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.