Yarn bombing: Street art knit in happiness

Full Frame

Buttmunches yarnbombThis yarnbomb, entitled Buttmunches, is one of many by crochet and designer sister pair Lorna and Jill Watt. (Photo/Lorna Watt)

In the world of street art, a new type of “graffiti” has hit the scene: yarn bombing. Knitters, crocheters, and graffiti artists alike have taken to the streets to participate in an non-permanent yet unique form of self-expression through yarn.

Yarn bombing: A history

Yarn bombing has a short but distinct history, with roots both in the U.S. and the UK. The yarn bombing craze in the U.S. has been attributed to Magda Sayeg of Texas. The “graffiti knitting” began with her website Knitta Please, where she offered frustrated knitters a creative option for what to do with their leftover knitting projects. The movement has also been attributed to Lauren O’Farrel, creator of the Stitch London craft community and the craft collective, Knit the City.

Knits for Life: Tranforming cities through surprise knitting

California-based company Knits for Life is run by yarn bomber extraordinaire, Lorna Watt. Lorna and her sister, Jill, perform frequent “yarn storms” in Northern California. Sometimes together and other times apart, the sisters have taken up the art of “guerilla knitting” and gained a loyal following. They have become so popular, in fact, that they have even received commissions by their local Downtown San Mateo Association.

Full Frame took a close-up look at the sisters’ low-tech approach to weaving happiness into their surroundings.

Close Up: The Low-Tech Approach to Weaving Happiness into our Surroundings

While the tech boom continues to grow in Silicon Valley, Lorna and Jill Watt are enhancing the beauty of their hometown without the help of any electronic gadgets. Armed with colorful balls of knitting yarn, the two creative sisters are using the streets of San Francisco as their canvas to create whimsical street art. It’s called “yarn bombing” and you can’t help but smile when you see the finished creations.

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The sisters have been known to give their followers “sneak peaks” of their upcoming yarn bombs. Sometimes, they even tease their followers with an upbeat and well-executed yarn dance.


Lorna’s sister, Jill, has her own company that also performs yarn bombing. For more of Jill’s crafted and illustrated work, look into The Dapper Toad.