When I first picked up a copy of Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (Arsenal Pulp Press), I thought it was going to be a pretty coffee table book filled with colorful images of clever street artists of the yarn persuasion. Being a fan of the subtle but calculated subversiveness of yarn bombing, I would’ve been happy with that. The pleasant surprise is that this new book by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain offers much more.
When I pick up a new book, I always like to open it to a random page just to get that out-of-context glimpse for starters. I was greeted by a section titled “What if you get caught?” I’m not sure how well “Explain to the officer that you are an artist and that you are creating public work” would serve you, but the “tactics of military snipers” sidebar on the next page offers some great tips on staying unseen. The point is that Yarn Bombing really strives to give a full window into this growing movement. Not only do the authors introduce you to various global yarn bombing crews with interviews and images, but you get how-tos on getting started yarning it up yourself. Equipment, planning, measuring things you want to bomb, and staying stealth are all covered.
Once you get all that down, Yarn Bombing teaches you basic tags and patterns, helps you contemplate the size of your crew, and gets you going writing your yarn bombing manifesto. There’s also an entire chapter devoted to knitting and crochet patterns like the Treesweater, Hanging Shoes, and Knitted Poster Frame, to name just a few. There are even a number of patterns for making yourself tagging essentials like Nninja Threads to keep yourself incognito and the Tagging Toolkit Cuff to hold all your gear and be ready on the fly. No stone is left unturned (or without a cozy) in this comprehensive book, including the inevitable “But is it art?” discussion.
Seen below are examples of yarn bombing from the book: the knitted Pink M.24 Chaffee by Marianne Jorgensen and a piece by the Stickkontakt crew from Sweden.
Pick up Yarn Bombing for more knit and crochet graffiti juiciness and check out their blog and Flickr set for inspirational eye candy (a Flickr image search reveals tons more of his movement). World yarn domination, yo!