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YARN BOMBING: Interview with the Knitorious M.E.G.

Posted by: Tony – Jun 03, 2010

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Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, graffiti knitting or yarnstorming is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk. While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing is almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. via wikipedia

The Knitorious M.E.G. of the K1-D2 crew in Richmond, Virginia answers my pesky questions.

YarnBomb: How did you get into knit graffiti?

M.E.G.: My father passed away few months after we’d learned to knit and formed K1-D2 [Knit 1, Drink 2]. As a tribute, the other members secretly teamed up and knit a lovely prayer flag piece for my porch. Not too long after this, one of our members underwent a serious surgery and so we all chipped in to make a tree cozy for a little cherry tree in her new yard (inspired by Carol Hummel’s library tree). After that, there was no stopping us – quickly making yarnbombs for happier and more random occasions.

I often do solo pieces since I’ve never been one to play well with others. So being in K1-D2 is good medicine for me like that…and I have enjoyed our collaborative work a lot. This collection of ladies is definitely some of Richmond’s finest.

YarnBomb: Tell us about your crew.

M.E.G: In January 2009, my friend (and K1-D2 co-captain) Purl Scout got 2 friends to take a knitting class with her. I tried to sign up for the class but it was already full. So instead I asked a mutual friend – and the only knitter I’d ever known – (K1-D2 lynchpin) Slip Yum Yum to teach me how to knit. Yum Yum and I would get together and watch bad TV as she taught me the basics while picking up my dropped stitches. After their class was over a few weeks later, the trio started meeting with us to knit…and K1-D2 was born. Almost immediately, we were pushing knitting to our friends and soon brought in several new members and taught them to knit.

K1-D2 runs like a television show – starting in September and ending in June, 1 night a week. And each season we have cast changes – keeping it friends of current members. Season 1 we started with 5 members and had 13 by the end. We’re nearing the end of Season 2 now – went from 13 members to 19 and ending with 16. Season 3 we will be bringing in a little new blood.

Membership was halted when we hit 19 members, so we then started holding a monthly Newbie Nite. This is where members can bring a friend and teach them to knit – or to add to the repertoire of a newer knitter. It’s called The K1-D2 Underground and is held in the basement of our headquarters. We didn’t want to let our maximum capacity to keep friends from learning how to knit. There have been 2 Undergrounds so far – resulting in 8 new knitters around town, so we already consider it a success.

YarnBomb: Where do you create your tags? What sort of materials do you work with?

M.E.G: Usually I knit from home but sometimes in miscellaneous places, too – like when I travel. For example, I did a lot of ‘Purpole’ in the backseat of a Mini Cooper going to NYC.

My favorite thing to tag is something that once served a purpose but now doesn’t, like a signpost with no sign. I will often use purple in my tags and I always hand-sew to attach. I am not a fan of cable ties – that makes the pieces too easy to put up or to remove. You should have to work a little for that part, I think. Although, we do have an ambitious project planned for this winter that we will probably have to use cable ties for speediness.

-----------> The full Interview can be found posted on YarnBombing.com.

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