it’s da (yarn) bomb

My part of town got yarn-bombed earlier this year.

Guerrilla knitter Kevin Gauge (not his real name) has modified five stop signs around the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, adding knitted stems and a pair of leaves to the support posts.

I’m probably not divulging anything too sensitive when I repeat that Clairemont is occasionally referred to as “Squaremont,” and that this home-centric community seems to cluster around a couple of homes away from home, Home Depot and Home Town Buffet.

I’ll have to admit that I get a little touchy when someone calls my neighborhood “Clairemont”: Clairemont is over a block away, and most of it is on the other side of the canyon. It has a different telephone area code. It has a totally different postal ZIP code. No, no, no, I do not live in Clairemont!

So to battle this apparent blandness the yarnbomber has proposed doing this to a hundred stop signs. He’s set up a blog, Stop Sign Flower, with some photos of past projects and some background. And to finance the enterprise he’s using to “Turn stop signs in San Diego into flowers!”

If you explore his blog a bit you’ll read that the knitter (who also goes by “knitting guy”) was inspired by one of the pieces by street artist Kevin Mark Jenkins. Check out Jenkins’ web page [ here ] and scroll down, down, down (past the dead mannikin with the perky balloons attached to it floating in the river in Malmö) to the Washington D.C. stop sign that started it all.

I find it interesting that street art is pretty much a boy’s club, and now there’s a male knitter who appears to be combating some of the medium’s general associations with being women’s work by taking it on the road. But I’m overgeneralizing on this tendency. According to the font of often-accurate information, Wikipedia, yarn bombing was started by a woman, Houston’s Magda Sayeg, and International Yarnbombing Day, first held on June 11 of this year, was the brainchild of another woman, Joann Matvichuk.

God. Is knitting so girly that even most of its street artists are women?

Knitting Guy–more power to ya!

[ Thanks to “Kevin Gauge” for the photo above, which is used by here with his permission. ]

9 thoughts on “it’s da (yarn) bomb”

  1. Interesting use of signage for better wayfinding! Clairemont – spent a few days (a few too little) there at my uncle’s home about 1 year ago. Like all the Zonies I remember there each summer when I lived N of you, it was nice to escape heat for a few days, using that as our base…and they had a nice view of San Clemente Canyon, complete with the “din” of traffic on the 52 frwy!

    I wonder how long the knit signs will last?

    May require another roadtrip to see for myself…..

  2. Love the knitted road signs. And thank you for the link to Mark Jenkins’ site, some wonderful stuff there. For some reason some of it reminded me of Anthony Gormley’s work. I loved his ‘Event Horizon’ exhibit, which I am shocked to realise I saw back in 2007, which makes it 3 years since I last went to an art exhibition. Anyway, sorry, rambling, Gormley littered London around the Hayward Gallery with large figures, standing on rooftops, or in the streets. I loved the way it had everyone craning their necks looking in places they would never normally bother with just to see if they could spot another one.

  3. When we were driving through Canada a few years ago, there were men’s neckties tied around tree trunks along the way. Love those guerilla artists tweaking the figure/field relationship and bringing out the smiles in passers-by.

  4. I like it. Street sign whimsy. Berkeley had a guy who stenciled on a lot of the stop signs so that they said ‘Stop Driving.’ He later became one of the oak tree sitters. Not nearly as charming as these signs.

  5. LOVE these!!! What a great thing to do and he is doing it for free. The City should be Thanking him. LOVE them. Thanks so much!!

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