spinhandspun designs

Vodafone Controversy
February 21, 2010, 4:17 PM
Filed under: art-icles | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A recent Vodafone campaign has guerrilla knitters dropping stitches left and right..

The commercial features a trendy group of teenagers who text the ‘Granny Squad’ for knitting lessons, and yarnbomb Dublin overnight.  While their protagonist is initially inspired by an authentic Irish-made hat, the remainder of Vodafone’s campaign is decidedly artificial.

Vodafone’s yarnbombs parade as the work of tea-sipping crafters, yet in 24 hours, their machine-knit installations span impossible-to-reach-statures and three story support beams.  Rather than exhaling a handmade breath of humanity into Dublin’s urban landscape, Vodafone’s cozies uphold the mechanized society guerrilla knitters critique, and undermine the true yarnbomber’s patience, stealth, and artistic vision.

Unlike advertising agencies, guerrilla movements are inherently anti-establishment.  Yet their mainstream assimilation should come as no surprise.  Mad men frequently appropriate counterculture imagery into ads because it appeals to their ultimate target market: youth, whose pre-packaged rebellions signify burgeoning independence.

Here, Vodafone fuses their identity with the craft’s growing popularity by highlighting young (and male!) knitters.  Unfortunately, their assertion that urban knitting is simply cute and fun is retroactive, and defeats the yarnbomber’s original work advancing her craft as an art form.

For mainstream audiences, Vodafone is right to say it “turns out it’s easy to put a smile on people’s faces…” if you’re a multi-million dollar corporation.  But hardworking guerrilla knitters, have no fear; the ad proves that our efforts have been appreciated.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we now face the challenge of advancing the movement beyond its obvious pole, tree, bench, and statue tagging.  Now is our chance to develop new innovations and unpredictable techniques in the realm of guerrilla craftivism.

For more on the Vodafone controversy, check out The Electric Sheep’s hilarious and poignant Podcast below.


Open Call for Submissions to New Book by KnittaPlease
December 2, 2009, 3:01 PM
Filed under: opportunities | Tags: , , , ,

Open Call for Submissions to New Book by KnittaPlease

Attention urban yarnbombers! Magda Sayeg of Knitta Please has announced an open call for submissions to their new book:

The Knitta Book
Hello knitters,

We’re making a book!

From Knitta’s beginning, we have tried to focus on the community aspect of yarnbombing – how art brings people together across generational, national, and political lines. One of our main motivations is to inspire continued growth for the movement around the world. As Knitta has traveled to create our own tags during the last few years, we have met countless knitters and yarnbombers who are also participating in the movement. Out of our desire to document this global community, Magda is curating a gallery style book on yarnbombing which will illustrate the international extent of the yarnbombing movement. The plan is to include approximately 275 images from knitters [and crocheters] around the world that represent unique interactions with our urban environments, innovation in textile design, and an overall sense of integration between art and craft. We would love to have you contribute. Photos can be from past, completed projects or from projects specifically designed for the purpose.

Email to request further information on digital image submission specification and photo/project guidelines. Also – please pass this information on to anyone who might be interested! The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2009.

Thanks! I hope to hear from you!
Karen McClellan
Assistant, KnittaPlease

Update! As of January 4th, the deadline for submission has been extended to January 31st, 2010, so make it a New Years resolution to take advantage of this great opportunity! E-mail Magda at: contact@knittaplease.com