Yarn Bombs Over Northampton: Adele Interviews the Elusive Riot Prrl

June 18th, 2011  |  by Published in featured, featured artists  |  1 Comment

At C3 we have a passion for supporting local public art, so we are really thrilled to bring news of Riot Prrl, Northampton’s resident knit tagging collaborative, to the blog.  Knit tagging is seriously secretive business, so we promised not to reveal the true identities of the group.  What we can tell you, though, is that there are three key knitters producing the work, each with their own yarn bombing identity and fierce name (Knitta Glitta, Knitta Over Committa and Knitta Spitta,) their own individual projects, and their own artistic motivations.  These three often conceive of, and knit their projects as individuals, but work together to install the work during secret nightime tagging sessions. In the words of Knitta Glitta, “I am drawn to the anonymity of it all. Who doesn’t want to be a warm and fuzzy secret agent?”  We agree.  Also, who wouldn’t want the chance to invent an alter ego and take a cool name?  Riot Prrl weighs in on their names:

Knitta Glitta –“This name originated from one my more ornate pieces, started off with some scrap scratchy pink sparkle yarn. I knew that I would never want that yarn to be by my skin so it was perfect for yarn bombing. As a result, I was inspired to decorate the rest of the yarn with sparkle Mod Podge. Thus Knitta Glitta was born. My motto is to create with a sense of ridiculousness.”

Knitta Over Commita–“I have really big ideas that are often way too difficult to execute with the small number of our group.  Luckily Knitta Spitta is our voice of reason and usually we can all work together to figure out a more reasonable compromise for the original idea.”

Knitta Spitta–“The first night that we all went out tagging together I was putting a piece on a parking meter & there were some cops at a bar across the street but I work calmly under pressure so I just continued seaming.  I had to thread a new piece of yarn & put one end in my mouth which left behind some yarn pieces so I spit them out on the sidewalk – thus, Knitta Spitta!”



















What are you trying to communicate or explore in your work?
Knitta Glitta— I am trying to communicate a sense of joy or whimsy that is intermixed within a sterile or otherwise drab environment. I really want passersby to stop and investigate the piece and to be pleasantly surprised by what they find.

Knitta Over Commita–I appreciate when I am snapped out of my daily routine by something pleasantly out of the ordinary or by a positive exchange, so I like the idea of paying that back or knitting it forward

Knitta Spitta–I like to make a statement (political or otherwise) or include a positive message in my pieces while beautifying at the same time.  I want my work to make people stop & take a look, think, be inspired to do something themselves.

Where were you when you created one of your favorite works?
Knitta Glitta–At home in my apartment is where I have created my favorite work. Due to the nature of this type of art form, I enjoy keeping it a big surprise until it goes up for its final reveal. It could be risky to create in a public space, such as on a bus or in a café.

Knitta Over Committa— I mostly create at home as I like the element of surprise when I put a piece up but sometimes I just can’t resist knitting so I will bring projects with me to work on during breaks at work or in between games at my hockey rink.

Knitta Spitta-– My favorite piece was the rainbow we put up for Northampton Pride.  The Trevor Project and It Gets Better Project are both so important, and it felt good to help spread the word about them, while also cozying up a public area that gets a lot of use.  That was also our first big install, and it felt really nice to be with the rest of the group, all of us calmly knitting in the middle of the night.

What is your spirit animal?
Knitta Glitta–A Golden Retriever. I am ever loyal, friendly and always ready to play.

Knitta Over Committa— An Owlet.

Knitta Spitta— A giraffe. Wearing a hot pink fake mustache.

What spaces in Northampton are you most curious to see inside of, or
 to make work in?
Knitta Glitta–Well, I don’t want to give away my next project but I can say that I would like utilize a space that has a long rounded lines, that is more visible to the public and that can be seen either by walking or riding a bike. I’ve been very inspired lately by yarn bombers or yarn stormers in Europe that have been covering entire bridges, that would be my dream project.

Knitta Over Committa— So far all of my work has been outside & I think I might like to keep it that way.  I would love to create some statue or tree clothing though.

Knitta Spitta— I’ve always been kind of intrigued by the roundhouse, but as far as knit tagging, I’ve enjoyed working outside.  I like the accessibility of street art, that it is there to be discovered and enjoyed by everyone.  People aren’t used to seeing knitting outside, so seeing a knitted piece in an unexpected environment might shift their ideas about that particular art form and the different ways to use it.  It allows a softer approach to creating graffiti.

What are some strategies you use to sustain your art practice (while
living in Northampton)?
Knitta Glitta— I would start off by saying that securing or reinforcing your piece is extremely important. I employ both zip ties and sew tightly. Also, always remember to put up your work in an area that you know it will be appreciated in otherwise you run a bigger risk of having it taken down.

Knitta Spitta— It’s not as if we expect the tags to stay up forever, but we do want to make sure they’ll last for as long as possible, so people can enjoy them.  We trying to choose safe objects to tag, being careful not to cover important information, fire hydrants, pipes, or anything of that nature.

Knitta Over Committa— Including a calling card (even though they regularly get cut off) is important too, so people can check out our blog or contact us for more information.  http://riotprrl.tumblr.com/

Knitta Spitta—I might lose some serious street art cred by admitting this, but on our first big piece we also attached cards asking that we be contacted if the piece needs to be taken down, so we could detach it without destroying it.  A lot of time and funds go into the bigger tags, so we want to be able to reuse it or recycle the yarn.

What 5 items do you always carry with you?
Knitta Glitta
1.)chapstick- my lips get parched.
2.)figit toy- I get a little antsy sometimes.
3.)some type of writing instrument.
4.)phone- so as to take random pictures I find visually interesting or silly.
5.)wallet- you must have funds for snacks and supplies.

Knitta Over Commita—
1.  Knitting bag (at least one project, scissors/box cutter, tapestry needles etc)
2.  Keys (with a measuring tape attached – you never know when you will see something you want to cover in yarn!)
3.  a book
4.  ipod
5.  notebook & pen

Knitta Spitta—
1) a knitting project
2 )measuring tape
3) journal and pen
4) a book,
5) and a fake mustache (just in case i need to go undercover.)


  1. Freddy Quinlan says:

    June 18th, 2011at 3:48 pm(#)

    I really, really like this, and I’ve seen tons of these around town. I agree they bring a lot of life to various bits of municipal property, but why trees? They are naturally beautifu — especially this time of year — and hardly drab by my estimation.

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