Five Minutes with the Mother of Yarn Bombing, Magda Sayeg

We were super excited to sit down and chat with knit artist Magda Sayeg. Considered to be the mother of yarn bombing, Magda’s work has evolved to include the knitted/crocheted covered bus in Mexico City, as well as her first solo exhibit in Rome at La Museo des Esposizione during the summer of 2010. She leads community-based projects and works on commissions around the globe with various companies. Such as Absolut Vodka, Madewell, Insight 51, Mini Cooper, and more recently, Comme des Garcons. She is one cool chick. So we asked and she answered.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE ART OF KNITTING?

I kind of stumbled into it. I knew how to knit when I was sixteen, but didn’t really care for it that much. And then. All of a sudden there was a renaissance of knitting and then the D.I.Y. movement. Then a friend invited me to knitting circles. It was fun to go to on a Tuesday night and drink wine and hang out with other women. That was really my incentive; I didn’t really care about the knitting. But when I was in my shop [that I owned at the time], I was bored on a winter day and I decided that it would be pleasant to see something that was bright, warm and human-like (in a sense that was handmade). So I knitted the door handle. I guess in a way, that was how I discovered that knitting could be elevated to an art form. [When I did it] I didn’t say to myself “I’m going to elevate knitting to an art form and put it on this door handle.” It was very much so an organic, slowly conscious thing / process that happened.

Who knew that I would be the founder of the yarn bombing? I never thought that that would be in the cards. I’m really proud of that. Even though I don’t really own it anymore, the world yarn bombs. It’s really cool to see that it started back in 2005 at my shop.

TELL US ABOUT THE BIGGEST THING YOU’VE EVER KNITTED:

I think what I did just recently for The Dover Street Market [in New York] for Comme des Garcons was probably the biggest, most complex and interesting. If I could make all of my projects as compelling as that, I’d be a happy person. It was such a cool feeling. It really touched upon all these different passions I have. I really loved fashion for a while and then getting into this art. To me, it just satisfied me so much. I really enjoyed it.

magdasayeg.com
Magda Sayeg’s installation for Comme des Garcons at the Dover Street Market in New York.
[Photos by: Jonathan Hokklo]