Maybe you've seen it in the inner city streets, or possibly the more shady parts of town, but never dreamed this kind of element would come to your college campus. You probably thought this kind of renegade gang behavior would never enter your world, but you can't hide any longer from the hard reality of how things are in the real world. Perhaps you have no clue what I'm even talking about and were blissfully unaware of this dangerous and colorful subculture.

Gorilla knitting yarn
Not to be confused with Gorilla Knitting.
It's time to wake up, people, and take a look around. I'm here to tell you about something both highly bizarre and just a little cute which is seeping onto college campuses the world over. It's called Guerrilla Knitting, otherwise known as urban knitting, knit graffiti, yarn bombing, knit tagging, yarn storming, thread banging, and various other pseudonyms. Whatever you call it though, it's spreading fast and there seems to be nothing we, as a society, can do to stop it, even if we wanted to.

It was all started back in 2005, by two women, graffiti tagging the Houston metropolitan area due to an all-to-common frustration that often arises out of the projects. OG members AKrylik and PolyCotN, armed only with sharp puncturing objects and double-bladed weapons, took their growing angst to the streets in typical gangland fashion. After finding others like them who were becoming frustrated with the conditions of their inner city, the gang quickly grew to eleven members. Then, like any other gang, they got organized and developed some street cred which was followed by a rapid swelling of their numbers.

Telephone booth covered in knitting
The only phonebox cosy that is also a calling card.
The unpredictable gang then started spreading to other cities, with chapters in places like Seattle, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, and Los Angeles. Today they are being internationally represented in France, China, Australia, England, Canada, El Salvador, Scotland, Scandinavia, Japan, South Africa, and many other countries. You might not think you care, because urban gangland is not part of your reality, but lately they have begun infiltrating college campuses everywhere, and your college is certainly no safe haven.

Trees covered in knitting
Global warming isn't a myth! Here's the proof!
Representing an obvious tie to urban hip-hop society, they use monikers like Knotorious N.I.T., SonOfaStitch, and P-Knitty, leaving tags on their work with phrases like "knitta please" or "whaddup knitta?" Like most gangs, bred out of frustration with the projects, their goal is a common one, mainly just struggling to survive while living in the cold, harsh urban environment. Everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, or gender, desires urban beautification, but as so often is the case in gangs, things can get out of hand fast. What starts out as simple expression often turns into a disturbing obsession demonstrated by some of the less guided members of the gang. I mean honestly, just how ugly could that tree have been in the first place? Knitta please!!

Shoes hanging from a telephone wire
It is confirmed that the perps definitely are needle users.
Some have suggested that hallucinogenic drugs are a major motivator of this gang; others suggest they are simply high on life. It has been confirmed that a popular gang signature involves hanging knit-covered sneakers over aerial telephone cables. However, no real evidence has been uncovered indicating any illegal trafficking, other than the keeping of traffic signs warm. If drug use is at the root of all this unusual behavior, experts are convinced that needles are most certainly the delivery method of choice. Despite leaving a very warm trail wherever the gang goes, authorities don't seem to know what to make of it, or out of it for that matter. Regardless, the group continues to taunt the authorities by flaunting their handy work not only in plain view, but also on popular photo sharing websites like Flickr. In tracking them and their crafty nature, it is becoming clear that their numbers seem to be getting bigger and bigger.

Bus covered in knitting
Illegit Knit Transit
Many have spoken out and chastised the gangs as misguided in their efforts and wonder why they don't use their time and energy for more useful, community-oriented goals. For instance, homeless people have begun speaking out against the "Midnight Knitters" claiming that it is an insult to keep a lamp post warm when they are freezing to death on the streets. One transient man was quoted saying, "I wake up cold as shit every mornin' and these bitches are out here knitting sweaters onto a freakin' tree branch, while I'm freezin' my ass off! Where's the mother fuckin' cozy for MY wood in the mornin' damn it?! They be thinkin' they all haaaarrd and shit, ain't nobody be harder than a frozen ass bum with mother fuckin' stiffy!" Other more reputable community members have claimed that what is being labeled as "a method of beautifying public space" is nothing more than graffiti and vandalism, especially when seen on such structures as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Great Wall of China.

Whether you deem it to be harmless art, criminal behavior, or simply the cutest gang ever, one thing is for certain: if you continue to ignore this new gang, which is adorably and blatantly staring you in the face, then you are definitely a Knit Wit. The world is slowly becoming a little more cozy whether you like it or knot!


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