I was recently asked some questions about how I began knitting and my inspirations behind yarnbombing, and I felt that the answers were worth sharing to those who may be interested to learn. Thank you to Layla Aurora for the questions.
What/who first inspired you to knit?
I actually learned how to crochet because I was in a juvenile placement facility. Basically, that’s juvie. I got into a lot of trouble as a kid, and that’s where I ended up in high school. When I got there I had a pretty hard time “fitting in” because I was one of the few white girls and one of the very few kids from the suburbs, (most of the girls were born and raised in Philadelphia), so I spent a lot of time reading by myself. But halfway through my stay, they allowed us to have yarn and crochet hooks. Some of the girls had been there long enough to remember when crochet was previously an activity in this facility, and remembered the skill. This became my way to interact with girls who seemed to have little interest in getting to know me. I actually became kind of annoying, begging girls to help me figure out what I kept doing wrong. Eventually one girl, who never particularly liked me, had the patience to help me. And I think this experience is when I first learned that knitting and crocheting can be used as a language; a way to connect with people when other methods aren’t as effective. I continued to crochet for a while after I returned home, but only for a few months. I forgot about it until college, when I was really bored and looking for something to do. I just picked it up again and fell in love with it in a way that isn’t really describable. During this time I taught myself how to knit and just continued with the craft. I don’t think there was a day that went by without me working on something.
What inspired you to use knitting as "graffiti"?
What inspired me to use knitting as graffiti was honestly seeing other people using knitting as graffiti. I didn’t come up with it, I just ran with it. I have always loved graffiti and street art. I love the concept and the rebelliousness of it. I think that street art resonates with me the most because I have always had this angst and a need to assert my belief that art should be equally accessible to anyone. Also, I have always struggled with accepting my place in society as a female, and I think that comes across with my work and my desire to make art in a male dominated art subculture. I want to use a mockingly feminine craft to assert myself as a female figure in the world of street art. I also believe that the story surrounding how I learned to crochet has greatly influenced my work. I learned a great deal about the lives of girls growing up in Philadelphia when I was getting myself in trouble as a teenager. I learned how difficult it can be to not be able to return home to a stable, loving environment, which could be represented by family or neighborhood or infrastructure. I think these lessons affected me deeply and I want to use my work to let individuals in disenfranchised and publicly neglected areas become aware that somebody is interested in learning how we can help enhance their neighborhood through art.