Mysteriously turned to the darkside of the Knit one fateful night. Mild-mannered Miss X (name changed to protect her identity) fell asleep while knitting on a late-night London Underground train. She barely escaped the dreaded ‘tube sanitiser’, a glowing green radioactive transport-cleaning monster, with her life. Details of how she survived are unclear, but here are rumours involving the rarely-seen ‘tube mice’ who dwell in the London’s subterranean transport system tunnels.
Since that night part of her emerged from the underground as Deadly Knitshade.
Deadly Knitshade is a lone wool-hungry wolf, instilled with eerie knitting powers. She is subject to constant unexpected ‘knitblasts’ leaving woolly debris around the city. It is her yarn-flavoured burden to bear. Her knits aren’t content with lurking in the shadows of conventional knitting. They don’t stand under the woolly umbrella of quiet stitching at home in front of the TV. They do not smell of mothballs or Werther’s Originals. They do not hide in department store basements or charity shop bargain bins. They aren’t there to keep anyone warm in the winter.
Discernible by their Whodunnknit tags, her knitblasts can appear anywhere. They like to get out. They demand to be noticed. They live in this city every bit as much as any one else does.
Deadly is known for her wild ideas, her ‘will do it or will die trying’ attitude, her 4am panic-stitching, her pangs of crushing guilt at abandoning her handmade creatures, and her plans to one day take over the world with an army of stitched squid.
Making handmade history
Yarn Corps Chronicler and Sneaky Stitch Pioneer: Deadly Knitshade is the woolly brains behind Knit the City, founding the collective in February 2009 when her solo stitching became too much fun not to share. She has been documenting the group’s yarnstorming story, as well as her own, through her camera-wielding and word weaving ever since. She is the Snoopy dancing author of the UK’s first graffiti knitting book, Knit the City: A Whodunnknit Set in London and the slightly posher German version.
Yarnbombing becomes ‘yarnstorming’: The term ‘yarnstorming’ was first used by Knit the City as a squishy, less violent and more creative term for ‘yarnbombing’. A necessary adaptation made due to not wanting to use bandy about the word ‘bombing’ on the BBC news coverage of KTC’s first graffiti knitting event.
No more socks on things: Ms Knitshade innovated the idea of using graffiti knitting combined with amigurumi and characterisation to tell a ‘stitched story’, moving the style away from simple ‘socks on things’ and giving graffiti knitting a clearer voice. The first example of this was her concept for Knit the City’s Web of Woe in August 2009.
Less yarn and more craft: Deadly is a bit of a Macguiver when it comes to crafty street art. She’s conjured poles, hooks, fishing-line frames and LED-battery-based light shows in her time at Knit the City, as well as coming up with the bare bones of most of the early projects. So far she’s used all manner of crazy craft materials to make her street art, and masterminded the first button-based craftstorm in 2012.
Stalk Deadly Knitshade online
Deadly Knitshade can be found hanging about talking utter rhubarb at these fine online haunts:
Deadly has been part of every one of Knit the City’s yarnstorms. You can’t shut her up really. Blimey.