Random acts of knitting: West Seattle gets ‘yarn-bombed’

March 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 27 Comments

Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

It’s the (yarn) bomb!

The Admiral District’s been “yarn-bombed” — by a talented knitter willing to brave the rain that fell while she was creating this:

Knitting decorative pieces to attach to public installations such as bike racks, telephone poles and bus stop signs is known as “yarn bombing” or “knit bombing.” It started as a way to use up extra yarn and, according to urbandictionary.com: “Yarn bombing is almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places.”

The bike-rack “yarn bomb” is the work of a West Seattle knitter known as Jaesee, who just started writing about her “Yarn Core” activities at yarncore.wordpress.com. Asked about her inspiration to start “bombing,” she replies:

“The idea was initially inspired when I was visiting Los Angeles in October and saw a bike like this. I’ve been knitting for around 2 years and have a real knack for it, but after a while knitting hats and scarves starts to get old. I’ve always considered myself mildly artistic, but I never really found my medium until I started knitting.

“So I wanted to figure out how I could make knitting more like an art project. Yarn-bombing … really appealed to me because it seemed so free-form and a little scary and exciting. I like the “danger” element of it, like you’re kind of doing something bad, but since it isn’t paint it isn’t permanent there isn’t a real threat of consequences.

I live and grew up in West Seattle and I love that it has blossomed into a very tight community, and this yarn art seemed like something that would be embraced by the community. I’m starting out small, but I’d love to eventually grow into an army of knitters, crocheters and crafters that love West Seattle and want to help make it unique and beautiful.”

Admiral District residents Meredith Hailey and her son Grayson (top photo) learned about the bike-rack “bomb” and decided to go on a hunt for it:

“There are a lot of artists in our community, and a whole lot of knitters. I’m so charmed by artists who reach out to the community and to our individual sense of play through whimsical presentations like this one,” said Meredith.

When the owner of the Admiral Shoe Repair shop noticed the bike rack, he exclaimed, “Beautiful!”

Jaesee lets on that there’s a May Day project in the works. Updates will be posted on the Yarncore website.

27 Comments

  1. Very pretty I like the flowers!

    Comment by spring — 5:45 pm March 25, 2011 #

  2. This is just as good as the mystery Peep artist during Easter. I love the creative quirkiness of West Seattle and its residents.

    Comment by Laura — 5:47 pm March 25, 2011 #

  3. More please!

    Comment by AJL — 5:59 pm March 25, 2011 #

  4. Very cool! There was “mild” bombing up on Capitol Hill a few years ago but nothing this pretty!! Thanks Jaesee!!

    Comment by RJB — 6:00 pm March 25, 2011 #

  5. Jaesee is the yarn BOMB! I love this form of creativity! It’s so positive! Keep it coming!

    Comment by Ashley — 6:05 pm March 25, 2011 #

  6. I love it! Thanks for brightening up an otherwise boring bus stop :)

    Comment by crystal — 6:19 pm March 25, 2011 #

  7. Thank you for this colorful, creative, happy whimsy!

    Comment by blueemerald — 6:28 pm March 25, 2011 #

  8. I live and grew up in West Seattle and I love that it has blossomed into a very tight community…..

    .

    As in tight knit? :lol:

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 6:52 pm March 25, 2011 #

  9. Whimsical F”ckery! Must be spring!

    Comment by Irukandji — 6:58 pm March 25, 2011 #

  10. Haha, Mike, I was thinking the same thing after I re-read my quote! Shoulda said tight KNIT community, pun intended.

    Thanks for the love everyone, I’m excited to do more!

    Comment by YarnCore — 7:24 pm March 25, 2011 #

  11. Jaesee, come visit West Seattle Needlers group on Ravely (if you’re not already a stealth member)! We meet twice/week and would love to meet you and hear/see your amazing ideas. I agree with the rest, more please!

    Mike, : )

    Comment by Jill — 8:25 pm March 25, 2011 #

  12. The bombing has been going on in WS for several years now by various local knitters and fiber artists and crafters. I especially enjoyed the Admiral lookout telescope cozies, and the knitted Alki Beach armrail cozies – so fun to stumble across them!

    Comment by RG — 8:57 pm March 25, 2011 #

  13. This kind of stuff really makes me smile… how can it “knot”? :)

    Comment by sun*e — 11:21 pm March 25, 2011 #

  14. Sure this stuff can bring a smile, but so does some graffiti.
    How is this different from artistic graffiti and is it also illegal?
    -
    Let’s change just one word, “(Graffiti) bombing is almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places.” The statement holds just as true, and as wrong.
    -
    Who will remove it when it becomes just another weathered eyesore and litter?
    Neither should be on public property without appropriate permits.
    Please enjoy all of your Yarncore activities on your own property where you can knit to hart’s desire, knit your bikes, your strollers, your fences, your cars, your homes, your bushes, great.
    Just don’t justify your “art” in public spaces as this opens the door to all.
    -
    What is WSB’s responsibilty? This is not a legal activity. Would WSB promote a gang of “graffiti artists?”
    -
    At least the city knows, thanks to WSB, who to contact to remove this public display of “artful” arrogance.

    Comment by Nulu — 11:17 am March 26, 2011 #

  15. nothing better to do today, eh, than dump your angst here in a WSB comment?
    sounding like *nothin* but a grumpy old man.

    Comment by ohgeeshgetoverit — 5:43 pm March 26, 2011 #

  16. Somebody’s always got to complain about something, on the internet.

    Comment by austin — 6:22 pm March 26, 2011 #

  17. Ohgeeshgetoverit, I would be delighted for you to put in some thought before dumping your angst. Your response makes you appear to be inadequate to defend such illegal grafitti/litter.
    -
    Austin’s “always got to complain about something, on the internet,” is doing exactly that. Irony is a big word.
    -
    At least I keep to the rules of WSB.
    I criticize the action, not the person.
    I am happy to respond to the points I make.
    How about you?

    Comment by Nulu — 8:03 pm March 26, 2011 #

  18. Nulu…chill. I’m sure the person putting the art up will take it down.

    I’ve noticed (yes, we’re not supposed to get personal on here), but I have noticed that there isn’t a whole lot of anything that makes you happy, is there?

    A question for you…how do you feel about West Seattle Art Attack’s random acts of art when they put glass floats in unsuspecting people’s yards? The recipients are happy…would you know that, too?

    and as far as patting yourself on the back re:following the rules..how much more personal can you get than :”Ohgeeshgetoverit, I would be delighted for you to put in some thought before dumping your angst. Your response makes you appear to be inadequate to defend such illegal grafitti/litter.”?

    Comment by JanS — 9:08 pm March 26, 2011 #

  19. Amazing! Thank you so much for doing this.

    Nulu: Just to get you in perspective, top graffitti/street artists can see their works sell for hundreds of thousands of bucks as they get nominated for an Oscar. On a similar note, I would love to see gangs take up knitting.

    You have been overruled by the Gods of Cool. Stand down or we’ll knit you into a cozie. :)

    Comment by Yardvark — 9:53 pm March 26, 2011 #

  20. JSee – Great job!
    If I knew how to knit there’s a certain stop sign pole in front of the office that would be bombed.

    Comment by Erik — 11:36 pm March 26, 2011 #

  21. @Nulu – Obviously, yarn bomb and graffiti are two totally different things. Graffiti is basically vandalism, often offensive and most definitely permanent until you have to take the time and money to paint over it – whereas yarn bomb is clearly none of these things! Your devil’s advocacy is not appreciated. I can’t help but think you are just being a crap stirrer!

    Comment by sun*e — 12:19 am March 27, 2011 #

  22. How’s this for artful arrogance… a haiku for Nulu.

    Some people like fun
    You don’t and that makes me sad
    I feel bad for you

    But, haikus aren’t just for spoilsports… one for yarncore.

    Keep up the yarnbombs
    It puts a smile on my face
    Do yo thang, booboo.

    Comment by Cait — 12:35 am March 27, 2011 #

  23. Nulu…

    chill.. it’s yarn..
    cleaning the mess it will become all too quickly will talk a lot less effort than installing it.

    why rain on this knitter’s parade?

    Comment by JoB — 8:09 am March 27, 2011 #

  24. Thanks for this great story, we went and checked it out and blogged about it today.

    Comment by Tom — 5:36 pm March 27, 2011 #

  25. Oh, and by the way, once it starts to wilt and get nasty, I do plan on taking it down. I’m not a litterer. So, no harm no foul folks! I figured at least one person would see it this way, because even the most safe spaces on the internet have angry trolls who will piss and moan about just about any thing, even something meant as fun art for all to enjoy.

    Comment by YarnCore — 5:45 pm March 27, 2011 #

  26. Wow very cool!!!! Plus it protects my bikes paint when I lock up to a bike rack!!!! So thank you twice.

    Comment by guy — 2:17 pm March 31, 2011 #

  27. LOL That’s awesome! Though I saw a very confused biker wondering if he could lock his bike to it yesterday. :)

    Comment by Ashlee — 2:52 pm March 31, 2011 #

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