Yarnbombing: Art or Waste?

Yarnbombing: Art or Waste?

Spider-web Trellis Textile Travel

Crocheted spider-web serves a dual purpose: screening an unsightly staircase and trellising a rose bush.

It’s been called ‘artistic vandalism’ and a waste of good fiber, but controversial or not, the covering of trees, statues and other public artifacts with crocheted or knit yarn, known as Yarnbombing, is continuing to intrigue both artists and amateurs around the world.

Thought to have originated with Texas-based fiber artist Magda Seyeg, street name KnittaPlease, yarnbombing has become a fuzzy phenomenon on a global scale. Though Knitta has gone commercial, (dressing a Prius in a sweater), yarnbombing has found its ideal niche in the drab industrial landscapes of cities like Detroit, Glasgow and Liverpool.

Philosophical objections have been raised that yarnbombing is a waste of material that will knowingly be transformed into something damp, moldy and stretched out.  Should yarn that could make warm clothing be used to create amateurish street art?  Those who don’t appreciate traditional graffiti would say its use of spray paint is wasteful too, whereas those who consider it an art form say the spray materials are artists’ tools.  And should a painter’s oils be diverted to paint Habitat houses instead?

Read more:

Twilight Taggers – Yarnbombing how-to

Yarnbombing – the book

Joana Vasconcelos


Crocheted spider web by Kathleen Lyons

Irish Crochet Lace Artist Máire Treanor visits New England, Summer 2012

Touring in Ireland and France this spring on a ‘lace quest’, I met many talented lacemakers and historians, none more knowledgeable than Máire Treanor of Clones, County Monaghan.

Máire Treanor has been instrumental in preserving the traditional patterns of Irish Crochet Lace, particularly Clones Lace.  Steeped in the traditions of home-based industry, Clones was a center of Irish Crochet lace production from post-Famine times in the 1840’s, through its heyday in the Victorian period and beyond. Clones Lace has a distinctive caché and a versatility that has allowed it to endure and evolve into its vibrant, modern form of the present day.

Máire Treanor has not only collected samples of original Clones lace and traditional patterns, she teaches and demonstrates stitches and techniques of the craft that might otherwise be lost. Máire is a frequent contributor to to publications on lace and crochet, and is the author of the book, Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet, comprising a fascinating history of Clones Lace augmented by personal anecdotes and instructional material.

I’m delighted that Máire will be visiting New England on her 2012 teaching and book tour of the U.S. this summer. Events on her East Coast schedule include:

Saturday, July 28, 2012
WEBS, Northampton MA: Book signing and demonstration, 1:00 – 3:00 PM. Free.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
West Dennis Library, West Dennis MA: Book signing, Presentation, Reception, 12:30 – 1:30 – Free event but tickets are required: Get free tickets here.

Hands-on Workshop for Crocheters 2:00 – 5:00 PM. $70. Seating is limited.
Register here for the West Dennis Library Workshop.

Thursday, August 2, 2012
Sage Yarn, Falmouth MA: Workshop 1:00 – 4:00 PM. $65.
Register for this event.
Book signing & Reception, 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Free.

Contact us at Textile Travel with any questions, or if you need to book accommodation on the Cape for the above events.

Peaches & Creme – Bad & Good

By now most fiber afficionados have learned that Peaches & Creme cotton yarn is defunct – a North Carolina factory produced the last U.S.-made cotton yarn; they sold their equipment, inventory and trademarks to a Canadian firm in early 2011.

  • The bad: 81 workers lost their jobs as a result of the sale & move of the company. According to one insider, the company’s management failed to develop new markets for their product, and relied on the grace and favor of Wallyworld to buy their inventory each month.
  • The good: though the Canadian firm now owns the label (apparently the most valuable asset), much of the ‘old’ stock of Peaches & Creme was sold to discounter Dollar Tree, where, through the jungle telegraph of Ravelry and other fibermedia, a veritable frenzy of seeking and buying has been unleashed. Spacloths, washcloths and dishcloths dancing in their heads, fibernuts are descending upon unsuspecting Dollar Trees like a plague of locusts, cleaning out Peaches & Creme balls in a flash of creative stash-building.

    OK, I bought a few. Lovely ombre tones and some solids. But I’m not saying where in Dennisport MA, USA I found them. I just know I’m knocking out some rich spa cloths in travel size, for holiday gifts.