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Wildbreien popular with Dutch knitters

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NOORDWIJK – The Dutch call it wildbreien but in the English speaking world this type of knitting or crocheting has gained coinage as yarn bombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, literally graffiti knitting or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth instead of hard to remove paint or chalk. Graffiti artists tend to be anonymous and rebellious youth leaving unwanted art at someone else’s expense. Wildbreien folks seem to be mature females wanting to make colourful but non-permanent statements by dressing up everything from bicycle handle bars to tree trunks and street light poles. This yarn virus is spreading fast in the Netherlands as well but is thought to have originated in Texas some years ago. A Canadian has declared June 11 the first International Yarn Bombing Day. Another Canadian published patterns in her book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti, released by Arsenal Pulp Press in the Fall of 2009. The idea may not be such a novelty however and may well have been borrowed from folk art conscious villagers in Staphorst, the Netherlands, who have been decorating plenty of objects in bright colours, including colourful bicycle coat protectors.