Community Activism

Knitting and crocheting have long been a part of community living. The skills are passed down through family and friends, and many communities support drives for handmade blankets or baby clothes. Local yarn stores support knitting groups where people can come together to share their art. And online social networks like Ravelry allow these relationships to spread far beyond the boundaries of one's town. Recently, a movement called "craftivism" has spread, using fiber arts to draw attention to particular causes. One of the most visible types of craftivism is Yarn-bombing, a type of grafitti using knitted or crocheted fabric or items. This can be done just for fun, but often there is a cause behind it. For example, NY crochet artist Olek covered a homeless women's shelter in India in brightly colored crocheted squares. She did this to draw attention to the shelter and to the plight of the homeless women living there. It's hard to ignore a building wrapped in granny squares! Projects like Knit the Bridge in Pittsburgh aim to bring together diverse facets of the community to beautify common space. There's even a group on Ravelry dedicated to leaving tiny knitted bunnies in public spaces for people to find and take home, to brighten up their day. International Yarn Bombing Day (also World Wide Knit in Public Day) is celebrated the second Saturday in June. Keep your eyes open for some truly spectacular projects!

A yarn bomb in Boston, done to commemorate the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Knit the Bridge, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013.