Yarnbombing: Creating Public Art with Yarn

Jessie Hemmons, Oakland Yarnbomber

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9 Lessons (1h 14m)
    • 1. Intro to Yarnbombing

      14:20
    • 2. Things to Consider when Selecting the Perfect Target

      22:01
    • 3. Collecting Measurements that contain several pieces

      8:02
    • 4. Collecting Bike Rack Measurements

      3:44
    • 5. Sewing the pieces together

      1:53
    • 6. Threading your needle and sewing the piece onto the object (bike rack)

      3:37
    • 7. Finishing the Yarnbomb

      1:43
    • 8. Using Facebook, Twitter, and Fiber Artist Resources

      12:21
    • 9. Using Instagram

      6:22

Project Description

Create a yarnbombing project.

Intro to Yarnbombing

  1. Get to know some past yarnbombing projects

    yb3-1.jpg

    phone-box-yarn-bomb.jpg?w=640

    5509837855_d85aaf178e.jpg

    Yarn-bombing-potholes-2-by-Juliana-Santa

    sue-sturdy-500x334.jpg

    yarn-bomb-bike-rack.jpg

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcShihIWo2WNUcVts2KQLSa

    Please check out the video called "Marketing Your Work" to help you find a yarnbombing crew if you'd like one!

  2. Define what yarnbombing will look like for you.

    Will you be knitting?

    Yarn-bombing-R2D2-in-in-Bellingham-Washi

    Crochet?

    yarn_bomb_Madga%2BSayeg.jpg

    Latch hook?

    4736417678_50baaca986_b.jpg

    Yarn Wrapping?

    7536741352_84b4770cc2_z.jpg

    Using Yarn as Thread?

    spidertag-street-art-28.jpg

  3. Knitting and Crochet Refresher Video Lessons

    Here are some great videos to check out in case you need to refresh your knitting and crochet skills

    KNITTING

    KnittingHelp.com is a FANTASTIC resource for video tutorials.  Please check out the videos here.

    Casting on and Binding off are SUPER important!! Here are videos for Casting on here.  Cast off here.

    Videos for the KNIT stitch are here.  If you are right handed, use the English Method.

    Video for the PURL stitch are here.  Again, if right handed, use the English Method.

    CROCHET

    A great video has been created by ammesbabies.com.  Check it out here.

Selecting Your Target

  1. Answer the following questions about your yarnbombing project.

    Although in this course we will be learning how to yarnbomb a bicycle rack, I have mentioned considerations for other objects.  In this lesson I want you to decide which object would be best for your next project and answer the following questions:

    • Why have I selected this object to yarnbomb?
    • Does this specific object mean anything to me, and why did I choose it?
    • Who is going to see this project?
    • Who do I want to see this project? Is this object in an area where those people will see it?
    • Is this project in a visible area?
    • Is this object in an area that I will be able to yarnbomb?
    • What time of day would be best for me to yarnbomb this object?
    • Will I need anyone to help me yarnbomb this object?
    • Will I be able to create pieces that will fit properly onto this object?
    • Will it be safe for me to yarnbomb this object?  i.e. high places, highly populated areas (will you get stopped by authority)

Collecting Accurate Measurements and Fabricating your Yarnbomb

  1. Draw a diagram for your object and collect accurate measurements

    Make sure to draw the diagram in a way that will help you to remember the measurements accurately. 

  2. Complete your project at home
    1. Create a swatch so you will know how many stitches you will need to make your object the correct length and height.
    2. You can knit/crochet your piece either lengthwise or widthwise, meaning: a) you can create a very long chain, the length of the object, and then crochet/knit rows until your piece measures the correct width, or b) you can cast on how ever many stitches wide the piece will be and then knit/crochet until you reach the desired length.
    3. You can either change color throughout, or make several different pieces that are different colors, a mixture of crochet and knitting, etc. and then sew them together until they measure the correct length and width.

    For our Bike Rack project, you will only need to complete this one piece before you are ready to yarnbomb!

    For those thinking big:

    1. For our project, we are completing ONE piece, which is a cover for a bike rack. However, I have included some information on how to complete a more ambitious project.  If you would like to start with a more advanced project, then you will need to fabricate however many pieces that will be needed to cover your object. 
    2. If you would like to sew some of the pieces together prior to the installation, remember that you will need to be able to wrap the pieces around the actual object at some point, meaning you will need to leave one seam open AND you need to make sure that the seam is open on the correct side and will be able to easily wrap around your object so that you can sew it on.

Yarnbombing!!!

  1. Yarnbomb your object!
    1. Pick the perfect time of day for your installation
    2. Bring your yarn (for thread), your tapestry needle (yarn needle), and scissors.
    3. YARNBOMB BAB-AY!!
    4. TAKE PHOTOS

Marketing your work

  1. Post your photos
    1. Post your photos onto whichever sites you find most helpful and engage your local community!
    2. Research the following hashtag and search terms:
    • yarnbomb
    • yarnbombing
    • knitting
    • crochet
    • latch hook
    • knit
    • yarn art
    • knit art
    • knit bomb
    • sweater bomb
    • guerrilla knitting
    • street art
    • (your city) street art
    • public art
    • artists
    • art
    • (your city) artists
  2. Check out the Additional Resources section for info on obtaining commissions.

    Check out the additional resources section and ask me any questions that you have!

Additional Resources

  • The Yarnbombing Book by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain


  • Here is a video that helps you with the basic Whip Stitch that you can use to connect your pieces together.

  • In response to Dawn's review of the course, I want to provide some information about obtaining commissions to complete yarnbombing projects.  For me, commissions have come from simply yarnbombing and marketing the work online via social media and my own webpage.  It's kind of like the opposite way of looking for a job.  Get lots of work out there and let them come to you! It's magical, but you do have to make connections with local outlets that are popular, like newspapers and street/art blogs, as well as hustle on your instagram, facebook (post in facebook groups as well, including knitting groups and local groups), twitter, tumblr, pinterest, etc. Also, make sure that you're contact information is very visible and easy to find.  Companies may not want to publicly ask you to complete a commission, but they will definitely send you a private email.

    Of course you can always apply to grants and other projects that are listed online.  This is a more indepth process, and sometimes organizations looking for work don't even realize yarnbombing exists and how it can be used, so you have to just apply to a grant even if it doesn't necessarily match the work that you do, and explain how utilizing yarnbombing could be beneficial to them.  For example, if the city of Albuquerque is looking for a proposal for someone to design an outdoor sculpture in front of their library, you could apply and say that they could use your work to highlight and celebrate the "unveiling" event or something like that.  Just never sell yourself short and think that your work doesn't "fit" with the request.  Apply anyway if you really want it!

    I believe that all cities have a percent for art program, which means they need to spend a certain amount of public money on artwork every year.  Take advantage of that and search for those programs in your area.

    CaFe, or CallForEntry.org is a great resource for finding art proposals. So check out that site!

    I will add more resources as I come across them!

Student Projects

Ally Kraus
1 comment
Erica Duca
9 comments
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Candice Amonini
2 comments
Kristin Wolfe
14 comments
Bird Watching
Kim O'Driscoll
2 comments