A bit of backstory before I get into today’s rant. There is a group in Anchorage called the Anchorage Guerrilla Knitters, who – as you might expect – do yarn bombing here in Anchorage. They have done tree sweater installations and so on by the library and a couple of other places in town. They always do this by invitation or after getting a permit, and they are always careful about impact on the trees and wildlife. Their most recent effort was a couple of weeks ago, at one of Anchorage’s many, many parks. And it got vandalized pretty completely. Watch the video linked above for the whole story.
I know stories like this have unrolled at various places around the US, and indeed around the world as more and more yarn-bombings take place. Since I don’t generally read the comments to news stories, because they damage my calm, I was unaware that so many people had such strong feeling about yarn-bombing in general. I did read the comments to this new story, however, and as expected it was mostly infuriating.
I haven’t contributed anything to any of the yarn bombing campaigns up to now. This is not out of any problem with the concept, but is solely because 1)I am lazy, and 2) I am a selfish knitter in a big way. If I have to be persuaded to knit something for an actual human being that I know and love, there’s no way I’m spending valuable time knitting for a tree. But that changes now. There are a lot of nay-sayers who crab about it not being art. And that’s fine – this is America and they have the right to feel and say what they want. But you don’t get to destroy other people’s things, even if you really, really don’t like them. Also there are a lot of people who don’t like it because they feel the crafters should be making items for the homeless or otherwise unfortunate. To them I would say – until you are Commissar of Free Time, you don’t get to tell other people what to do with their free time. You do what you want with your time and resources, and then other people get to do the same with theirs.
A friend of mine has been involved with this group for the past several years, and says they are definitely putting up some tree sweaters next month. So now I’m knitting for a tree.