Cal Berkeley Pole 5

We wanted to make 5 knitted pieces in blue and gold and put them all along one side of Bancroft Way to celebrate the new year of Cal.As you walk down the street they will keep appearing and hopefully surprise and cause a moment of pleasure and a little shift into the moment.I like to take a street that  folks are using to rush from activity to activity and suggest that it can also be a sculpture garden. This ruffled piece was knitted by the other member of our duo, The Russian. She picked this beautiful leafy spot.{her parents are Cal Grads and they sang the Cal Fight song the whole week we knit this installation} The knitting brings a  soft sensation to all the other rock and metal sensations. Everyone asks me ‘Why are you doing this?  ”  One answer- because we can!

Cal Berkeley Pole 4

This knitted pole looks like legos, but if you look closer every section is a different crocheted flower. A young man walked up to us while we were sewing and looked at me and said ” You’re Streetcolor.” He turned to my  companion and said ” And you are The Russian. I read the article about you.” [Probably in the   Eastbay Express}. I,ve always wanted to be anonymous but known.


We were pretty nervous about putting up these Cal pieces on Bancroft. It brought up those great old fears about being hauled off and arrested  for yarn bombing.There were a lot of police cars driving by. So we decided it would be good to put up a couple of pieces in front of the police station.

We’re trying to think of everything we could think of to do with blue and yellow. This piece looks like glass to me.

Cal Berkeley pole 2

This piece was fun to put up because the buses kept roaring up and people would smile and make mysterious hand gestures and the bus driver would yell at us to get our butts out of the way.I had wanted to knit a shaded piece for a long time.  Everything you make comes from many little idea that you gather up and store away until you need them. ” I read your blog!” A woman yelled out the window of her car.

Cal Berkeley Yarn Bombing, Pole1

We wanted  to put up knitted pieces at Cal as part of this big Berkeley wide knitting installation. Cal is such a symbol of Berkeley and also it’s own seperate city. Tomorrow classes start and we wanted to add into that energy. Walking along Bancroft there was so much energy it was liking hearing the humming of a hive. Everyone looked so fresh.

We decided to do 2 solid yellow pieces , 2 solid blue and one mixed blue and yellow. I like how this piece also looks like the yellow traffic bumps on the sidewalk.

Knitting in the town of Sonoma

I stayed up until midnight last night to read the Eastbay Express article by Rachel Swan about  our streetcolor knitting. It is a very good article, I was filled with happiness. Read it at When someone starts to make a story out of your life it can sound like you know what you are doing which is nice since you so rarely feel like you know what your doing. I mostly just feel extremely delightfully, obsessively, compelled to get up every morning and start feverishly spinning and knitting while still in my Pajamas.

I wanted to go out to Sonoma and put knitting all over the Sonoma Square. I went out today to look over the Square and there are no regular poles! Just extra big concrete ones. Which looks very nice if course, but poor for yarn bombing. I was with my partner so we went to the Boulangerie Bakery and I knit and ate many cookies. These 2 pieces are from the bookstore and a shady stop sign. The blitz of Sonoma will have to wait.

We did go to The Girl and The Fig and we were delirious with pleasure over the butter almond cake.It was hard to drive away and leave my pieces there all alone and know I won’t see them again. That has been a great thing about working on Berkeley, getting to see the poles on my little drives. I didn’t have The Russian with me.It’s hard to put up the pieces without The Russian , I am so lucky to have that person. I just kept wanting to stop and go and sit down on a park bench and drink my tea and knit.

Theater district pole

Today was another cold Berkeley Summer day and we were a little tired from knitting many many Large Knitted Ruffles.We  drank our water, we ate our emergency peanut,peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, we drank our thermos of tea and put on our hats and we were still groaning with tiredness. I think we have put up about 45 poles in the last 10 weeks. People came up and asked us “What does this Mean?”

“Um” We said. It was hard to think of anything.I think part of what this means to me , today, is getting to feel Berkeley as a city, as one connected being, with all the different sections and neighborhoods being all  parts of the one thing, a lively ,beautiful, harsh, leafy, creative City.

Freight and Salvage Pole

People at  the Freight were a little concerned that I called this A Yarn Bomb, “Is it violent ?” said one woman  unhappily.

“I think it might be like an explosion of color” A man replied. The truth is I have no idea why they are called bombs, the book called them ” Yarn Bombs” And I just went with it.

berkeley rep knitting

I wanted to do a series for the theater district that was deeply colorful and a little elegant, to have the rich feel of costumes and sets. We  have been called ” Those Berkeley knitters” and I think this whole enterprise could seem to totally taste like Berkeley. The bottom picture was perfect.

As we were sewing this piece a young man burst out of the theater and cried ” Is this extreme knitting?”

“Oh yes ” we said.
“I’ ve never seen this in person, only on line! And here it is right outside of my theater!” That was the best story today.