Knitters gone wild: “Guerilla grannies” surprise Ojai

Thanksgiving is the heaviest on food of all our national holidays, and perhaps the lightest emotionally — coincidence? Not sure, but for the Ojai Valley News, here's a fun story that I think fits the occasion, about the latest in organic chic — yarn bombs. Other descriptors: Yarn bombers. Guerilla knitting. Yarnstorming properties. Guerilla granies,

Here's an example of this form of woolen public art, which depends on a lack of permits: 

Yarn Bomb Ojai1

Here's the lede: 

Anonymous knitters, working late at night, have wrapped dozens of poles
in Ojai with brightly-colored yarn in the past few weeks, as well as
cloaking local landmarks — including the metal horse in Rotary Park at
the edge of town, the condor at the museum and the statue of the boy
reading at the library — in impromptu woolen outfits.

And the wrap-up, quoting an anonymous knitter who likened herself to "Deep Throat," and concluded with a nice story about being out early after a big wave of yarn bombing to see if there would be any reaction. She was at Cluff Park downtown looking at an installation on an abstract statue when a big CalTrans truck pulled up. She and her guerilla friend were worried that he had come to take down the woolen outfit they had put on the statue, as if to keep it warm.  

         A leading member of
one of the guerilla knitters group, who did not want to be identified, said
that three separate groups of knitters are responsible, but don’t know each
other well.

         “That’s kind of the
fun part, the anonymity,” she said. “It’s not that organized. We all have our
own ideas. It was my idea to put a yarn bomb on the pole outside the voting
booth at Chaparral for voting day. It was red white and blue, with all these
criss-crossing flags. I think it made quite a statement. It’s still there,
although the flags are gone.”

         Three weeks ago her
group hit several landmarks around town, including artist Ted Gall’s iron horse
in Rotary Park, which was given leg warmers, and the statue in Cluff Park.
Early the next morning the knitter was with a friend and saw a CalTrans truck
stop at the site. She was afraid he had come to take the knitting down, but
instead he took a camera out of his truck and took a picture of the “yarn

         When she asked him
about it, he said he was taking the picture for his daughter, who had heard
about the trend and liked it. 

         “Some towns have
drive-by shootings,” he told her. “In Ojai, we have drive-by knittings."

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “Knitters gone wild: “Guerilla grannies” surprise Ojai

  1. My dad works for Caltrans in Ojai and he was there in the truck that morning. I love our beautiful lil Ojai.


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