However, the increasingly popular guerrilla knitting movement seems to be changing all that – an idea that originated with Austin Texas’ Knitta Please group in 2005, which started as a response to mass-consumption.
Now, hot on the heels of ‘Yarn Bombers’ that dressed up trees in east London’s Hackney a few months ago, Birmingham-based ‘guerrilla knitters’ group Stitches and Hos are set to make their contribution to the 2012 Olympics, in wool.
The project, entitled K2Tog – Knit 2 Together, folia’s Stitches and Hos’ previous bizarre task, knitting the Birmingham Bullring bull a Christmas jumper last December.
It will see the group cover six columns of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in knit graffiti to celebrate the arrival and stay of Jamaican and American Olympic teams for London 2012.
The colours of the Olympian woolly intervention will match those of the teams’ national flags and the Olympic Rings logo, and will be unveiled to coincide with the opening of the Olympic Games on 27 July.
Made up of hundreds of knitted squares, the project will use 1,300 balls of wool and take an estimated 4,500 hours to create.
As such, the Hos need help. As well as a charming way to mark the Olympic festivities, the project aims to act as a way of engaging the community to help create the artwork. It’s hoped that in doing so, people will be able to teach each other the traditional tricks of the knitting trade and demonstrate the crafting talent in the Birmingham and West Midlands area.
A Knitting Pop-Up shop opens this week in Birmingham’s Pavilion Shopping Centre, where people can turn up and make some yarn-based contribution or learn more about the project, with Stitches and Hos on hand to advise.
Those who wish to contribute can get a kit complete with needles, specially-selected yarn and patterns from selected local craft stockists. The pattern is also available to download from the project’s blog http://knit2together.tumblr.com/, where you can also get updates about the other events organized by the cheeky collective.
The Knitting Pop-Up is open until 27 July at Pavilions Birmingham, 38 High Street, Birmingham B4