Have you noticed that knit and crochet graffiti has made it’s way to downtown Dayton? If you have ventured down 5th street recently, you’ve seen brightly knitted lampposts and street signs in areas that were previously desolate and unattractive.  Yellow Springs was the first Dayton area city to join the trend and they have received praise and accolades from press as far away as Oregon – State that is, not District.  It makes sense that we see these Yarn Bombs, as they are called, sprouting up in the Oregon District. It is, after all, the regions newest and most active Arts’ District.

What’s this all about you ask?  One of the founders of the movement Magda Sayeg, sums up the movement effectively:  “ It’s a collective’s response to the mass-produced.  By inserting handmade art in a landscape of concrete and steel, they were cheekily adding warmth to our urban fixtures. Knit graffiti reengages us with our environment: the parking meters, buses, bike racks, lamp posts, car antennas, columns, statues, exposed plumbing, all of the furniture in our urban world that goes unnoticed every day.”  And of course, Knitta [Sayeg’s knitting crew] makes the streets prettier along the way. Two other Mothers of the knit graffiti culture, Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain explain all this subversive knitting to readers in their book, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti. They also author a blog called yarnbombing, which chronicles Moore and Prain’s research into knit (and crochet) graffiti groups from around the world.  They explain the movement another way: “Knit graffiti” is an international guerrilla movement that started underground and is now embraced by crochet and knitting artists of all ages, nationalities, and genders. Its practitioners create stunning works of art out of yarn, then ‘donate’ them to public spaces as part of a covert plan for world yarn domination.”

We see this as a wonderful development for Dayton, showing the world that the city is loved and connected with a community that wants to wrap knitted arms around it. What do you think about those yarn bombs popping up in the Oregon District?