They’re showing up everywhere, like some kind of psychedelically colorful mushroom that grows sock-like over surfaces like trees and scaffolding and even bike racks. Somewhere, somehow, these normal everyday objects have suddenly become ensconced in an odd wooly growth in amazing patterns.
The skill varies widely from incredibly new to fantastically intricate, the thickness of the yarn from pencil-lead thin to thick as the pencil itself. International Yarn Bombing Day is when fiber-freaks from around the world go on a knitting rampage to embrace the world in warm fuzzy comfort. Grab your needles and go forth noble kneedler, and stitch!
Learn about International Yarn Bombing Day
To understand International Yarn Bombing Day, we first need to take a look at what yarn bombing is. It is sometimes referred to as guerrilla knitting or yarnstorming. No matter what you call it, it is simply the practice of knitted works of art being added to public places. For example, a yarn bomber may design some sort of colorful knitted pattern and wrap it around a bus stop. The aim of this practice was to try and take knitting from something that was viewed as merely for creating clothes and hats to something that could add meaning and color to urban locations.
It’s not like standard graffiti where the point is to mark your territory. It’s also definitely not an act of vandalizing. It is about creating a sense of belonging and conveying meaning, as well as drawing attention to something that is ignored by most people. International Yarn Bombing Day, therefore, is simply a celebration of this tradition, raising awareness of the art of crochet and knitting while having a lot of fun in the process.
History of International Yarn Bombing Day
Ironically International Yarn Bombing Day started as a simple gimmick at a sewing boutique, as part of their style and personality they knitted a sleeve for their door handle, and from there it spread like the mycorrhizal life form we mentioned above (That’s mushroom folks, most fungi… listen this isn’t a botany class, trust us, it’s shroom-like).
From there it started spreading to cover telephone poles, put colorful socks on statues, and bike racks, even trees have received a warm and lovely sleeve to see them through the cold winter months. The first-ever International Yarn Bombing Day actually took place on the 11th of June 2011, and it has been going strong ever since!
It’s all done in the spirit of beautification and fun, bringing a fantastically colorful display to urban areas around the world. It’s not even seen as graffiti by most people in the area, but rather an entirely acceptable and attractive form of urban art. And it’s little surprise, with all the amazing patterns that can come out of a knitter’s craft, and the warm and comfortable nature of the fabric. Of course, they don’t use wool because some people are allergic, but it’s still a fantastic time!
How to celebrate International Yarn Bombing Day
Get out there and bomb some yarn, that’s how! Take out your crochet needle, your knitting needles, whatever you have and get out there and make the world a more beautiful and comfy place with the work of your craft. If you’ve never knitted before, this is the perfect time to start, there are classes all over, and even if there’s not, you can find an organized International Yarn Bombing Day activity to get involved in.
Believe us, there’s nothing that these fanatical yarn nuts like to do more than introduce more people to the hobby that dominates their lives. If you have a cat, well, even your worst attempts will provide hours of entertainment for them! Do it for the yarn, do it for the cozy bike benches, do it for your cat! Go out and Yarn Bomb!
Another fun way to celebrate International Yarn Bombing Day is to do a bit of digging online to see some of the interesting yarn bombs that have taken place over the years. You will see some incredible pieces of knitted artwork, as well as learning about some truly great stories and tales along the way.
In fact, one of the most famous yarn bombers was a 104-year-old great-grandmother. Grace Brett could possibly be the world’s oldest street artist. She went all out with her yarn bombing in 2016; adding her designs to 46 landmarks across the Scottish county of Borders.
Of course, she could not do it all herself, and so she enlisted the help of some Souther Stormers, with the secretive group going around Selkirk and placing her designs all around the area. I would certainly recommend taking a look at some of the photos. It is pretty incredible. If you thought the traditional red British telephone boxes were stylish already, wait until you see the funky makeover that Grace gave them!
You can find yourself getting lost in all of the different yarn bombing stories for hours, and it will probably give you some inspiration regarding the different designs and creations that you can make in order to celebrate this day.
Why not make it a group project and get all of your loved ones involved? You can create some pretty impressive designs together, and then do what grace did and bless your local area with lots of fun and color. All you need is a few snacks, some good friends, and plenty of wool, and you’re in for a fun day ahead!