On Sunday night, R-U Engaged covered Boulder's eleven B-cycle kiosks in "yarny knitted goodness," as organizer the Man in Black describes. The group's mission is to bring greater awareness to good causes via yarn-bombing. They've also set up a QR-code scavenger hunt in which participants can win one of five week-long or one year-long membership to B-cycle.
"A bunch of us saw yarn-bombing across the country, and you can only make so many sweaters, hats, socks and mittens," says the Man in Black. His wife, who also participates in the group under the alias Madame Defarge, is a compulsive knitter. "I proposed doing something bigger. A lot of us have time and energy not devoted to our jobs or family that we'd like to spend on doing something positive."
The group put out a call on its Facebook page for knit submissions to augment the stashes of the members. They didn't expect the 200 pieces they got, or the ones that were shipped in from as far as Ireland and Australia.
The entire project cost less than $600, including QR technology that usually costs thousands to use. (The Chicago-based company agreed to give R-U-Engaged a drastic price cut because they liked what the group stood for.) To complete the scavenger hunt, just go up to a kiosk and scan the QR code (like the one above) with your phone. The instructions will be displayed.
R-U Engaged hopes to yarn-bomb again, possibly even as a formally organized nonprofit. The group is not affiliated with B-cycle. And the group's members choose to remain anonymous. "Technically speaking, what we're going out to do on Sunday is illegal," the Man in Black says. However, nobody he knows of has ever gotten into legal trouble for yarn-bombing in Colorado, or in the country as a whole. The group also left a telephone message with Boulder B-Cycle letting the company know that they would remove the knitted pieces if asked.
"The closest comparison is to graffiti, but it's so whimsical that people look at it and it makes them smile."
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Find more pictures of the yarn bomb on R-U Engaged's flickr.