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Arts and Entertainment

Knitta Please Tags LA

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It's kinda like graffiti, only fuzzier.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the lobby of the Standard Hotel on Sunset, where for the next couple of weeks, Knitta Please’s handiwork will be on display. Emphasis on “hand”.

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The Houston-based group of women (and one man) are giving your grandma’s knitting a healthy dose of “street” appeal. Think of it as guerilla knitting. Knitta gathers every week or so, and knit open tubes by hand, in various bold colors and sizes, kinda like tea cozies.

Then they venture out into the city, under the cover of night, armed only with the knitted tubes, some zip ties, a pair of scissors, and a sense of rebellion.

The team works methodically. First, they choose the optimal spot. On the night that I went out with them, they spied a desperately grey and unhappy traffic light pole on Sunset Boulevard, which looked like it was looking for some real love rather than the cheap feel-ups the various ho-bags gave it on their way to the Standard pool area.

The ladies wrap the tube around the pole (I could almost hear it sigh with relief!), and quickly zip-tie up the back, the tallest whipping together the top of the tube, the shorter connecting the bottom of it. Four pairs of hands nimbly work their way around the traffic pole, lovingly pulling and stretching the knitted fabric into position. Then, they stand back, admire their work, and watch as people are drawn to the fuzzy, absurd, whimsical splash of cuddly in an otherwise cold urban landscape.

Where you can find their work on the streets of LA after the jump...

But why go through all this trouble? Why not save the yarn for your own precious sweater, blanket or Charmin-cute kitten to play with? Well, for one thing, when you knit or crochet, you always have unfinished projects lying around, cast away like some long-lost lover who now bores you. And rather than let them pile up, you'd like to find a new home for them.

But the other reason, says Knitta Please founder Magda Sayeg, is that no matter whether you're using spray paint or yarn, it's all an expression of caring and love. It all began with something as simple as a doorknob cozy. It garnered such a reaction, that they realized that bombing the city with their knitted wares might be a good way to spread some cheer. Everyone wants to leave their mark somehow on their surroundings. Another member, Purl Nekklas put it more simply: "I like to f@*k s#%t up!"

The photos don't do it justice. Go check it out for yourself in the wilds of LA. The traffic light at the corner of Sunset and Sweetzer might still be wrapped in acrylic warmth. There's also another example at the corner of Fountain and Alexandria. Unless someone's taken them home to cuddle up to, which they have been known to do. And to that one guy who stole one of these masterpieces to sell on eBay (yup, not kidding): you're an arse.

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