Browsing Tag

yarn bombing

A photo gallery of yarn bombing images
Books, Yarn Bombing

Find Your Co-Conspirators

On October 30th, Mandy Moore and I will be celebrating the launch of the fourth printing and tenth anniversary edition of our book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti. For this special anniversary, we’ve added a new chapter featuring new yarn bombing works that delight us.

Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti was first published in 2009. In many ways, the book has become one of the most unanticipated yet joyous aspects of my life.

In 2007, I attended a graduate program in publishing with the hunch that I might hang up my long-unused creative writing and art history degrees, and instead pursue a career as a book designer. Little did I know that during the course of my studies, I would be ask to pitch a fictional book project that could be part of an art press. Yarn Bombing started as a silly school project that I pitched for fun – I had no idea that it would become a reality, much less something that would be out in the world being read and enjoyed a decade later.

Mandy and I yarn bombing in 2011

The inspiration for the book came from a couple of sources: a stitch and bitch that I’d started with some friends; the discovery of a handful of knit graffiti blogs through BlogSpot, an early blogging platform; and many of years of working as a programmer in community art council and art gallery settings, punctuated with the frustration that the so-called worlds of ‘high art’ and ‘low art’ never seemed to mix.

I threw the idea of a knit graffiti book out to my classmates, and they were encouraging. I took the idea to my instructors who informed me I had to pitch the book with a have a Canadian author, rather than best-selling knitting author Debbie Stoller. As luck would have it, Mandy and I had crossed paths at Knitting and Beer, a stitch and bitch that I used to run with some friends at a pub. She had been editing for and had just moved to Vancouver, and I immediately was awed by her knitting skills. I pitched Mandy as my ‘fake author’ for the project and never gave it another thought – until months later when Robert from Arsenal Pulp Press, who had attended my class’ pitch day to give us industry feedback, asked if I’d like to come in and discuss creating the book for them. A real book, with Mandy as my co-author.

And so, this is how Mandy and I really got to know each other – I sent her an email, asking her if she remembered me, and I asked her if she wanted to write a book with me. She was receptive, and through many late nights of writing, eating too much candy, and laughing hard through stress – we somehow wrote a book together.

Yarn Bombing Cover
Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, 2009

Yarn Bombing continues to be a project where, somehow, as if by magic, synergies occurred. Beyond the collaborative efforts of Mandy and myself, the project was truly the culmination of many hands. Friends, classmates, and significant others put in long hours to help out with modeling and photographing projects. Artists from around the world contacted us and offered to participate. Favourite locations in the city opened their doors to us. My friends who worked in bookstores did a lot of hand-selling. Friends of friends wrote media stories on us, and shared knitting projects with their relatives. Yarn Bombing, both in 2009 and 2019, is truly a book made by a community.

The last decade has brought many changes. When we wrote the book in 2008, social media was new and existed through MySpace and blogs. The City of Vancouver was a quieter place then (prior to the boom of hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics) and most of the locations that we shot in no longer exist. Many of the friends who posed for photographs have since changed relationships, become parents, or moved to other locations. We’re different than we used to be, but that’s okay – the spirit of yarn bombing has taken on new forms. Society has become more conscious of the right for human dignity. Protest culture has grown. Sustainability is not a luxury, but a basic tenant to human and species survival. Anarchy, hand-making, and coming together as a community are now widely recognized as vital political acts. The issues that we addressed ten years ago are still being talked about, and addressing them has become a vital part of work in many communities of citizen-maker-activists.

Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, 2009

Gathering with other people to make something out of the ordinary with a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of gumption is what remains true in the old and new editions of the book. I hope that Yarn Bombing continues to delight readers and that it encourages you to find your own creative projects, and your own co-conspirators. When you join forces and ideas with other people, there’s no limit to what can happen.

Join us for the:

Vancouver, Canada Yarn Bombing Book Launch Party:
October 30th, 2019 from 7pm-9pm
Broadway Book Warehouse

Book signing, free refreshments, and a BYOY stitch & bitch (bring your own yarn & needles and hooks)

RSVP and invite your friends via Facebook

Kim Werker and Leanne Prain wearing pussy hats at the Vancouver Womens' March

International Women’s Day Talk

Knitting and activism go hand-in-hand.

UBC Bookstore, Be a Knit ActivistOn International Women’s Day, I will be speaking on the topic of feminism, art and activism.

Be Bold for Change
March 8, 2017, 5 pm
UBC Bookstore, The University of British Columbia
Book signing to follow

Prior to my talk, the bookstore will host knitting lessons. I encourage knitters (or knitters in the making) to craft while I talk.

Find out more about the event here:

If you are in the area drop by, knit some stitches, and say hello!



Cities, Creativity, Street Art, Yarn Bombing

Spidertag at 5 Pointz Long Island

Not another nail in the wall (of fame) / New York 2013 – Spidertag

“If I like it, it feels like magic. I jump for joy. And if I don’t like it, I forget about it.”

Every couple of months, I’m dazzled by a new video by Madrid-based artist/sculptor Spidertag. If I’m not enthralled by him jazzing up old cabins in the European countryside, he’s causing geometric distractions on the mean streets of NYC.

Watch Spidertag in action at 5 Pointz here:

Read an interview with Spidertag on his work with the mammoth graffiti site StreetArtNYC:

“These days nails have a hold on me”


The Cherry Tree

Photographs by Jeffrey Christenson

This past Sunday was a perfect day. In the early spring sunshine, we were surrounded by authors, firefighters, crafters, and friends working together to create a project to commemorate Joy Kogawa and her historic family home in East Vancouver.

Thank you to those who knit and crocheted hundreds of blossoms, climbed ladders, hosted events, made soup, bought books, read from your novels, and cheered us on. You made my soul sing.

Books, Events

Yarn Bombing at City Hall

One more community knit-in has been added to the Cherry Bombing of Historic Joy Kogawa House!

Crochet and knit cherry blossoms

Image by Connie Prain

Knitters to Take Over City Council Chambers

When: Monday, February 28, 7 to 9pm

Where: Council Chambers, Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

You are invited to come and knit or crochet pink blossoms for the Joy Kogawa cherry tree. Meet knit-graffiti artists Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain, authors of Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, and help them create an art phenomenon at one of Vancouver’s favourite literary landmarks: Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue. Blossoms will be sewn onto the tree on Sunday, March 6, 2 to 3:30pm, and will be in place throughout the month of march. Drop by to help or just to watch the magic happen!