Murphy Avenue Yarnbombs

posted in: Machine Knitting, Yarnbombing | 4

I yarnbombed all 18 bike racks on Downtown Murphy Avenue in Sunnyvale, CA over the course of three weeks in June and July. I wasn’t actually intending to do all 18. Originally, I was only planning to cover the three racks that face Evelyn Ave. You can tell because they’re all identical apart from color. But once I did three, it was a slippery slope and the rest soon followed. I even did a themed pair for the 4th of July.

My impetus for this project was procrastination. Grand ideas for a larger scale project on Castro in Mountain View were not materializing, and I was feeling pretty stuck. I hadn’t put out a piece for quite sometime so one night I just sat down and forced myself to make a few rack cozies.

Coming up with 18 pieces was an exercise in creativity and also helped me learn how to use my new knitting machine, a Toyota 950.



The Toyota uses finer gauge yarn, and also has the ability to automatically knit two color patterns. I had gotten the new machine for my birthday in April and spent a month or so taking it apart, cleaning it, and getting the punch card mechanism up and running. (After much tinkering, turns out it just needed a good greasing.)

So I played around with patterns, colors, stripes — varying the thicknesses and repetitions. Some pieces are definitely more successful than others and everyone seems to have a favorite. All in all, I think it adds a touch of fun and color to Murphy Ave. I hope Sunnyvale enjoys it! Go see it before they’re gone! I recommend going on a Saturday morning and partaking in the excellent farmers market on the same street.

4 Responses

  1. Lorna
    | Reply

    I’m amazed you did 18! Um, the seams look amazing. And I can tell you had fun playing with those stripes. I want to know which one is your favorite! (Mine are the 4th of July one in back and the 2 blues with yellow/green skinny stripes.)

    • Ally
      | Reply

      I love the lions. And the rainbow stripes.

  2. Enno
    | Reply

    As a Sunnyvale resident at the time, I was delighted by these pieces, and am delighted to learn something about the process. Using a machine makes so much sense, and now I want to get my Mum one for Christmas. One does not usually get a colophone or even a name with street art, but we seem to know the same people on Facebook 🙂 Thank you so much!

    • Ally
      | Reply

      Thanks Enno! I absolutely love my knitting machines, and highly recommend them. I’m sure your mom would like it too.

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