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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Knitta Please, Brooklyn, New York

Knitting graffiti in Austin, Texas. Photo from Author, 2012.
Montague Street Business Improvement District worked with Knitta Please to install "knit grafitti" throughout their district. Installations have been done by Knitta Please as far away as the Great Wall of China and a bus in Mexico. They were asked to help organize a public event where participants knitted coverings for 69 parking meters throughout the district. Costs for each post were about $3 each. This project is documented on the Knitta Please website.

According to a website by Magda Sayeg, founder of Knitta Please, "The simple juxtaposition of this woven material placed within an urban environment has inspired a new generation of knitters who no longer view function as the sole purpose for knitting. This new approach to knitting questions the assumptions of a traditional craft while adding a previously unused material to the world of street art."

Work of this organization was featured in a presentation by Kennedy Smith of CLUE Group at the National Main Street Center Annual Conference on March 3, 2009, in Chicago, Illinois. Smith's presentation on "Interactive Streets" focused on this and other projects like it that provide "unprecedented opportunities to animate downtown and neighborhood streets."

Kennedy concluded the presentation with five suggestions:
  1. Record people telling stories. project them on a wall. do at Christmas, tell stories of favorite memories about Christmas, graduation, in conjunction with other events. Teach people about community through stories that are told.
  2. Stage an event in a storefront window.
  3. Tag significant places in your district with markers keyed to a website or blog.
  4. Embed a game board in a sidewalk like hop scotch.
  5. Create cellphone activated triggers for something in a storefront window.