Understand the Art of Graffiti Knitting

Graffiti KnittingSince it’s invention eight years ago, graffiti knitting has had many different names. Whether you call it yarn bombing, yarn storming, guerilla knitting, or graffiti knitting, the idea is the same. All of these names describe the art of using something handmade from yarn to create street art, similar to graffiti on walls. However, the difference is, yarn storming is a softer, more cheerful type of graffiti intended to make passers-by smile and remember a simpler time. These graffiti artists, known as yarn bombers, want to bring a personal, friendly touch to industrial and urban surroundings. What began as a few granny squares turned into cozies for street signs has now branched out into something amazing and diverse that has spread worldwide.

Types of Yarn Bombing

Yarn bombing can be done in several different ways. It can be knit, crocheted, or even created on a loom. It can be as simple as knitting a cozy for a telephone pole or as elaborate as crocheting a huge spider web full of victims to attach inside a tunnel. That is the beauty of graffiti knitting, that it is completely individualized, and there is really no way to do it wrong.

Yarn cozies are the most popular and original form of yarn bomb. The idea is attributed to Magda Sayeg because of the doorknob cozy she created to put on the door of her local boutique on a slow day. Passers-by were so excited and interested that it spurred her to make yarn cozies for other things outdoors, starting with a stop sign near her shop and expanding from there. Today, she is so popular as a yarn bombing artist that she has even been commissioned for such projects as creating cozies for the exposed duct-work in Etsy.com’s Brooklyn offices, as well as car “sweaters” that have appeared in many commercials in the last few years.

Another popular form of graffiti knitting is the art of creating stitched stories. These artists use amigurumi, which are stuffed animals and dolls made from knit or crochet, to create stories or landscapes. Some examples of this are the popular giant squid that has been seen on many statues, a spider web full of bugs and fairies and other such creatures, a group of “wild” animals crossing a bridge, a Cheshire cat in a tree, and other similar ideas. These landscape type yarn bombs are usually organized through groups of knitters who all contribute to the larger picture. You can find many examples of this if you look at their blogs, where they document each excursion with photos and videos.


Purpose of Graffiti Knitting

There are many speculations about the purpose of graffiti knitting. Some people feel that this must be some sort of feminist protest. Others believe that there is some sort of hidden message behind these fuzzy squares of yarn. In reality, though, there are no burning bras or picket lines full of protesters carrying posters. As far as anyone can tell, these yarn bombers haven’t made any sort of united message public. Instead, if you search the blogs of various yarn bombing groups, you’ll find the same message over and over. It’s fun! There is an exciting rush to be had by doing something that is technically illegal, even if they almost never get in serious trouble. Most of these artists create their yarn bombs as a way to have fun and loose themselves in a fun hobby. Some do this because they love knitting but feel that they simply can’t knit another sweater. Instead, they turn to something fun and exciting that can be done in a night and make an impact on society at the same time.

While there may be a little bit of a political message behind this yarn-bombing fad, the majority of it is purely an artistic escape for those doing it and nothing more. Whatever the real reason behind this growing art form, it has certainly spurred a larger change in the world. Crafts that were once considered completely outdated are coming back with a vengeance since the beginning of yarn bombing. The younger crowd is now getting into things like canning, gardening, raising chickens, sewing, quilting, crocheting, and knitting, which all used to be considered “grandma crafts.” All of these crafts are now cool and growing in popularity since knitting resurfaced in the form of graffiti knitting.

Machine Knitting Techniques

Machine Knitting

Machine knitting is a great way to make knitted goods in a much more time efficient manner. Machine knitting can recreate many of the same knit looks that are so popular in hand knitting, such as cables and faire isle patterns. It is much faster than hand knitting, and having a knitting machine in your craft room can save you a lot of time and prove to be a valuable addition to your crafting tools. If you’re looking to save time and create beautiful knits at the same time, investing in a knitting machine may be right for you. You just need to know some important machine knitting techniques so that you can begin making even the most intricate patterns.

How to Make a Cast-On

If you’re planning on using a seam or a hem on your knit goods, a cast on is not essential in machine knitting. However, a good cast on can make all the difference in your machine knitting. The best way to cast on with a knitting machine is the wrap cast-on, or E-wrap cast on. To do this, you simply wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the shaft of each needle individually. Once you’ve done this, you can thread your carriage and knit according to the pattern.

Using the wrap cast on for your machine knit projects will make your garments hang better and give them a professionally finished look. After all, if you were going to take the time and effort to create a sweater to wear in public, wouldn’t it be better to have it look great? The wrap cast-on is a quick and easy way to improve the look of your entire garment.

garments hang better

Always Create a Swatch

Whether you are knitting by hand or by machine, a gauge swatch is always an important first step. A gauge swatch can ensure that you get the proper tension and fit for your garment. This can be the difference between a sweater that fits and a sweater that looks like it was intended for someone twice your size.

Swatches are really quick to make and can save you a lot of time in the end. To create a swatch, you simply knit a small square in the stitch pattern you intend to use in the garment. It might be a good idea to make several swatches using different tensions, and then wash them as you intend to wash the finished garment. This way you know which tension to use for your project to get the best fit in the end.

Combine Hand Knitting with Machine Knitting

Knowing how to hand knit can really benefit your machine knitting productivity. By combining hand knitting and machine knitting, you can increase your stitch options and make more complex designs. By using some hand knitting along with your machine knitting, you can improve some of the following processes:

  • Produce simple and complex cables
  • Speed up production processes
  • Add ribbed borders to sweaters and other garments.

Machine-Knit Goods

When using a knitting machine, you can create any knitting project you want. If you’re creating goods for your own household, you can benefit from a knitting machine by being able to make items much faster than by hand. You can also benefit from a knitting machine if you are making goods to sell, because you can decrease your production time. Some knit goods you can create with a knitting machine include:

  • Blankets
  • Scarves
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Sweaters

Owning a knitting machine can be a great way to knit goods for your family, friends, or even for a business. You’ll find that purchasing a knitting machine can be a great investment and will save you a lot of time and energy. If you are interested in using a knitting machine, learning some important techniques and tips first can help increase your productivity and help you design more detailed patterns from the beginning. Many knitters that invest in a knitting machine find that this is a great way to produce garments that would have taken too long to knit by hand. If you’re just being introduced to machine knitting, these techniques can help you learn the correct way to use your machine.

2 Flat Knitting Definitions You Should Know

begin knitting

When you begin knitting, you soon realize that there is a whole new vocabulary to learn as you go, such as the different flat knitting definitions. Flat knitting is a term used in both hand knitting and industrial knitting to describe a common technique. Of course, depending on what type of knitting you perform, there are different flat knitting definitions. We’ll discuss the two most common definitions in this article in detail.

Flat Knitting Definitions for Hand Knitting

In hand knitting, the term flat knitting refers to a piece of knitting that is turned periodically, usually every row. This technique is also sometimes referred to as back and forth knitting, which is a pretty self-explanatory name. It basically just means that at the end of each row, you turn your work and work backwards until you reach the starting point again. In other words, you work the piece back and forth.

Another way to describe flat knitting is to create a piece of knit fabric that has sides. This can refer to many different types of projects, such as:

• Knit baby blankets
• Knit afghans
• Knit scarves
• Knit throw pillows
• Knit headbands

It can also refer to many other projects, depending on how they are made. For example, while a knit hat is a circular garment, it can be knit flat and then sewn up. Many beginner knitters do this before they feel practiced enough to knit in the round.

Flat knitting

How to Knit Flat

Flat knitting is usually done on two straight needles, although some knitters prefer to work with one set of circular needles instead. The biggest advantage to using circular needles is that you don’t risk losing one of your needles, but it is also easier when working with a large piece of work such as an afghan since circular needles can hold more stitches. Regardless of your needle preference, the technique is still done by turning your work.

The most common stitch in knitting is the stockinette stitch, where all of the little “v’s” are on one side of the fabric. While this is called a knitting stitch, it is actually a stitch combination, since you have to use two different stitches to create the look. These stitches are the knit stitch, and the purl stitch. When looking at the right side of your work, or the side that will face out and be seen, you will use the knit stitch, but once you turn your work, you must use a purl stitch for the next row, since that is basically a knit stitch performed backwards. This allows all of the “v’s” to line up on the right side of the fabric and all of the bumps to line up on the wrong side. This technique provides you with a smooth, elastic finished piece, such as the one commonly seen on sweaters and hats.

Flat Knitting Definitions for Industrial Knitting

While the term flat knitting is pretty self-explanatory when you look at it in terms of hand knitting, it holds a completely different meaning when you consider industrial knitting. Industrial knitting is the process of using knitting machines in order to mass-produce knit material and garments found in stores.

Flat knitting machines use two needle beds to quickly create complex designs and shaped garments for commercial use.

Industrial flat knitting, also referred to as weft knitting, is slower than using a circular knitting machine, but the ability to create more complicated stitch patterns and fitted garments makes up for the lack of speed these machines use.

The advantages of using a flat knitting machine include:

• Flat knitting machines are the most versatile knitting machines available
• Flat knitting machines allow for many different yarns to be used.
• Flat knitting machines are simple to supervise and operate.

As you can see, flat knitting definitions vary depending on the technique you use. As an industrial knitter, using machinery to produce commercial knits, flat knitting refers to what sort of knitting machine is used and what sort of detail can go into your project. For the more common hand-knitter, flat knitting is just the basic knitting. By working back and forth across your rows of knitting, using knit and purl stitches, you can easily master the most common of flat knitting definitions.