Saturday, May 26, 2012


Last June, I proudly placed my first yarn bombs under cover of darkness on the eve of the First International Yarn Bombing Day. Next morning, I walked out my front door to see a neighbor staring intently at the crocheted light-pole cozy that had appeared in his parking strip. That yarn bomb, along with a similar one across the street, is still in place, as are several of the small crocheted flowers I hung in neighbors' yards.

Indeed yarn bombing has turned into a year-long preoccupation. I have placed small motifs (stars, hearts, flowers, etc.) in various places along my pathway: chain link fences, hospital beds, car antennae, mail boxes, cacti, trees and shrubs, etc. The edges of my light-pole cozies are ideal for testing new motifs. Virtual yarn bombs have adorned my Facebook page as I post photos of notable examples, such as the steps of Helsinki Cathedral covered with afghans -- not technically a yarn bomb but a display of donated items to be distributed by Finland's Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters.

Yarn bombing has also been a component of my household organizing effort. Reducing the size of a massive yarn stash will bring order to my designated crafting space while weeding out colors I would not personally wear, use for decor, or inflict on friends and relatives.

And that's not all! A yarn bomb in the form of a large rug-yarn granny square, elaborately fringed, will soon appear in our front garden to replace the stylized 'welcome spring' yard flag that has flown there a bit too long. Visions of a filet crochet jack o' lantern and a giant fluffy snowflake portend an endless sequence of seasonal yard flags to come.

With the Second International Yarn Bombing Day coming up in just under two weeks, I look forward to making a more complex and public installation: crocheted covers for the three arm rests on each of two local bus benches. The public transportation milieu seems uniquely appropriate for yarn bombing, as I have spent many hours knitting and crocheting on buses, trains, and planes. Ironically, arm rests on bus benches are not provided to give comfort or rest. Their purpose is to keep people from lying down. Who likes to recline across a 2" diameter piece of steel pipe?

It will take a long time to sew or crochet six heavy 30" strips onto the bus benches, and of course I'll have to sit on wire mesh while doing it. How long will I want to sit out there at night? Will it be too dark to see what I'm doing? I'm tempted to start my installation in advance. Two strips per night (one en each side of the street) seem like a reasonable quota and will test the venue.

Ars longa vita brevis, eh?
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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License