Today we have a special treat for our blog readers: an interview with the mysterious Knitteapolis, a local knitter-turned-yarnbomber whose work we frequently spot while out and about in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. We’ve shared some of our own photos of Knitteapolis’ work on today’s post, and you can see more photos at knitteapolis.tumblr.com.
When did you learn to knit?
My girlfriend taught me how to knit eight years ago. We both worked in theater, so when she was teaching me, she helped me learn the feel of the stitches so that I could knit in the dark backstage. It was a wonderful trick and now I never look down at my needles unless I’m doing a particularly tricky pattern.
What inspired you to begin yarnbombing in your community?
I saw my first yarnbomb roughly 2 1/2 years ago. I thought it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen and was very excited by the fact that it looked like something I could do. I’ve always been a huge fan of street art and I thought that knit signs and benches would be absolutely fabulous and something that everyone in the Twin Cities could enjoy.
What is the most ambitious location you’ve bombed to date?
I’ve yarnbombed some pretty awesome places, but I think most ambitious yarnbomb I’ve ever done was the Minnehaha Falls danger sign. I had to jump the fence to install it, but it looks fabulous and is probably the most photographed of all of my yarnbombs. It’s pretty dangerous to get to, so hopefully that means it will last for many years.
Have you ever gotten caught in the act?
I love talking with people who come up to me while I’m yarnbombing. I do all of my installations during the day and don’t really try to hide, so if you see me out there, please do come say hi!
When you aren’t creating new yarn bombs, what types of projects do you like to knit?
When I’m not knitting yarnbombs, I’m usually knitting yarnbombs! I’m almost always creating something in colorful acrylic on size 11 needles to put up outside. I do miss knitting dark slouch hats w/ insanely soft alpaca on size 5 needles sometimes, but that’s alright. Whenever I start missing my smaller needles I’ll knit a silly stuffed animal monster or two for a friend and hide it at their home or work and then I feel better.
Knitting is one of the most therapeutic and calming activities a person can learn to do. That’s why I really enjoy teaching the yarn arts to kids. I teach a knitting class at the Boys and Girls Club in south Minneapolis and will also begin teaching at Kiddywampus in Hopkins soon. It can be tricky at first, but once they start getting the hang of knitting, they become completely obsessed. I had one gal in my B&G Club class tell me knitting makes her brain calm down and the boy sitting next to her agreed and told her that he that felt better when he was knitting. I think every fiber artist can relate to that. Whether you knit, crochet, or yarnbomb stop signs, playing with yarn makes you feel good inside.