How Yarn Bombing is Inspiring Me to Try Something New

The more I look into yarn bombing, a form of graffiti that uses knit and crocheted pieces to change an urban landscape, the more I realize that the part that really intrigues me is none of the things graffiti is about. I’m not worried about getting my artwork into the public eye, making political or social statements, or even shaking up the world with the incongruity of seeing a metal bike rack covered with granny squares.

I’ve been visiting websites, looking for more images, and even reading a book (Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain) trying to figure out what it is about this form of needlework that fascinates me.

Right from the start, I was in awe of all the trees in tailored cozies. Whether they were lacy white crocheted squares or fat colored stripes, these tree covers had me marveling at the artist’s ingenuity and skill.

Tree Cozy by Carol Hummel
Tree Cozy by Carol Hummel

While I find the pole-warmers people put on street signs amusing, I’m most drawn to the projects that are huge and complicated, like pajamas for mammoths and tank covers. One of my favorites is Theresa Honeywell’s encased motorcycle, Everything Nice.

Looking at what I love, I realize where my true interest lies. I find form-fitted needlework covering irregularly shaped objects fascinating. I want to know how the pieces are made and am itching to try them myself.

My experiment covering a toy horse with striped knitting was a great start, but I’m dying to do more. I made a trip to the local thrift store and bought several items to experiment with. I found a twisted glass bottle and two porcelain pieces, a piggy bank and a cow creamer.

The bottle will be a challenge in shaping; if I can get a cozy to fit it, I will consider it a win no matter how it looks. I will encase the pig in a pink body suit covered with flowers, in honor of a painted pig made out of a bleach bottle that used to live on my grandmother’s fridge. My ideas for the cow are fuzzy, but I’m thinking ruffles and stripes.

I’ve been looking for a while for something new to try, something exciting and challenging, something that could easily become an obsession, and I think I’ve found it. Of course, I have plenty of other things that could distract me — the socks I’m currently knitting and trying my new spinning wheel — but I have a feeling custom knit jobs for inanimate objects is going to be my new thing.

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