TWO things do with extra yarn

ONE. The vibrancy of yarn bombing cannot be escaped. From the young and the young at heart (104 year old!), people are crafting tactile graffiti where public objects are wrapped in crocheted or knitted conviviality. Magda Sayeg is considered the mother of yarn bombing often known for her Mexico City yarn-bombed bus.  Reasons for yarn bombing vary: from subversion, activism and/or beautification. Whatever the intention, a similar outcome remains: observers are greeted with a visual feast. The public is invited to take pause from their daily schedule and contemplate if even for a microsecond (whether in appreciation or disgust is between them and their gods). The photographs above and below were taken from Melbourne Fresh Daily of Mill Park Library in the City of Whittlesea, Victoria. That fluoro pink granny square down below? Yep, that’s me.

TWO. Read this week’s book: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. The protagonist is Annabelle who uncovers a box filled with yarn. As you do, she decides to knit a jumper for herself. Observing the extra yarn, she decides to knit a jumper for her trusty canine, Mars.  With the discovery of endless yarn, Annabelle embarks on knitting articles of clothing for everyone and every thing in town. Annabelle and the town become something of a marvel. An archduke ‘who was very fond of clothes’ landed one day and attempted to buy the box of yarn from Annabelle. A sinister plan was hatched to acquire Annabelle’s box of yarn. Needless to say, the story concludes with Annabel in a yarn bombed tree, completely happy. The illustrations of the town pre-yarn bombing are sparse and invoke the somber of a quiet snowed-covered town. For some odd reason, Scandinavia comes to mind. But the pages illuminate with a muted luminescence as Annabelle weaves her magic. For fans of Klassen, characters from his stories make cameo appearances.

A scene from Extra Yarn
A scene from Extra Yarn

Let’s get past the fact that this book is about YARN BOMBING. I’ll admit, Ankle biter 1 doesn’t really -get it- right now. I reckon we’ll try again next year when his dexterity may allow for some hand weaving. We did, however, read it religiously to him when he was first born. He didn’t seem to mind then. And if you are going to read to your children, it might as well be something you yourself enjoy. This book is that and it is one of my favourites. My cherished part of the book is when she decides not to knit a jumper.

Mr. Crabtree, who never wore jumpers or even trousers, and who would stand in his shorts with the snow up to his knees.

Annabelle makes not a jumper but a hat for Mr. Crabtree. This book, besides its creative subversion is also about compassion, generosity and eccentrics. This is my type of urban imagined. What is not to love?

(Photographs of yarn bombing by: Melbourne Fresh Daily: MILL PARK LIBRARY YARN-BOMBED, Photograph of Extra Yarn, Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen by VIvian Romero)

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Vivian Romero

I want to activate the urban imagined: stimulating, healthy and sustainable spaces for all (especially the young and young at heart).

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