Yarn Bombing: Helping Us Engage With Our World

Atlanta art yarn bombing

Yarn bombing in Atlanta, Ga.

Engagement is something that’s talked about a lot in the social media community. But what about in real life?

How engaged are we with our surroundings? A few years ago, we zipped around connected to our iPods and now we’ve got smartphones that constantly beg us to check them, talk on them and play with them.

Do we ever really pay attention to and connect with our surroundings? How does this affect our lives?

Yarn bombing as engagement

R U Engaged is a group of knitters and textile artists in Colorado who are collecting international submissions of crocheted or knitted bright, primary or electric, neon colored squares. They will join the pieces together and, under cover of darkness, they will cover about 1000 square feet of surface area with beautiful, inviting yarn.

Their mission is to help people become more engaged with the world around them, both literally and figuratively.

Something about yarn bombing draws people in and makes them connect with their surroundings, so I love their idea. When I took photos of the yarn bombing event here in Atlanta, joggers and walkers on a parallel path would often stop to take a closer look.

I spoke with many artists and crafters while writing about yarn bombing. One thing really stood out to me. Almost all of them talked about their desire for yarn bombing to bring recognition to the fiber arts. Currently, most people think of knitting and crocheting as being something old women do, or something people do out of necessity. Yarn is like paint; it’s a medium to create art.

What is something you can to help people engage with the world? How do you keep yourself more engaged with reality?

The deadline to submit to the R U Engaged project is July 22, 2011. Stop by their website to find out how to enter.

Lindsay Oberst is a writer, journalist and editor. She writes about arts, culture, design, literary, digital media, technology, social good, health, business, marketing and sustainability. She also writes fiction and poetry.

Find her on Twitter @LindsayOWrite and @LindsayOAtlanta.
She’s on Facebook and Google Plus, too.

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