Uncategorized knit bike rack

Published on November 5th, 2010 | by Rhonda Winter

3

The Knitters Have Taken to Tagging

knit bike rack

Last week while strolling through downtown Berkeley, we came across a municipal sign ensconced in a colorful knitted woolen cozy. I was really curious about it, and asked my friend Ida if she had any insight as to why the visitor information sign had its own armless sweater. She explained to me that the knitters have taken to tagging, and such artistic creations were not uncommon in the city. Ida also told me that she had seen similar work in Portland, as well as many other places on the west coast.

The very next day when I was in San Francisco, I noticed a bicycle rack outside of my cancer doctor’s office that had also been “tagged” by another anonymous knitter. This unexpected act of art/graffiti/knitting seemed to be part urban beautification, part demonstration of love for the bike rack, part celebration of the simple beauty of creating something by hand, and part random individual expression.

I am totally down with this inspired trend of knitters tagging public space in this manner, and hope that it continues to spread. The creative fusion of knitting and tagging seems inherently rather subversive, linking two distinct social spheres that do not generally overlap; it also raises interesting questions about what is public art and what is graffiti.

knit detail

“Tagging” by knitter graffiti artists in downtown Berkeley, California.
knitting graffiti

I am not sure if this low-tech public art movement is mostly a west coast phenomenon, or if it happens everywhere. If you have ever encountered knitter tagging or unexplained artsy public crocheted creations in your neighborhood, please share your experience in the comments section.






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About the Author

was raised by wolves, and subsequently has difficulty interacting with other humans; she can also be found on and Twitter.



  • http://ecolocalizer.com Rhonda Winter

    My friend Becky over at http://eatdrinkbetter.com/ just told me that she first heard of the knitter-tagging phenomenon in Austin Texas, by Magda Sayeg, the creator of Knitta Please:

    “Magda Sayeg, founder of Knitta Please, began by taking knitting out of the home and into the streets. The simple juxtaposition of this woven material placed within an urban environment has inspired a new generation of knitters who no longer view function as the sole purpose for knitting. This new approach to knitting questions the assumptions of a traditional craft while adding a previously unused material to the world of street art.

    When Magda Sayeg began Knitta Please in 2005, it was her response to the dehumanizing qualities of an urban environment. By inserting handmade art in a landscape of concrete and steel, she adds a human quality that otherwise rarely exists. Knitta Please represents the present energy coming from knitting and more extensively weaving, while giving a nod to its powerful history. Her work has been recognized for its influence in street art as well as the craft of knitting. Magda Sayeg is based in Austin, Texas.”

    http://www.magdasayeg.com/about_knitta_please_magda_sayeg.html

    This is so genius, and totally inspires me to dig out my old knitting needles.

  • Pingback: More Knitter Tagging in SF – EcoLocalizer

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