D.C. Commute Scenes: Yarn Bombing and Bicycles

Sometimes I think I’m the last to know about most everything. Yesterday I came across a bicycle with training wheels u-locked to the fence in front of the Renwick Gallery. It caught my eye because

  1. I don’t see that many child-size bicycles; and
  2. It was encased in knitting. Even the training wheels!

Yarn Bomb bike at the Renwick

How unique, I thought.

I began doing some research about the bike to see if it was part of some Renwick exhibit (which I never could determine) and my search took me to my sister’s Facebook page. See how deeply I investigate? She recently posted a photo of a yarn bomb bike she saw in New York City, and included a link to a New York Times article about it.

Yarn Bomb Bike in New York City (c) Middle Gersemalina

Apparently, yarn bombing is a new kind of graffiti popping up in various urban areas. It’s basically knitted graffiti. Bikes, sculptures, trees, fenceposts, bike racks. It’s all fair game for yarn bombing.

There is some great stuff to be found about yarn bombing on the internet highway. Yarnbombing.com exclusively dedicates itself to the topic (June 11th is International Yarn Bombing day, don’t forget!). Various flickr groups showcase yarn bombing photos. You can even find helpful articles about how to start yarn bombing (Start small. Don’t yarn bomb a tank as your first project!).

The District also has a small community of yarn bombers. Last August, the Washington City Paper wrote about and featured some of the work of the “Warm and Fuzzies.”

Of course, I had no idea any of this was going on until my encounter with the yarn bombed training wheels bicycle. While I’m not a good candidate for executing any knitted street art, as I only learned to crochet (badly) my eyes are open to seeing what other yarn bomb work might be out there in the city.

Yarn Bomb Tricycle

I had no idea this little bike was representative of an urban phenomenon. Have any of you come across any yarn bombing? If so, I would love to see a picture or be pointed in the direction of the scene of the crime.

UPDATE: I passed by the Renwick on the June 2 morning commute, and the bicycle is no longer there.


  1. Well, you found out about this before I did. Much nicer than tagger spray can art. Of course if this catches on you may have to show an ID to buy yarn in the future.


  2. @Ken: Ha! I’d love to see that I agree w/ you. It’s better than tagging, and I actually think it’s pretty cool..
    @Kelly: My sense is that it is not done on the spot. The person sizes up what they want to yarn bomb and knit it in advance.
    @Rootchopper: Street Quilting might be the next big thing so tell her to be ready!


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