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.
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.
Thanks Lorien! And how great that you’re a knitter — I crochet and find it to be such a relaxing outlet. Someday I’d like to learn to knit, too.
I can help you with that when you’re back in town. I like teaching people how to knit. I’ve taught adults and children. ❤ 🙂
I would love to take you up on that!