A fiber artist in Colorado is giving unwanted knitted and crocheted scarves a second chance by "yarn bombing" messages of love across her city.
Watch salvaged scarves become public displays of affection.
Salvaged Stitches: Yarn Bomb Love Notes
Jess Coppom is spreading more love across her home state of Colorado this February. For Valentine’s Day, Coppom is wrapping poles in public places with patchwork displays of handknits along with the message “You are loved.”
Coppom was saddened by the lovingly made scarves at the Goodwill Outlets, which are the last place where donated items are sold before being thrown away or sent overseas. So she decided to use these scarves for their original purpose—to show love to others.
Public Displays of Affection
“I know how much time goes into making these scarves, so the idea that they’d end up unwanted felt like a waste. Many times, these knit and crocheted scarves were likely given as gifts to make someone feel cared for. I decided to help the scarves do just that, but publicly.”
Coppom, a crochet and knit designer herself, sews the salvaged scarves together to form tapestries large enough to fit around street lights and telephone poles. She plans to take down each temporary yarn graffiti piece at the end of the month or when it begins to show signs of wear.
So far, Coppom has installed public love notes across Denver and the surrounding suburbs with no plans of stopping.
Locations of Yarn Bombs
This map is updated periodically with a sampling of current love notes.
Yarn Graffiti FAQs
We remove the love notes when they begin to show signs of wear. We reuse some of the scarves that are in good shape and recycle what we can.
If you'd like to create your own yarn "graffiti," here are the basic steps.
1. Knit or crochet large pieces of fabric. Alternatively, source unwanted scarves and shawls from thrift stores and crafty friends.
2. If you're using scarves, try to find a few that are similar in length. It's fasted to crochet them together, but you can also seam them using a tapestry needle.
3. Time to yarn bomb! Wooden poles with some texture work best because they give the yarn something to cling to. Use zip ties to secure your patchwork tapestry. Don't skimp on this step. You want to secure your yarn bomb from top to bottom.
4. Tag your work if you'd like. Laminated labels work well.
5. Don't forget to come back periodically to check on your yarn bombing. Remove it when it behind to look bedraggled so it does not become trash for someone else to deal with.
Whether you're using thrifted knits or making your own, acrylic is the ideal fiber for yarn graffiti. Acrylic wears well, doesn't hold a lot of water, and is readily available.
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