Visual Arts

R-U Engaged and the case of the mysterious disappearing yarn bombs

We told you about the yarn bombs across Boulder B-Cycle stations. Now, R-U-Engaged, who was planning on turning the large-scale yarn art into blankets for charity, can't find the brightly colored cozies. It is like they just disappeared into the night.

"Having stuff disappear is the nature of yarn-bombing so it's not a big surprise," organizer Jason Fitzgerald, formerly The Man in Black, says. "If the materials show up somewhere else that would be great. If somebody just got mad and pulled them off to destroy them that would be bad."

One idea is that, now that it's getting a little nippy, the homeless in downtown Boulder took them down to use as blankets. "There is a surprising amount of validity to that idea," Fitzgerald says.

However, while materials like ribbons are pretty to look at in a knit piece, they're not warm or sturdy. And R-U Engaged is offering to swap out the pilfered yarn bombs for proper blankets, just let them know. Their Facebook and website are here.

"It seems that there was a lot of care taken in removing the pieces, as we didn't notice any yarn or zip tie scraps on the ground when we went to remove everything," says Christina Fitzgerald, Jason's wife formerly known as Madame Defarge. "So I'm inclined to think that they weren't taken maliciously."

Boulder B-Cycle seemed thrilled with the project, writing "LOVE the yarnbombing of our B-stations from R-U-Engaged! Our stations look so pretty! Check out their album and do the scavenger hunt for free B-cycle memberships" on R-U-Engaged's Facebook wall on September 6, the day after the yarn bomb hit.

And the government of Boulder doesn't seem put off about the yarn bomb and said it would not ticket or charge the group, citing the fact that city ordinances only classified painting as graffiti, not yarn as reported by The Daily Camera.

That's also why the couple behind R-U Engaged is no longer shy about using their names. "No one with any authority wants any of us arrested," Jason says. Plus: "Once we posted pictures on Facebook of the install we were pretty much outed. Boulder's a small town. Seems strange to use an alias once you get recognized by the Senior's Hand Weights class at the YMCA."

While the couple isn't sure if they'll ever solve the mystery of the disappearing yarn bomb, they're still giving back to charity. While the initial cozies are gone, R-U Engaged still has a significant amount of material left for a donation of blankets, hats and "adult-sized booties," as Christina describes.

They're also having fun with it. "I'm sure the mystery is probably more interesting than the real story," Christina says.

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Jenny An
Contact: Jenny An