While some were enjoying themselves at the Cross-Stitch party in Hoxton, others in south London were indulging in a spot of “gritting”. Nothing to do with unseasonable road-clearing or even angry teeth-clenching: the word "gritting" is a compound made up of the words “graffiti” and “knitting”. Also known as yarnbombing or urban knitting, the gist is to leave knitted pieces in the urban environment - covering bollards and street furniture, or knitting specific pieces as a comment on the landscape.
The location for this was Leake Street, under Waterloo Station, which, since it was taken over by Bansky and his friends last year, has become a magnet for urban guerrilla art. Another possible reason for the choice of location is its vicinity to I Knit, “a club, shop and sanctuary for knitters in London”, which was behind the initiative.While most of the knitting and crocheting was done with traditional wool, works in other materials, such as audio tape or plastic bags were also on display. Some were done on the spot while other people had clearly been preparing for the assault.The activity is a social one before anything else, and the new rise in popularity recently enjoyed by knitting means that people of all ages (mostly women, though, it seems) are coming out of the knitting closet to brazenly do it in public, enlisting the help of young graffiti artists along the way as was the case yesterday.Further images can be found here.