Adele has been a student of my yarnbombing course on SkillShare and when she responded to my interview questions I was shocked to learn that she has been “yarnbombing” since 2004! As far as I knew, the first person to yarnbomb was Magda Sayeg of Knitta Please back in 2005. I think this could be the start of a wonderful conversation. I have heard that people have been “yarnbombing” for a long time without calling it “yarnbombing”. Please chime in to let me know what you have heard. Adele’s SF heart yarnbombs are my first concrete evidence of yarnbombing before 2005.
Here is Adele’s initial response to my questions about yarnbombing:
I think I’ve been yarn bombing but didn’t know what it was called. It started in 2004 when I knitted a red & white checkered cozy for one of the big “Hearts in San Francisco” hearts. The corp that bought the heart commissioned about 15 different pieces for that heart between ’04-09, most of them were knitted. In 2008 I knitted a set of wings for a tabletop sized heart. (the same fundraiser project) I’ll send some images if you’re interested. UMMMM YES PLEASE. Thankfully she did, take a look:
Here are her responses to my questions:
1. What got you interested in yarnbombing?
-My first projects were inspired from teaching classes on how to knit. It only seemed natural and the evolution of the projects grew from the social engagements with the public and the classroom environment.
2. Are you interested in other forms of street art? What interests you about it?
-Yes. I was been a big fan of street art, all kinds of street art. I’m a big advocate of art in culture, saying something through art, and history of sharing ideas through art, throughout history.
3. What is your favorite kind of Artwork to make?
-In the studio I paint. For Public Art I find fiber related 3D suits me better.
4. What inspires you to make street art?
-Beautifying hard city edges. Incorporating a feminine touch to sterile environments. And bring a sense of warmth and coziness to cold hard concrete.
5. Have you gotten reactions to your street art? What have they been?
-Too many to mention… Would love to chat sometime!
6. What message would you like to get across to others in your work?
-having been in SF for 24 years, much of my experience in city leaves me wanting to remind people to be kind, slowdown, enjoy the ride. These things play a role and what I have to say to people in my work.
7. What are you working on now?
8. What’s your dream project?
-The answer to questions 7&8 is the same. I want to yarn bomb my studio building. It’s on the bay in the historic Dogpatch shipbuilding area, pier 70, slated for demolition in aprox 7-10 years. Again evicting the artists. I really want knit the building a cozy to bring attention to respecting the traditional arts that has been going on for about 50 years in the building. So, if you consider it, I might need your help!
I use materials and techniques to knit on a very large scale, 4 stitches to the foot. This is the only way I can imagine knitting at building cozy could be accomplished.
I see that you work on a knitting machine. That never occurred to me before watching your online class. So I’m thinking about doing some research, figuring out how the knitting machine works, and building one to work in the scale/gauge that fits materials I use and achieve a minimum of 4 stitches per foot.
All in all, I think the 3 story building will probably be only partially wrapped because of windows, doors etc. Maybe just a headband like cozy. I’m definitely open for ideas.I know there are knitting groups in the bay area that might really enjoy this project, lord knows I’ll need help!!!