I started noticing these cozies around street signs and lampposts in my Baltimore neighborhood last summer.  The crocheted granny square above is my favorite one I’ve seen: its play of bright and mossy colors feels particularly warming and delightful.  And the generations-old granny square pattern (still the one I use most when I make blankets) seems at once deeply evocative and playful.

These fiber pieces carry a range of connotations, though. The one below feels to me distinctly different: grittier and rougher and more challenging.  I don’t know the artist or his/her intentions, but to me this piece is asking us to do a different kind of thinking about the city and its interwoven poverty.

I’ve been reading a bit about yarn bombing, which has an interesting history and trajectory as a street art, a medium for a range of artistic and political expressions.  London’s Knit the City‘s stitched story concept is an especially nuanced collectively-organized graffiti knitting project.

I’m struck by the way this emerging form grants a certain public access to a demographic that traditionally did not have a home in public and street art.  Fiber arts such as knitting and crocheting have so often existed in a domestic sphere.  Their realization as a street form — and a subversive one at that — opens these artists and their work to a potent range of creative possibility.

I really value the way fiber street art interrupts the streetscape, rendering it newly tactile and human, politicized and personal.


5 thoughts on “Cozy

  1. I love how you are looking deeper into something that I’ve noticed kind of offhandedly. I’m a knitter, and I thought the street art was a novelty, but I can see what you mean about making the street landscape more personal, tactile, human. Thanks for sharing, love your photos, especially the closeup at the end.

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