Graffiti knitters to hit streets on Yarnbombing Day

Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:16pm EDT
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By Julie Mollins

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Their surreptitious strikes can happen at any time of the day or night.

They target the urban landscape -- fences, poles, bicycle racks, construction sites and other commonplace fixtures of city life -- but their weapon is wool and their goal is to enhance cities with their creations rather than destroy.

Over the past few years, a London faction have adorned various famous structures in the British capital with wool, including scarves for the lions of Trafalgar Square and a cover on a red telephone box in Parliament Square.

But they can strike anywhere and on Saturday, June 11th this global network of "graffiti knitters" will target objects in local areas that they want to enhance with their handiwork, as part of the first International Yarnbombing Day.

Originator Joann Matvichuk, 44, of Lethbridge in the Canadian province of Alberta, came up with the idea for a special day as she tossed and turned in her bed one night unable to sleep due to insomnia.

Matvichuk, who says her motivation for graffiti knitting is to make people smile, set up a Facebook fan page in the middle of that restless night, and the group now has more than 2,000 members from all over the world, including India, Germany, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Egypt, Iceland, Israel, Britain, Canada and the United States.

"I live in Canada where we always jokingly say we have winter 10 months out of the year," Matvichuk told Reuters.

She said making something that's beautiful and colorful and then putting it out for people to see is a great way to brighten up a gloomy day.   Continued...

<p>A yarnbombing example in an undated photo courtesy of originator Joann Matvichuk. REUTERS/Handout</p>