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March 15, 2010

A Deer in Leg Warmers: Adventures in Yarn Bombing

IMG_4422 If you live in Burlington or have any dealings on lower Church Street, chances are you've seen the new addition to one of city hall's regal deer sculptures. A few weeks back, someone thought it clever to give one of the bucks a pair of leg warmers. Well, I suppose technically, they're ankle warmers. Whatevs.

Anyway, basically, someone took the time to knit a pair of leg warmers and then sew them to the deer. Like, someone sat there and knit them onto the deer, while simultaneously scanning the streets for cops that might not think it too clever to "vandalize" city property.

When I first saw the leg warmers, I chuckled. How can you not? They're ridiculous. And sort of fetching. I'm not saying I'd rock a pair, but for a metal deer sculpture, they're pretty cute. But I walked away wondering what the eff the world was coming to. Now people are getting all fancy and crocheting things onto inanimate objects. It's not enough anymore to grab a can of spray paint and tag some condemned building. I had to learn more about this phenomenon. And because I did very exhaustive Internet research on the topic, I am an expert. Yes! Bomb this, b*tches!

IMG_4419

My, that deer is so fashion forward!


The deer-leg-warmer situation is an instance of yarn bombing, which can be defined as graffiti knitting, or krazy kraftsters with too much time on their hands. There are a couple other local examples of this guerrilla knitting around town — a sad little muff wrapped around a tree outside of Radio Bean and a sagging bib of sorts hanging from a telephone pole outside of Viva Espresso. I'm sure there are others, but I'm not hip enough to know where they are.

According to the Wikipedia machine, yarn bombing "is almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places." Hey, Vermont textile terrorists, how about yarn bombing the student ghetto in Burlington, the Kmart plaza on Shelburne Road, or U.S. 7 in Milton and Colchester? That would make life a little prettier, until all the road grit turned the vibrant yarn into a tired pile of dirty spaghetti.

Yarn-Bomb8_380_714644a
Beep, beep. Knitters are knuts! Especially in Mexico City.


If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say this trend is just about ready to be played out in other, more metropolitan locales. But since every cool thing reaches Vermont by Pony Express about 18 to 24 months after it became rad elsewheres, I'm only just writing about this now.

I'm wondering who this mystery yarn bomber is, and whether he/she is going to strike again (but really, is a dude out there knitting lamp posts and park benches? This proclivity almost certainly is the province of ladydom.) Show yourself, yarn bomber! Unless you look like the Unabomber, in which case, stay hidden. And readers, let me know if you see any other instances of this subversive crafting and I'll give you a lollipop. Made out of yarn.

 


Those legwarmers look crocheted to me.

I recall an artist doing macrame on several trees in front of Fleming Museum a couple of summers ago, but it was in bright yellow plastic rope; did not look at all this cozy....

Lots of men knit. I don't understand why you'd say that this activity is "the province of ladydom".

Just wanted to pop in to say I enjoyed your Yarn Bombing post. I will be on the lookout for this phenomenon in my area!

Dear KNITTER,

You're probably right. Being that I am a textile ignoramus of the first order, I don't know my dip stitch from my slip-stitch. Mea maxima culpa.

Dear ONE_VERMONTER,

Most of the knitting, crocheting and weaving in this country is done by women. It's a fact. That's not to say that men don't do it. But really, how many dudes are making scarves for their buddies while they sit on the bus or wait at the doctor's office? Not nearly enough, I'd say.

LO

Yes, the majority of knitters are women. Does that mean that any knitted thing that you see in town must have been knitted by a woman?

Does it mean that knitting is the "provence of ladydom"?

It just seems like a silly thing to write.

I've seen some really nice stuff knitted by men.

As an addled knitter from gentlemandumb, I'd like to agree with ONE_VERMONTER that attributing the stockings to a female seems silly.

Hey there Burlington its, Team Wooly!
Here are your answers: The Leg warmers were knitted by a woman and left with you by her male and female band of stitchers. These were brought all the way from San Francisco as the deer looked so chilly out there. Too bad you missed photos of the Pink Spiked collar that adorned the Bear, and the sweat band for the deer that was specially knitted to match the leg warmers. This was done on Valentines day, so felt hearts on crocheted strands were tied around trees on Church Street - a special one for the girl in the leap frog statue. Seems like they've all made their way into private collections but those leg warmers take some work to remove...
This email address is being borrowed so you won't find the author. See you all soon! POOF!

Love's tongue is in the eyes. There is no hiding from lover's eyes.Love is a fabric that nature wove and fantasy embroidered.

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