Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.
Method and motivation 
While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal in some jurisdictions, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously.
While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.
Yarn bombing examples have been recorded as early as May 2004 in Den Helder, Netherlands. One year later in the U.S., Texas knitters used their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide with custom pieces being created by artists.
The start of this movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg, 37, from Houston, who says she first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom-made cozy. Though artist Shanon Schollian was knitting stump cozies in 2002 for clear cuts in Oregon. The Knit Knot Tree by the Jafagirls in Yellow Springs, Ohio gained international attention in 2008.
The movement moved on from simple 'cozies' with the innovation of the 'stitched story'. The concept has been attributed to Lauren O'Farrell (who creates her street art under the graffiti knitting name Deadly Knitshade), from London, UK, who founded the city's first graffiti knitting collective Knit the City. The 'stitched story concept' uses handmade amigurumi creatures, characters and items to tell a narrative or show a theme. This was first recorded with the Knit the City collective's "Web of Woe" installation in August 2009.
Yarn bombing's popularity has spread throughout the world. In Oklahoma City the Collected Thread store yarn bombed the Plaza District of the city on September 9, 2011 to celebrate their three-year anniversary as a functioning shop. and in Australia a group called the Twilight Taggers refer to themselves as 'fibre artists'. Joann Matvichuk of Lethbridge, Alberta founded International Yarnbombing Day, which was first observed on June 11, 2011.
In Europe Knit the City: Maschenhaft Seltsames by Deadly Knitshade was published in February 2011 by Hoffmann und Campe in Germany. It was originally written in English, and was published by Summersdale in the UK in September 2011 as Knit the City: A Whodunnknit Set in London.
Yarn Bombing Los Angeles released a self-published catalog of an exhibit held at 18th Street Arts Complex, Santa Monica, CA in June 2011 titled Yarn Bombing 18th Street by Arzu Arda Kosar.
Stars and Stripes yarn bomb deployed in Sylvania, Ohio May 2012
Yarn bombing in Anderson Park, Redmond, Washington, July 2012
See also 
- Wollan, Maria (18 May 2011). "Graffiti's Cozy, Feminine Side". The New York Times.
- Anonymous (2009-01-21). "Knitters turn to graffiti artists with 'yarnbombing'" (in English, U.K.). London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- Smee, Sebastian (2009-12-25). "Dave Cole takes knitting to new heights - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- The Wild and Woolly World of Yarn Bombing, Street Art's Soft Sensation ARTINFO.COM
- "nw drizzle monthly arts, music & culture e-zine". Nwdrizzle.com. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
- "London's graffiti knitters". Telegraph. 2012-05. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
- "London's Graffiti Knitters". Telegraph Travel. The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Costa, Maddy (11 October 2010). "The Graffiti Knitting Epidemic". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Sillito, John (June 13, 2009). "Knitting but not as we know it". BBC.
- "Collected Thread".
- "Twilight Taggers".
- Mollins, Julie (2011-06-10). "Graffiti knitters to hit streets on Yarnbombing Day". Reuters. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- Prain, Leanne (2009). Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti. Arsenal Pulp Press. ISBN 1-55152-255-1.
- Knitshade, Deadly (2011). Knit the City: Maschenhaft Seltsames. Germany: Hoffman und Campe. ISBN 978-3-455-38105-4.
- Knitshade, Deadly (2011). Knit the City: A Whodunnknit Set in London. London: Summersdale. ISBN 978-1-84953-179-5.
- "Foto's van Rosa Sosa". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
- Kosar, Arzu (2012). Yarn Bombing 18th Street. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-47002-190-0.
- Moore, Mandy and Leanne Prain (2009) Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti. Vancouver, Canada: Arsenal Pulp Press.
- Knitshade, Deadly (2011) Knit the city: A Whodunnknit Set in London. UK: Summersdale.
- Lewis, Perri, Guide to Night: Mark Thomas joins the guerrilla knitters. The Guardian, 1 November 2009.
- Press Association US town baffled by Midnight Knitter. Irish Independent, 11 March 2010.
- "Knitting but not as we know it", BBC News, Saturday 13 June 2009
- Costa, Maddy, The graffiti knitting epidemic. The Guardian, 11 October 2010.
- Waterhouse, Jo (2010) Indie Craft. UK: Laurence King.
- 'Grandma Graffiti': German Knitting Guerillas Go Global, May 2011
- Knit Knot Tree Do trees get cold? Ohio knitters make one big sweater USA Today AP 11 March 2008
- foxtoledo.com Making-Toledo-a-little-more-cozy--Yarn-Bombing-phenomenon-exploding-in-Toledo
- Milly, Jena. "Yarn Bombing isn't Knit and Run Anymore". Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
- Streetspun Yarnbombing Warm and Fuzzy - Yarn bombers leave colorful mark on city ToledoBlade Online 22 APR, 2012
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