Knitta Please

69 Meters

Knitta is the group of artists who began the ‘knit graffit’ or ‘yarnbombing’ movement in Houston in 2005. They wrap public architecture—e.g. lampposts, parking meters, telephone poles, and signage—with knitted or crocheted material. The mission is to make street art ‘a little more warm and fuzzy.’

Knitta grew to eleven members by the end of 2007, but has now dwindled down to one member, founder Magda Sayeg, who continues to travel and knit graffiti. Internationally, as many as a dozen groups have followed Knitta’s lead.

The name of the group and the nicknames of the members were inspired by a desire to ‘resemble graffiti, but with knitted items.’ Members mixed crafting terminology with a hip-hop style, then changed the spelling to represent traditional street art monikers: PolyCotN, AKrylik, Knotorious N.I.T., SonOfaStitch and P-Knitty.

Usually tagging on Friday nights and Sunday mornings, Knitta taggers  would leave a paper tag on each work, bearing the slogan ‘knitta please’ or ‘whaddup knitta? on lamp posts, railings, fire hydrants, monuments and other urban targets. Another popular piece involved hanging knitted-bagged sneakers over aerial telephone cable. The crew marked holidays by doing themed work, using, for example, pink yarn for Valentine’s Day pieces and sparkly yarn for New Years.

Knitta was invited to the Los Angeles Standard Hotel to tag a glass box featuring trendsetters’ designs and concepts. The box is kept behind the check-in desk. Following that, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bergère de France, the first manufacturer of French yarn, the company invited Knitta to Paris to ‘revitalize urban landscapes with knitted pieces.’ While there, they also tagged the Notre Dame de Paris.  Knitta’s work has also been seen in El Salvador, Montreal, and atop the Great Wall of China.

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