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Book Recommendation: Yarn Bombing

April 18, 2011

Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain [2009] has a medley of topics inside.  There are explorations of how the phenomenon started, especially with the group Knitta, and many interviews with yarn bombers around the globe.  Works run from activist pieces to fiber tags to works with artistic intentions.

There are patterns and ideas from practicing knit and crochet graffiti artists, pointers on how to get started and a few cautions about getting busted by authority figures.  The general advice offered is to stay calm tell them it is for an art project.  The idea of “art” is not generally allied with “vandalism” the way “graffiti” is.  Also, the fact that it is fiber gives the work a stereotype of being feminine and therefore trivial – a trope some yarn bombers are using intentionally.  The works are easily removable and many yarn bombers interviewed said people like their work and are often prone to taking it home to keep for themselves rather than call the police.

           The women who protested this tank as a monument are my heroes!

There are tons of photographs in this book, some patterns from artists and techniques of how to gauge the size of a knit or crochet piece to fit your intended target.  This book skips the ponderous “how to” section that many fiber arts books have.  This book is for people who already know how to knit or crochet and are looking to play in the greater landscape of their lives, who want to get some yarn out, go forth, and make the world a more surprising, more colorful place.

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