A Recipe for Anarchy

This recipe is for a basic yarn bombing piece.  I’ve purposefully neglected to give you yarn requirements, gauge measurements, sizes and other specifics.  Because, well, this is graffiti, and should be sort of free form.  And rules are for squares.  So, feel free to change, modify, add to, and alter to your heart’s content.  Change is good!  Anarchy!  Down with the Man!



Yarn-As much or as little as you like.  Don’t use anything expensive, since it’ll get gross out in the rain, and may be torn down quickly.  Odds and ends that you have laying around will work fine.  I used some Red Heart that I had laying around, waiting to be used.

Needles- To match your yarn.  I recommend a large gauge, so that your knitting goes quickly and you can cover a larger area.  I used 10 1/2.

Crochet hook (optional)- In a gauge to match your needles.

Buttons (optional)-Again, nothing fancy or expensive.  If you have some laying around that you don’t mind parting with, feel free to use them.  Or, you can make your own buttons using an old plastic container (like a milk jug or other food container).  Cut out circles about an inch around, and use a hole punch (or a knitting needle) to poke two holes in each button.  They won’t be pretty, but, they’ll do the job.

Scissors and tapestry needle.


1. Cast on any number of stitches.  This should be easy and free-flowing, so don’t worry about gauge or where the knitting is going to end up.   I’ll just make something, and then find somewhere to put it.  However, if you have a particularly sad tree or something that you think needs a little knitted excitement, feel free to measure the circumference of the tree, make a gauge swatch, and figure out the number of stitches you’ll need to go around it.

2. Knit for a while.  Let your creativity take over!  Change colors, mix patterns together, do things that you wouldn’t usually do.  Think of this as an opportunity to “sketch” with your needles.  Here are some ideas that you might want to include:

  • Stripes
  • Ribbing
  • Lace patterns (How cool would a tree look covered in gigantic lace?  I just thought of this… and I might go try this soon.)
  • Cables
  • Intarsia, Fair Isle, or other Color work
  • Adding beads or other unconventional materials

3.  When your piece is finished, cast off loosely.

4. Optional-Use the crochet hook to edge the whole piece with a single crochet edge.  You can use this to burry any yarn tails that you may have, so you don’t have to actually sew them in.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. Optional- Add buttons and button holes.  You can skip this step if you want to sew your piece directly onto your tree/light pole/sign post. If you want buttons, attach them to one side of your piece (mine are on the right in the above picture).  On the opposite side of the piece, make some button loops.  You have two options:

  • Use the crochet hook to make loops in the edging.  Make another row of single crochet along the edge.  When you reach a spot where you want a button hole, chain 3 stitches, then continue doing the single crochet edging.
  • Using your tapestry needle and a length of yarn, you can add simple button loops as follows:  Sew in one end of the yarn.  Wrap the yarn around your non-dominant thumb, right down by your knitting.  Sew other end of the yarn.  You’ll end up with a 1” loop of yarn hanging off the side of your knitting.  This loop will act as your buttonhole.


6. Sew in any ends that haven’t been sewn in already.

7. Install your work.  This is the sneaky part.  I recommend doing it under cover of darkness.  But it’s up to you.  Find where you want to put your knitting.  Trees in parks are good, or maybe there is a bike rack near your house that needs a little perking up.  Look for something with a circumference that is roughly equal to the width of your knitting.  When you have found a good spot for you knitting, install your graffiti!

  • If you have buttons:  Button the piece to your tree/pole etc.  Easy!
  • If you didn’t put on buttons: Using a long piece of yarn, sew the piece into place.  A simple whip stitch works well.  Work quickly!

8. Run away!

9. Come back the next day to appreciate your work.  Take pictures.  Pretend to just be a passer-by who is tickled by the cool knitting.


1 thought on “A Recipe for Anarchy

  1. Pingback: Keeping Everyone Warm | On the Needles

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