Guerilla Knitting Czech Style: Girl in Czechland goes stitching and bitching

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These women are taking part in an act of guerilla knitting outside the National Theatre in Prague.  I spotted them as I was on my way home on the 22 tram this afternoon. Overwhelmed with curiosity, I decided to jump off and find out exactly what was going on.

Those of you living in the States or the UK – especially uber-hip New York or arty East London – will not failed to have noticed that knitting is the new black. It’s not unusual to see young women pull out their circular needles on the Tube and start clacking away.  When I attempted this in the company of Czechman, his reaction was one not merely of embarrassment but of horror.  As far as he was concerned, knitting was for old folks only – and they did it in the privacy of their own homes.

Here in Czechland though I believed these attitudes towards knitting remained: that it was the preserve of grannies, desperately uncool and to be undertaken only indoors.  I was therefore delighted to make the acquaintance of the Guerilla Knitters, who don’t make sweaters, but art.  The group had spent the day knitting and crocheting a cover for the globe which sits in the centre of the diamond above the entrance to Nova Scena.  Here’s a picture of some ladies adding the finishing touches:

If you look really closely, there’s a very small knitted flourescent pink square there which is my own handiwork.  Somewhere.  Watch out for it the next time you pass on the tram.

Knitting brings people together.  This little artistic happening may seem silly and pointless to some but it put smiles on the faces of hundreds of passing tourists.  A few passers-by (like myself) even stopped to join in.   I had an excuse to show off my crafty skills and practice my rubbish Czech on a semi-captive audience.   I now know the words for ‘knit’, ‘purl’ and ‘stocking stitch’ which will serve me well in day-to-day life I’m sure.

Should the group grow in size, who knows which Prague monument will end up covered in knitted graffiti next?  Petrin Tower?  Charles Bridge?  Even Prague Castle itself?  Should the Guerilla Girls knit over all the doors, at least it would keep the odious Vaclav Klaus hidden from sight for a while…

P.S  Just in case you don’t believe me that urban knitting is taking over the Western world, check out these beautiful tree cosies.

12 Comments

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12 Responses to Guerilla Knitting Czech Style: Girl in Czechland goes stitching and bitching

  1. How very random! Am almost tempted to learn how to knit just for the sake of being guerilla in something!

    • girlinczechland

      I can teach you to knit! My last student successfully made his own fridge magnet. The possibilities are endless…

  2. RyanG

    I had never heard of this newfangled knitting movement, but then again my gender typically feels as your Czechman does when it comes to these things. I do so enjoy your blog for these day to day insights.

  3. Heya! I’m a bit of a guerilla knitter living in Kolín (about 50 km away, but I spend most of my free time in Prague) and wondering if I could get in on this!

    • girlinczechland

      Hello there Colleen,

      The guerilla knitters have a Facebook group (called surprise, surprise, guerilla knitting) but if you’re not into that particular social networking site just email me and I’ll send you more details. Also let me know if you fancy doing a spot of stitching and bitching over cake and coffee somewhere in Praha one of these days…

      GIC

    • surely the group is welcoming new people. and contains folks able to tech some things. definitely do take part:)

  4. When I’m reading your blog I’m always feeling ashamed for Czech people… If you want them not to stare at you, you have to be common, dead boring, have sporty (to any occasion!), unmatching clothes and a rucksack.
    If you happen to be different and have other than sporty clothes, they will stare at you and judge you. So did the communist. Is n’t it sad?

    • girlinczechland

      Sigh.
      I have to agree with you Vita. Love your blog by the way!
      GIC

      • I don’t know. People say that but I always wear what I want and say what I want and I’m just fine. Hm, but I’m probably not that extraordinary and I don’t need to be.
        Just sayin’, you know 🙂

  5. Katarina

    Does this group in Prague still in action? I’d love to join, if possible! 🙂

    • girlinczechland

      Hey Katarina,
      Yes, indeed they are! You need to search on Facebook for Guerilla Knitting Prague and you’ll find details of all their upcoming events. If you’re interested in a more conventional ‘knit and knatter’ type group, you could try these guys: http://stitchnbitchprague.com/about-us/
      Happy Knitting!
      GIC

      • Katarina

        Thanks 🙂
        I found the FB group. Funny to see a stitch&bitch group in Prague, I have a Canadian friend who is running something similar in another country, but not so regular. I’ll think about that one too perhaps 🙂

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