A couple of trees in Shanghai became a local delight after they were draped in yarn knittings last Thursday. However, the beauty and fame didn’t last long, as the Shanghai government removed the much adored accessories on Wednesday.
The phoenix trees on Nanchang road were “yarn bombed” by a group of expats, the Shanghai Daily reported. Yarn bombing, also known as graffiti knitting or “kniffiti,” is a kind of street art that uses colorful displays of knitted yarn on public facilities. The movement is believed to have originated in Texas, US, in 2005 after Magda Sayeg first covered the door handle of her boutique with a knitted cozy.
As the colorful outfits successfully stunned passersby the next morning, netizens also showed their admiration towards the creative works, saying “they added beauty to the city.”
However, on Wednesday, one week after the incident, the city government removed the outfits, citing concerns that they would cause harm to the trees’ healthy growth.
This decision has triggered heated discussions online. While some say the government made the right decision, others are arguing that the city should be more open to creative minds.
“I can understand the government’s concerns, but maybe they could have kept the decorations up longer. They made the street appear more dynamic,” commented @Shiqiangqiang.
“The sweaters that fit human bodies may not suit the trees as well,” argued @Yueluoxishanby.
When yarnbombing first started happening, I was super excited about it, because I love crocheting and the occasional knitting, and yarn is just great. Just seeing yarn crafts makes me happy.
But after a while, yarn bombing stuff starts to look really, really gross. Because, you know, weather. It basically just turns into litter that’s tied to stuff. Acrylic yarn (what most yarn is) doesn’t decompose, and even yarn made from natural fibers takes a long time to decompose and it looks really, really gross while that’s happening.
If you yarnbomb something, it’s your responsibility to take it down later.
Also, there are plenty of charities that welcome yarn crafted items (hats, blankets, etc.) either to donate or to sell for donations. People who like yarn crafts but don’t have a project right now should consider how they spend their time, but I’m not here to tell you that you have to knit for charity or judge you for your knitting projects, but it is something to consider.
Yarnbombing trees is particularly bad.
Not only does the yarn start looking gross, but it retains water and causes the tree bark to rot.
Even natural fibers will cause this, because they don’t decompose quickly.
Yarnbombing trees looks really cool, but it should only be done for a short time (like two or three days). If you want to yarn bomb trees in a park as decoration for your wedding ceremony, that’s awesome! It’s going to look amazing (and cozy!) at the event and in your pictures. Just make sure you (or a friend of yours) goes to cut the yarn off the trees within a couple days after the event.
Someone stood at the base of a tree and looked up at the branches and snapped a picture. On the tree are colorful sections of yarn - someone knit a “snuggie” for the tree - the yarn reaches up into some of the uppermost branches. Very colorful yarn. It’s a practice called ‘yarn bombing’