Graffiti Knitting Goes Main Stream (Book Review)
First there was guerrilla gardening, a secret and radical intervention on the landscape, now Prince Charles' wife Camilla is doing it.
Then there was graffiti knitting: funny little bits of knitting appearing on fences, door knobs and windows. Now there is a book, Knit the City, a so-called "whodunnknit" set in London, complete with patterns. Knitting needles poised...
It all started with a secret guerrilla knitter, or yarnstormer, call Deadly Knitshade. She wrote a blog, and hit the streets of London , covering the secret, unknown and ignored spaces of London with little knitted creatures.
She was joined by her friends: the Purple Purler, Shorn-a the Dead, Knitting Ninja and Fasterner. The first yarnstorm, or knitblast took place in 2008 and on it spread--telephone boxes, barriers, church yards...
This delightful little book outlines the charming story of the world's first and only yarnstorming collective. It follows their adventures, with lots of colour photos, through wonderful scenes of London being made a little brighter and a little woollier by their work.
And what a trip it is. First they left little sheep, with a card "I just purled to say I love you" in random locations: on signs, fences, bicycles, telephone poles.
Then they got serious: a 13 foot web in a subway station, a church where the song Oranges and Lemons originated, a twenty mile night hike with ten sheep and 8 targets. As they say: one very good cause, two potentially very sore feet.
The Plunder of Pirates took place along the canals of Regents Park. The book also contains bio's of the knitters and, should you be tempted to try your luck, patterns for the finger-fighting stitched squid and the sweet little sheep.
So why do they do it?
"We are unashamed to admit that we yarnstorm most simply because unleashing our squishy art on the world makes us and others happy. Change and making the world a better place can be done with a grin instead of a grimace, a whisper instead of a bellow. What we do can alter the way people look at their world. How it alters it is up to them. That's really our point."