Don’t mess with knitters. Especially in California. I wasn’t kidding about guerilla knitting.
Shaun and I managed to score the comfy chairs in Starbucks yesterday morning. She bought a copy of The San Fransico Chronicle, and was hogging reading the front page. Fine. I grabbed the Bay Area section: Oh yippee. detailed coverage of Tunnel Expansion…yawwwwn. I flip to under the fold.
Then I spewed my coffee all over both of us.
As long as we have guerrilla knitters, we will be safe from terrorist action in our country. Overnight, knitters from Berkeley and Oakland sewed a giant knitted T cozy onto an art sculpture placed at the Berkeley/Oakland border.
and I quote (Caroline Jones, Chronicle staff writer):
“…Rogue knitters encamped along the Berkeley-Oakland border with lawn chairs, tea cakes and knitting projects to protest the city of Bekerley’s order that they remove and 8 foot knitted tea cozy they sewed over the T in a public sculpture they believe insults Oakland.”
The artwork is a giant word sculpture that reads “Here” on the Berkeley side, and “There” on the Oakland side.
The librarians and English majors among you are already chuckling, aren’t you? It’s an obscure literary reference to Gertrude Stein, who once said of Oakland: there is “no there there.”
Having grown up in Oakland, and then moved to Berkeley on my own, I am unfazed by the existence of knitting subversives. As a young woman, making my way through the hippies, drug zombies, naked people on bad acid trips, superman-outfit guy, and flower children on Telegraph Ave to Cody’s books, I saw what would now be a remarkable scene: a Berkeley police officer, bending over a ragged man in a doorway. The man in blue straightened up, took a nice long hit off the joint, and handed it back, saying: “Man, it’s cool. Just try to hide it next time, okay?”
To Shaun, a Detroit native, the concept of Rogue Knitters is incomprehensible. Grannies knit. Not rebels.
One does not use knitting as a form of civil disobedience. Yeah. Well. This is Berkeley. Flowers were used in Berkeley as a form of civil disobedience.
I am not surprised by how this is handled by the authorities. It never goes to the police, who would probably roll their eyes. Some poor city worker is forced to tromp over to the knitting shop (presumably the location of the Rogue Knitting Cell), and demand the knitted cover be taken down. The knitters refuse.
My guess? End of story. It will rot off. It does not pay to engage with protesters in Berkeley, especially knitters. They are capable of knitting a City Hall Cozy when enraged.
For those of you who still need your whack adjusted: