share—and even if you do—we’d love for you to post what yarn bombing means to you. Let’s keep up the energy and keep spreading the joy.

Yarn bombing to me means:

*Turning something plain into something eye catching and fantastic
*Sharing your love and hard work with others
*A smile on a stranger’s face
*Surprise and delight

What does yarn bombing mean to you?

Whether yarn bombers like it or not, yarn graffiti is gaining a lot of attention. Usually, just local papers ran stories about bundled up trees and colorful poles, but now even the New York Times is taking notice.

On May 18, The New York Times published a piece in their fashion and style section giving their readers a taste of yarn bombing and what’s going on across the globe.

It inclues interview snippets from a few well-known yarn bombers like Magda Sayeg, and notes the different kinds of yarn bombers—you know, all those potholes being filled—and KTC, who calls it yarn storming.

There’s been TV coverage, too. This CNN video (5/9/2011) covers yarn bombing in Austria and shows that it is either a big enough story or an interesting enough puff piece to use on a broadcast.

This segment ran a few years ago (11/20/2009) and shows the beginnings of interest in yarn bombing.

As bigger newspapers cover yarn bombing tales instead of just local newspapers, and as footage is taken for the yarn graffiti documentary, yarn bombing will gain more visibility in the mainstream media.

If a local paper or news station has done a story about you or someone in your town, please post the link and share the excitement with me and others!

Thanks and happy yarn bombing!!

Top 3 TV to knit to

A few posts ago, I talked about how to fit yarn bombing into your everyday activities. I mentioned that while watching television is a great time to knit or crochet.

Well, some shows are easier to work to than others, and I’m ready to share them with you.

1. Cooking Shows
You don’t have to watch every second to know what’s happening. If you have to look at your work for a bit you can, while still listening to what’s going on.

What to watch
Chopped. Four chefs compete to win $10,000. Each episode is one story, so there’s nothing to catch up on and not much to remember. Also there are three rounds: appetizer, main course and dessert. If you miss one segment you still have the others. This show is pretty entertaining not just because of the cooking but also because they use weird ingredients in the mandatory baskets.

2. Reruns
Reruns of your favorite shows are fantastic to watch while working on your next yarnbomb. You already know what’s going to happen, and if you’re like me, you could quote it line by line. If you’re working on something more difficult you can give your attention to it and still have the background sound of your favorite show to trigger your memory to what is going on visually.

What to watch
Your favorite show!!! Some good ones are The Simpsons, Friends, The Office, and really whatever you connect with.

3. Your Guilty Pleasure Show
This is the show you watch that you realize probably isn’t the best, but you just have to know what happens. During this show you can make up for your lost time by doing something productive! If you use your guilty pleasure TV time as your working time, you will feel better about watching it.

What to watch
If you don’t have a guilty pleasure show then … maybe you’re lucky. Just make sure you really do enjoy the show and you’re not just watching it to feel upset afterwards.

NOTE: You can watch a lot of shows on and on the network sites. If you watch them this way, you can pause, rewind or fast-forward—or if you have a DVR you can just use that. This way, if anything happens with your project, you can just pause.

I’d love to hear what your favorite shows are to work to, and may even add them to my knitting TV time, so feel free to comment.

Happy Yarnbombing!

Sarah Gonzalez

As promised I was able to interview with Sarah Gonzalez, the woman who has taken on the challenge of creating a Yarn Bombing Documentary. She was extremely nice and our interview was very conversational and charged with a sense of excitement speaking about Yarn bombing, which we both are passionate about.

While Sarah is only twenty six, she has already graduated from UT for film and has three jobs working within her field, two of them for non-profits and you can tell talking to her that she is passionate about her work and about this work in progress.

It is amazing when someone can really work with passion and Sarah has managed to merge her love for graffiti, knitting and film into this one artistic venture. What started as a plan to create a short documentary quickly transformed into an ambitious, long term, worldwide trip to document what is actually happening in this new art form.

Sarah was able to get in touch with Magda Sayeg, the innovator of Yarn Bombing, and now often spends time with her. You can tell that Sarah has support from many Yarn Bombers from Magda’s involvement, the involvement of other Yarnbombers and all the tweets and retweets about the documentary. You can literally see the amount of support building everyday just searching for tweets on yarnbombing, I’ll bet at least one for every five are about the documentary.

Unfortunately when taking on a task this big there is funding to worry about. This is why Sarah created a website where people can donate as little or as much as they like to help support this artistic endeavor.

Every little bit helps and Sarah is wowed that so many people are willing to participate. For you big spenders out there looking to help the arts, a donation of $500 dollars not only helps the film a lot but you’ll also earn the coveted homemade dinner with the director and producer with some postdinner knitting. What more could you even want!!! It’s these kinds of personal touches to the fundraiser that makes me even more convinced that Sarah is the right person to spread the word on this community based art. We put this art out to share the love, and Sarah wants to help to share the love with anyone willing to watch her film.

Once the documentary is finished Sarah hopes that it will help show people who have never heard of Yarnbombing, or who have heard but don’t understand why people become Yarnbombers and why this art brings so much happiness to people. She hopes that it will bring joy to young and old and encourage people to actively participate and get excited about Yarnbombing.

I hope reading this makes you as excited about the documentary as I am. Really having someone who is a yarnbomber, who loves what she does and loves spreading this joy creating a documentary about an art form that brings joy is perfect. We’re all passionate about something and Sarah Gonzalez gets to express her interests in a once in a lifetime film. I wish her luck and encourage you to show your support as well!!

Happy Knitting!!!

A yarn graffiti documentary by Sarah Gonzalez is in the works. This is an amazing opportunity to document yarn bombing artists from around the world and to let people know this really is a movement.

The quote from Magda Sayeg that has been seen in so many tweets—and is documented within the documentary’s pitch video—is “We don’t knit for hate.”

The message is powerful and stands for what yarn bombing is meant to do. To me yarn bombing spreads joy to others with a bright surprise on an otherwise dull pole or bench. The message is different for everyone, but regardless: “We don’t knit for hate.”

Sarah is asking for support and donations so that this documentary can go from vision to a reality. Making a documentary of what is happening now would not only open our eyes as yarn bombers, but also open our eyes to the artistic possibilities that exist in everyday activities.

Already I’m seeing more tweets, more pictures, and more blogs about knit graffiti, so let’s keep it up and support each other. If you can’t donate any money to the cause, you can help support by following and retweeting @Gonzography, which is Sarah’s twitter handle.

Keep updated on this documentary; it may be the next step in yarn bombing becoming mainstream.

I’m also working on interviewing Sarah for an upcoming post, so keep checking in for more details. I’ll be excited to share it with you!!!

I haven’t posted in a while, and I kind of hope you missed me. As a college student, I have many interests, without time to pursue all of them. Sometimes the things we love have to take a back seat to our real work, in my case homework.

In the yarn bombing community, I commonly hear things like “I love Yarn Bombing but I can’t find the time…” or “I would but I’m too busy” or “I can’t fit it in my schedule.”

So I have some tips and strategies to help you find time to knit and spread the joy of yarn bombing.

1)   While watching TV

We all have those times where we come home and want to just plop down in front of the TV and do nothing. Well Yarnbombers, if you’re not already, pick up your needles and make use of this time.  You can be productive and relax a bit after a long day.

While new knitters may find it hard to concentrate on both their knitting and the TV screen, practice pays off. Keep working on it and in no time your hands will be working away while you’re enjoying your favorite programs.

2)   While waiting in line

Pull out your work while in line for coffee, groceries, or at the bank. It’s a great time to get some quick work done. It may seem like you’re not making much progress, but every bit counts.

Also, you may find that it becomes a conversation starter. You could make some new friends, find fellow Yarnbombers, or recruit some new talent.

3)   During class

You have to be careful with this one. If you should be taking notes, you probably shouldn’t be knitting. If you can actively participate in class while also working on your latest masterpiece, then go for it. This is an hour or so that can be used to your advantage. Yes, you need to be learning, but if you’re skilled enough to let your hands work while you’re answering questions or contributing conversation, then it’s a good time.

First, though, always make sure your professor knows that you respect them, and ask them if it’s alright before you start. Many professors are understanding, and if you demonstrate that you are being respectful, they will respect you for it.

4)   During your commute

If you’re not driving, this is the perfect time to get some work done. If you ride the bus or have a car pool, you shouldn’t be staring out the window.  Get out your knitting, and you might be surprised at how much is accomplished.

5)   Outside

When it gets warmer, I love to be outside, sometimes just lying out in the sun. Take your knitting with you. Get some sun, have some fun, and be productive. A lot of people like to sit on their porch, have a beer, and talk with friends —and you can be knitting too!

Some of these tips may be really obvious, but sometimes when we budget our time, we’re so overwhelmed with what we have to do that we forget to fit in what we like or want to do.

Please leave a comment with your favorite places to knit, or stories on how you manage to fit it all in!

Happy Knitting!!

Streetcolor was in a bookstore one day when she found Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, after reading through the whole book she decided to join the Yarn Bombing movement. Streetcolor started small and then ended up blogging not too long after she started Yarn Bombing. She was shocked at how easy it was to start and keep up a blog about her work and because she is a professional artist she decided that she’d turn Yarn Bombing into an art form.  She is based in Berkeley, CA and has received a lot of attention from the media there. After covering the streets of Berkeley she decided to branch out and has been traveling farther and farther from her home and community to spread the joy that comes with seeing these knit pieces.

Streetcolor mentioned to me a sense of danger and excitement that comes with Yarn Bombing that she felt when she began Yarn Bombing and now feels when she branches out of her usual spots. This adrenaline rush can be a common for yarn bombers and while a lot of law enforcement does not give yarn bombers trouble many do not know how to react to and this could result in a ticket or many more questions.  Her rules keep her from doing anything too crazy. She doesn’t want her pieces to create controversy so she never covers statues, and tries to pick spots where she won’t have to take her art down.

Streetcolor is hoping to receive more commissioned work, which Magda Sayeg does frequently and which seems to be the next step for many Yarn Bombers. Getting paid for your work seems to mean that you’re rising in the art world and this may reflect on Yarn Bombing’s role in the art world. Streetcolor says that there is a part of having work commissioned that takes the fun out of it, having to create what you are asked to, dealing with permits, and figuring out how much to charge, it makes things more stressful. But with the new commissions she makes sure she still does work for fun and her work has been paying off. Not too long ago she was included in an NPR special on knitting and continues to have stories published about her work.

Streetcolor’s view on the timelessness or timeliness of Yarn Bombing is that it is still in its beginning phase and that more people are going to start getting involved. “Right now there are a lot of internet fads that come and go,” Streetcolor said, “but graffiti and knitting have been around for thousands of years.” She also believes that the DIY movement will also help encourage more people to pick up knitting needles and get involved. This outlook on the future of Yarn Bombing seems promising and all of the Yarn Bombers that I interviewed seemed to agree that Yarn bombing is still growing much faster than it’s being forgotten.


I also interviewed Leanne Prain, co-author of the book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti published in 2009.  Leanne started as most Yarn Bombers do as a knitter. She had gotten sick and a friend brought her a kids knitting book. From there she created a Stitch and Bitch where she and her friends could get together and drink and knit. From these skills and the discovery of Knit Graffiti on the Internet she became increasingly interested in knit graffiti. The book started out as a student project but ended up being noticed by Arsenal Pulp Press. Partnered with her co- author Mandy Moore the Yarn Bombing book was created.

Leanne went into Yarn Bombing as a curious person, not an expert and came out with a wonderful book and plenty of knowledge. She does Yarn Bomb and has noticed a lot of what other Yarn Bombers have. One trend she’s noticed is that People are doing more and more community projects, where people come together and knit or crochet. This trend seems natural considering that the public areas belong to the public, by getting together and creating something for their community it really does pull the neighborhood together. The other trend is that people have started to push the envelope to see what they can make of Yarn Bombing. The Bull that was Yarn Bombed on Wall Street is one example. These people who are taking on bigger projects are spreading the word about Yarn Bombing and Leanne says she expects to be surprised by what is to come.

One of the other Yarn Bombers that I interviewed wanted me to ask Leanne Prain how she feels about how people interpret and use the Yarn Bombing book and if the message had been diluted. Leanne responded to this question saying that she’s completely happy with the way it has been interpreted, that everyone has a different interpretation and that is the point of Yarn Bombing and art. She says that older people like the absurdity of Yarn Bombing, while the younger generations could become interested because of traditional graffiti and use it as a “jumping off point”. She says that “Every time I think I’ve seen it all someone surprises me, people are artistic and expressive and I appreciate the initiative.” This ability to interpret Yarn Bombing as a craft and the art pieces themselves is shared amongst many Yarn Bombers, they want people to interpret their work in their own way so that there is meaning, in the end this art form is there to make people happy.

Leanne also mentioned that there is a sort of gender issue within the Yarn Bombing community. There are not many males who actually Yarn Bomb. Men tend to be really defensive when asked about knitting and it is seen as a more feminine art form. However, this cultural stigma does not have to stay around and as more closet male knitters reveal their work it will become more acceptable for males to participate.  Leanne spoke about her seven-year-old nephew wanting to learn to yarn bomb. In fact she says that people of all ages have asked her about it and seem interested. The future of Yarn Bombing really depends on these people to pick up knitting needles and start creating art. In her mind the future of Yarn Bombing is a mystery and she is excited to see it unfold. For many future Yarn Bombers it will all start out by stumbling upon Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti.






I Interviewed Knitorious M.E.G. from K1-D2 in Richmond, VA, which started out and remains a group who comes together to knit and drink. I’ve recently learned, from an interview on that their group runs like a television show, meeting once a week from September to June. At their peak they had nineteen members and plan to keep that their peak. Knitorious M.E.G. is the groups main Yarn Bomber and installs a piece every month herself.  The group also did four projects last year, which Knitorious M.E.G. noted are easier to pull off because they “look like a group of girls out on the town.”

One aspect of Yarn Bombing is that it is considered graffiti by a lot of people including Knitorious M.E.G. and many police officers. This means that Yarn Bombers must be careful when tagging and realize that the art may be unwanted and illegal. Knitorious M.E.G.  told me that while Richmond is very hard on graffiti, Yarn Bombing is removable and  since no permanent damage is done the officers are ok with it. She still keeps her head down and works quickly to put a tag up, just in case.

Knitorious M.E.G agrees with Magda when it comes to who Yarn Bombing appeals to and said “I feel it speaks to all ages, I think young or old are kind of surprised to see knitting, especially in a graffiti/public context.” This continuity in what Yarn Bombers are observing shows that Yarn Bombing is an art that appeals to many ages in many places.  She also agrees that that Yarn Bombing is still going to become more popular along with knitting in general. She believes that it takes time and dedication and that deters people from actually going out and doing it. However, when people find or make the time for it they might find they really enjoy it.

This interview was another good indication that Yarn Bombing will still rise in popularity. Knitorious M.E.G. and Magda Sayeg have been able to work in groups and as solo artists, documenting their works. Yarn Bombing is a form of street art that does display the artwork but also helps to unite a community and bring color to people’s days. This sense of community helps to drive Yarn Bombers to create more work and continue making tags. Knitorious M.E.G. said that she stays motivated by “Just thinking about the smiles that it will bring when it’s completed.” This idea that Yarn Bombing is not just for the artist or to color an industrialized world, but actually to bring happiness to communities seems like a pretty good cause to join instead of forget about.