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Yarn Bomb!: New Outdoor Artwork in Richmond/Knob Hill

1. Where is this artwork located?

This "yarn bomb" artwork is located just north of 26th Ave and west of Crowchild Trail in a quiet cul-de-sac on 24A St SW in Calgary, Alberta.

2. What inspired you to do this project?

Nemea: We saw a bunch of trees wrapped in sweaters in a plaza when on vacation in Spain four years ago. We didn’t know it was actually called yarn bombing at the time, and instead used the term “tree cozies” in our family. When we came back home, we asked my mother to knit tree cozies for our two trees outside our store in Inglewood, Oak & Vine Wines and Spirits, thinking it would work well with the artsy/Bohemian vibe of the neighbourhood. The tree cozies were very popular and passersby would stop and take pictures with them and post the pictures on social media. It was obvious that folks enjoyed the novelty of the trees in sweaters so we again asked my mom to knit a tree cozy for our tree at home to add some colour to our front yard.

3. How long did it take to do and what process did you use to create it?

Nemea: She used regular knitting with needles and it took her four weeks to knit from start to finish.

4. Was it hard to install, as it looks really tall? How did you get it on the tree?

Nemea: It was difficult to install mainly because it needed two people and a tall ladder to get up our tree. Thankfully, my husband is over 6’4” and did most of the work threading the sweater around the trunk higher up the tree. Also, it needs to sewn up so it stays put.

5. I've seen that this type of artwork has been referred to as a "yarn bomb" and as a type of graffiti. What's your opinion?

Nemea: Yes, we didn’t realize that yarn bombing was a thing until customers told us that was what our tree cozies were technically called. For us, it’s a type of folksy, craft that we volunteered to put on our trees so I classify it as a yard decoration. If someone were to yarn bomb a park bench or trees in a park, I still don’t see it as graffiti per se because it’s fun and harmless, as it injects color and whimsy in a public space. Besides, if anyone truly objects to the yarn bomb, it can be cut down and there isn’t any permanent damage to the benches, fire hydrants, trees etc. I see more smiles and curiosity than objections to the yarn bombs I’ve seen in my experience.

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