Yarn bombs are unofficial public art you can snuggle up to.
Yarn bombs are a form of global warming we can get behind.
Yarn bombers whip up knit creations large and small, then put them in unusual places -- a bikini on a statue, a crocheted bouquet on a utility pole, teapot cozies in a coffee shop. Many of these guerrilla knitters deposit their creations by cover of night, upping the element of surprise.
Tree trunks are a popular target. The giant striped sleeve pictured above is the painstaking handiwork of Minneapolis College of Art and Design student Lindsay Densch, part of a group called the Yarn Ninjas. On campus earlier this year, they yarn-bombed bike handlebars, stair and elevator railings, and a foosball table -- even hung colorful pompons from a skyway ceiling.
Other samples of Twin Cities yarn bombing can be spotted outside Borealis Yarns (1340 Thomas Av., St. Paul) on a tree, and at the Textile Center (3000 University Av. SE., Minneapolis), where education manager Becka Rahn will be helping kids attending camp this summer to create cuddly little bombs.
Yarn bombing might have originated five years ago with Texan Magda Sayeg, who sought a use for her leftover projects. Many Twin Cities bombers belong to young-adult groups of knitting fanatics, such as those who show up for Drunken Knit Night at the south Minneapolis bar Merlins Rest. We'd like to see some stealthy grannies get to work, making playground equipment softer and dumpsters more attractive.
The appeal of making yarn bombs is obvious: They're fun, furtive artistic expression -- and completely harmless. As the authors of a book on the subject put it, yarn bombing is "improving the urban landscape one stitch at a time." Getting mad about them would be like hating puppies.
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