Mikey’s Thoughts on Yarn Bombing
Yarn bombing is the art of covering an existing item with yarn in the form of knitting, crochet and other methods of yarn arts. The word bombing, to me, sounds pretty harsh but hey… I didn’t come up with that term. (Bike not yet finished in the photo to the right.)
I think in many ways, yarn bombing exhibits we see have saved the yarn industry from becoming low key. The younger generation are so overwhelmed with the lastest electronic gadgets that the yarn arts lacks that instant thrill and/or instant gratification of earning points or real time interaction. Yarn bombing brings forth the excitement of imagination and creativity that is within us. It makes us think…
- What would I do differently?
- How was that done and the methods to get it to be like that?
- It proves that yarn can be more than just a pretty hat or afghan… it can move to a level of creative art that is beyond practical use.
I am working on my fourth yarn bombing project with covering a child’s size bike with a complete exterior of yarn. As yarn artist, I see the beneficial aspects of yarn bombing for an inspirational level because there’s a purpose to my madness. I will admit, I’m on the fence whether yarn bombing is great or an environmental problem.
In this article, I am going to level with you about my thoughts on doing these projects. I won’t just be a negative nelly as I want to talk about both sides of the spectrum of this yarn art.
Negative Aspects of Yarn Bombing
- To some, this is a complete waste of yarn. They will argue that yarn would have been best served helping the less fortunate. It leads me to question whether the yarn would have been used to help the needy or just sat in someone’s yarn stash for years.
- Creativity doesn’t always need a reason. As a child, did you make paper airplanes? What a waste of paper when you think about it. You might have enjoyed that plane for maybe an hour. The same argument of using this paper for notes verses a paper plane could be debated. Certainly yarn is a bit more money than a piece of paper but the analogy is the same to me. It gives us joy for those brief moments in our lives.
- People love to yarn bomb trees and public, everyday, items. This is cute for photos and for a purpose. Yarn usually can’t handle the outdoor elements without major fading and etc if the item is left outside too long. I think it’s a fun expression of creativity but can be an environmental problem for those who put it up and don’t bother to remove it and the project ends up looking like torn, tattered and extremely weathered.
- Some people may think your idea is stupid or criticise your work. Society, generally, can be extremely cruel and not see the vision you have for the project. It may defeat your purpose if your idea isn’t executed well.
- Some people classify yarn bombing as a form of graffiti. I think some graffiti is really artistic and under appreciated. I think that is a personal preference but how you execute your project can make that determination on this.
- Afterwards, what happens to the yarn? I have seen some amazing yarn bombing ideas being used in museums. It’s amazing how far one yarn ball can cover and it may look like a lot of trash if the item is thrown out, but it may be far less than what we typically through out in our weekly trash.
Positive Aspects of Yarn Bombing
Yarn bombing forces me to use my skills and brain power to think how to cover something. There’s no manual on covering a bike. You have to examine the bike components and think backwards on what the cover would look like. Like my bike, all the shapes are different so I am not just making panels and forcing it into position. It’s being custom designed and fit together.
- My projects go on exhibit to inspire crocheters to see different stitches. For me, I am challenging myself heavily on the bike to ensure I can pull out as many different stitches as possible. I’m hoping to have between 30 – 40 types of stitches used so I can use the bike as a crochet sampler.
There is undeniable amount of satisfaction I feel when a component is completed for a project. It makes me smile and when my full project is completed, I love to see the reactions of others. I find when my projects are on exhibit that young and old alike smile with a childish like wonder about the creativity.
- My projects generally go to auction for 100% of the proceeds benefiting charity. The items are moved to a location where they go on exhibit somewhere else. The amount of money a yarn bombing exhibit can raise for charity is wonderful and helps more people than you can ever imagine.
- Would I ever yarn bomb something at home just for me? I have done a picture frame and made things to go inside a picture frame that is on display in my home. I wouldn’t yarn bomb something major but a few accenting pieces are neat.
- I think for me, I wouldn’t get involved in yarn bombing event if there is no charity or element to it that makes it purposeful. Creativity knows no limits and it’s only ourselves that stops us if we don’t explore creativity.