What exactly is yarn bombing?

Posted September 10, 2015 in Blog, General, Plant and Tree

Have you ever driven or walked through certain areas in your town and thought that the surroundings look kind of sad or ho-hum?  Depressing and so ordinary?  Well there is a fix for that!  This week’s material blog will focus on yarn bombing.  The trend of yarn bombing aims to solve the drab-like landscaping problem in the urban and semi-rural areas in a very creative and non-abrasive way.

Some of you may have heard of yarn bombing before, but chances are that most of you have not.  Wikipedia describes yarn bombing as “a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk.”  This form of street art can be seen randomly all over the world.  From trees lining the way to the Blarney Castle in Ireland, bike racks in New York City to fences and gates running alongside a country road, this type of guerrilla knitting movement is a sight to see!

Yarn bombing described as a guerrilla knitting graffiti movement is an apparent juxtaposition, don’t you think?  Most often when thinking about knitting, words like granny, yb knitsoft, indoors and feminine come to mind.  When thinking about graffiti, words like male, outdoors, edgy and undoubtedly tough come to mind.  This art form breaks down the barriers and transforms a domesticated activity to a gender-neutral respectable public art form.

The first time I saw a yarn bombed tree, the tree just looked so cozy wrapped up in its cute colorful sweater.  Maybe these “sweaters” served a purpose, I thought.  Maybe these covering are helping with our gypsy moth problem here in NEPA, maybe this is some kind of deer deterrent?  After some digging, I found out the true purpose of the trees covered in yarn bombing.  Pure decoration.

Bringing wonder and beauty into the everyday routine is ingenious.  Something as simple as covering the young trunk of a tree is a way to have people stop and think, or at least appreciate the time it took a stranger to try to brighten someone’s day.  For those who do not know anything about knitting or crocheting, it takes a lot of dedication and time.  Realizing that someone spent hours of their own time creating these wraps for larger than life trees in the spirit of aesthetics is amazing.  This is a great way to restore our faith that there are still people out there that care.

Just as some see the glass half full, others see that same glass half empty.  Some people don’t understand yarn bombing and find it to be a pointless effort and no better than any other form of vandalism.  In that regard, please understand that while a knitted sleeve can last beautifully on a tree for years, it can also be taken down within a few minutes and a couple clips of the scissors.  You can’t remove spray paint graffiti that easily!

Whether you think that yarn bombing is a spectacular idea or just don’t understand the movement, you have to admit that a little random beauty is one thing that we could use more of in the world.  Take time to observe and appreciate your surroundings in the day-to-day commotion that we all fall victim to.  If you feel like you are falling short with your own landscape inspiration, reach out to MasterPLAN Landscape Design.  We can transform your dream backyard into a reality!

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