Yarnbombing The Berkeley Public Library

Boy oh boy, I was nervous about this yarnbombing. I had been knitting for 4 weeks nonstop, I mean all day every day. This yarnbomb would be 80 ft long ,knitted in 10 sections, all handspun, to go up all at once on the 10 looped Berkeley Public Library bike rack. I had asked a crew of 5 people to help me sew it up. The 2 documentary guys were coming to watch. A writer was coming to talk to me. I had a pretty good idea of how the day would go and  I  thought it might include policemen.

I got up Sunday morning , packed lots of cheese and eggs to stay calm and drove over to the library. I had picked this site because I love this library so much, especially the art floor. It also had a huge bike rack and I wanted to make something much more ambitious.  I was saying a little prayer I made up to calm down and it wasn’t working. I tried some self talk ” You are a very good artist .You have nice hair” That didn’t work either. I finally said to myself:

“This is just to amuse yourself you know!” That actually made me calm.

  I got to the library and parked.  It was sunny and calm, a great day for yarnbombing . I noticed I had forgotten all my sewing yarn and called my sleeping partner and pleaded for him to get up and find my yarn. Mrs. Wong my first crew member arrived. I ripped up some knitting to get some wool and we started sewing  my knitting to the pole. Monica the writer took pictures. Leo and Jeremy arrived and started filming. Josh arrived and gave me my yarn and some hot chocolate . It was going well. More crew members arrived to sew. I’ll call them The Norwegian, Hargus Moon And Muddy Rose. It was getting quite festive. I can see now I was losing control of the situation. 3 police cars arrived.

  Has anyone  else noticed the police cars?” I asked ” You know when police arrive I usually pack up and move quietly away.”  We packed up quietly and I moved a little bit away and watched the police go into the library. I just sat and calmed downed the energy. I wanted to be there if they wanted to talk to me. They finally came out , looked at the bike rack for a while and drove away. I kept sitting.  My next crew member arrived.  She is a librarian so we’ll call her The Librarian. She is a very upstanding but fearless lady and she thought we should keep sewing. ” What can they do?” she said calmly.” They’ll just talk to us and we’ll talk to them”. So we sat down very inconspicuously amidst the bikes and sewed. I accidently sewed a strip around a bike lock. The bikers were very nice.

The bike racks were getting completely full of bikes, this is a very popular bike rack. The librarian was a sewing demon. I was a little chagrined that I has caused such a ruckus in front of the library and swore to be polite and discreet from now on. We finished the 10 loops It looked quite astonishing.

When I came back later to photograph it was already getting torn. This made me sad but I had to do it.

None of the woman in these pictures are me.

An interesting essay on International Yarnbombing in Forbes here

Berkeleyside Article here

Beautiful essay on yarnbombing  here.