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Olympic Yarnbombing!
August 13, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

A Yarn of Olympic Proportions "Residents of Saltburn, in North Yorkshire, are scratching their heads today after a mysterious 'yarnbomber' wrapped the town's pier with a 50-yard scarf stretching out along the railings. The impressive garment features woollen athletes competing in various Olympic events, from synchronised swimmers to rowers and cyclists, and has delighted young and old alike as the town discusses the good yarn."

For those new to the concept of Yarn Bombing:

What is Yarn bombing?

How to Yarn Bomb

The Fine Art of Yarn Bombing

Previously on Metaflter:

Kitsch stitch

Silly String
posted by zizzle (40 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Proposal: Henceforth, all bombs should be made of yarn.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:30 AM on August 13, 2012 [29 favorites]


Anyone seen Tom Baker?
posted by maudlin at 11:30 AM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Knitters are fierce.
posted by idest at 11:30 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That, right there, is a dorktastic labor of love. Good work, crazy knitter(s)!
posted by rmd1023 at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Olek had a good hit on DC's statue of Einstein a few weeks back.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012


If I didn't know any better, I would have said this was the work of the Ravelry crew getting one last dig at the IOC.
posted by Leezie at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


Wow, that is epic! The detailed athletes are wonderful.

This is the only Olympics story I find even slightly interesting.
posted by LarryC at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've never heard of yarn bombing before, but this is pretty cool. Seems like the best kind of grafitti.
posted by misha at 11:33 AM on August 13, 2012


A nice ending to the whole Olympic Committee-insulted-knitters-then-apologized-but-the-knitters-were-still-pissed-off story.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 11:37 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've never heard of yarn bombing before, but this is pretty cool.


It's not just the yarn stunt that's pretty cool, misha. So's the weather in North Yorks - apparently. The pix show kids wearing gloves, hats & very thick coats - in mid August!

posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:37 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is amazing. I'm hoping the creation of it was born out of something not too dissimilar from this: http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/100714.html
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:38 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, I was up at that pier back in April and spent a good half hour checking out all the knitted Olympians!

I live in North Yorkshire and I haven't seen the proper sun in over a year (I had to travel 5000 miles), God help me.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Proposal: Henceforth, all bombs should be made of yarn.

It's effing freezing. Can someone piss off the US so the USYF will bomb us?
posted by eriko at 11:49 AM on August 13, 2012


I am against public hacks that bring joy to people but damage property, and all for public hacks that bring joy to people and can be completely reversed. It appears this is the latter.

Applause. Plus, never piss off a knitter, they have lots of stabby things.
posted by eriko at 11:51 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cute story, but the front page link needs a Daily Mail warning.
posted by howfar at 11:52 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what happens to yarn bombs? Does the bomber come back and claim them?

This particular one is really cool and I'm sure it will be kept, but many of these things just seem... wasteful?
posted by desjardins at 11:55 AM on August 13, 2012


Oh man, I haven't been paying much attention to Ravelry lately because I haven't been doing a lot of crochet, so I'd missed the IOC vs Ravelry dust-up. Do *not* fuck with knitters and crocheters et al. They have huge reserves of obsessive focus that will wither you with hate and then they will fuck you up.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:56 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's not just the yarn stunt that's pretty cool, misha. So's the weather in North Yorks - apparently. The pix show kids wearing gloves, hats & very thick coats - in mid August!

Um... the dateline on that article is March 8.
posted by hippybear at 11:57 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


desjardins, sometimes the bombers return and claim their work. Sometimes a random member of the public will swipe it. Sometimes they are left, either through inattention or as a gift to the public at large.

Most yarn bombing is done with cheap yarn, maybe $5-10 at most for a very large work (like a cozy for a pylon or bridge stanchion). Most of the "cost" lies in the time it takes to knit or crochet the thing. Once it's done, there's really nothing to be gained by keeping it, although many people like to have it as a keepsake.

I did a thing once (I'm famous on the internet...) that proved fairly popular. I replaced it about every 6 months with a new one, because I found that leaving it outside in the elements it got quite grody and sad after a while.

That's why I personally suggest yarn bombers remove their items eventually: the grody factor.
posted by ErikaB at 12:03 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some kind of knit-wit.....obviously....
posted by MajorDundee at 12:10 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Knitters and their pointy things are my favorite people.
posted by francesca too at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2012


When there is so much that is worthwhile in dept material at the site this story comes from, this seems a bit shallow, a stitch in time etc but it does not do the in depth investigation we have come to expect from that site.
posted by Postroad at 12:12 PM on August 13, 2012


I love yarn bombing, but wow, this must have taken forEVER to do. I'm in awe of someone who would take so much time (and so much fiber) for a quasi-frivilous endeavor. Knitted hats off to her/him!
posted by smirkette at 12:27 PM on August 13, 2012


ErikaB, was that the tree sweater?

Cute story, but the front page link needs a Daily Mail warning.

Is that why the article took a creepy, overeager 'MUST FIND THEM' tone near the end? How awkward would that be, some reporter knocks on anonymous' door, "Hello you did the Olympic Yarn!" "Yep." "Good job!" "Thanks." "I found you at the yarn store." SLAM
posted by carsonb at 12:27 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The owner of the yarn store would never tell. It's a close-knit community.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:42 PM on August 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


That is so beautiful and so much WORK - I look at it and think "how wonderful, but we should get it undercover to protect it from the rain! and possibly into a museum for being so awesome".
posted by jb at 12:49 PM on August 13, 2012


I'm fan of yarn bombing except when the rains come and the yarn gets gross and soggy. Hopefully these delightful little sculptures will be removed before that happens (oh crud, England, it may be too late!!!!)
posted by vespabelle at 12:51 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crochety old person needles local government, successfully pulls wool over eyes.
posted by Malor at 1:24 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's gotta be more than one person, a veritable yarnspiracy!
posted by Renoroc at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2012


How lovely. I sort of teared up at the end when I saw the Paralympics represented.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Copyright infringement. The enforcement officers are beginning their investigation now. Charges will be pressed.
posted by dazed_one at 2:19 PM on August 13, 2012


If I didn't know better, I'd think it was one of my authors! (my company is about to publish some pretty amazing Yorkshire-related knit history books), but I know she's been down at the Bronte museum rooting through their underwear (no, really) on the path of other knits, so it probably wasn't her. PROBABLY.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:36 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's more Olympic knitting here in Walthamstow, in a local front garden, it's not a yarn bomb, but it's still fantastic.
posted by Helga-woo at 2:47 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's great, does anyone know how long it was up for? I'd like to see a picture of the woollen teddy bears picnic, mentioned in the article, too. I think I read that if Yorkshire was a country it would have been quite high on the medals list, maybe this sort of enthusiasm helped a bit.

Cute story, but the front page link needs a Daily Mail warning.

The comments are hilariously Daily Mail:
"I wish I had that much time on my hands"
"An absolutely wonderful display of patriotism"
" If the 'elf and safety clowns order it's removal, then it deserves to take pride of place in the Olympic stadium"
"Thought it was gonna be one of those things done by cupcakes/beard/rimmedglasses/piercinglovers"
posted by jamesonandwater at 3:18 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not just the bombs... Even the fighter jets are getting cozies.
posted by chapps at 6:56 PM on August 13, 2012


That's very cute, chapps, but it's perhaps worth pointing out that A) that's not a fighter, and B) that's not a jet. :-)
posted by Malor at 7:13 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


knowing how much effort it takes my wife and her crew of vandals to yarn bomb a bench; this is a damned lot of work.
posted by Dr. Boom at 8:17 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is so charming, I'm glad I clicked on it! Is it still there? Has it been put in a town museum or city hall? I want it to be on display forever!

The synchronized swimming legs are a little creepy.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:27 PM on August 13, 2012


ha ha Malor.
Ok you caught me out... knitting peacnik that I am, I was more apt to recognize it wasn't really a tea cozy
posted by chapps at 10:29 PM on August 13, 2012


I'm glad I clicked on it! Is it still there?
It's still there, I was in Saltburn (about 30 miles from where I live) on Saturday, some visitors had heard about the Yarn bombing and wanted to take a look.

Saltburn also has a restored water-balanced funicular railway that they wanted to ride on.

Um... the dateline on that article is March 8
It's still cold up here, our visitors were wearing sweaters at the weekend. We didn't have a summer this year and the trees are staring to shed their leaves already.
posted by Markb at 9:51 AM on August 14, 2012


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