Maine targeted by yarn bombing

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December 9, 2011, 7:57 pm

(NECN: Marnie MacLean, Skowhegan, ME) – Forget sweaters and scarves; knitters are taking their talent to the streets. It’s called yarn bombing, and downtown Skowhegan, Maine was targeted this week.

Brian Dubois, business owner and yarn bombing victim, has a bakery in downtown Skowhegan and was one of the first hit by a random act of knitting.

“Sometime after nine, these culprits perpetrated their yarn bombing in our downtown," said Jennifer Olsen.

Yarn bombers choose their targets and knit on the fly, attaching their creations to everything from trees, to doorknobs and even the street crossing signs.
"We're all concerned that hobbyists can take their cause to the street this way," said Olsen.

What is their cause?  First, we had to find out who was the mastermind behind the guerilla knitting.
We went to David Ellis, owner of the Wish Shop and another yarn bombing victim.

“There's a number of ladies around here who get together and knit,” said Ellis. “They are all kind of crazy."

Clue number one.  Clue number two is a tag left behind by the knitters. Could it possibly be connected to the knitting shop in town?  Determined to get to the truth, we went in to confront Julie Cook, the owner of Happy Knits.

People say Julie Cook is the prime suspect in the yarn bombing.

"I can neither deny or claim responsibility for this activity,” said Cook. “Why are you doing this to me?"

We decided to turn up the heat on Julie and get her to crack.

“I'm not saying it was me, I don't know anything about it," she said.

Despite Julie's repeated denials, evidence was mounting and yarn everywhere: the tools to do the job.

A yarn bombing manual, the uniform, hand knit tool belt and detailed plans for yarn bombers to follow to ensure maximum effect on the population.

They have hit statues in Paris and a bus in Texas: anything that can be covered in yarn.

“I think they were trying to put a positive message to people in their own knitting sort of way," said Cook.

One thing the yarn bombing movement has done is change the perception of who is holding the needles.

"This might be beyond little old ladies knitting. It might have some significance worldwide."

Tags: maine, Marnie MacLean, Skowhegan, yarn bombing, knitting, Julie Cook, Jennifer Olsen, David Ellis, Wish Shop, guerilla knitting
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