by Susan Ellis
The deed was done under the cover of darkness. “We did it to mark our turf,” says their leader Christiana Leibovich. “We don’t want any other knitters on our territory.”
The Memphis Knit Mafia put up this “pole cozy,” a bit of guerilla knitting, over an old sign post outside of Café Eclectic in the Vollintine-Evergreen neighborhood last Tuesday night. The work, which is about 10 feet long, is a colorful mash-up of knitting styles — cables, stripes, checks, and even the Batman logo — created over a few months by the seven or eight core members of the group.
The members of the Memphis Knit Mafia, whose ages range from late 20s to mid-40s, originally met each other through the online site ravelry.com. They found their personalities and wicked senses of humor clicked, and they decided to form their own group, meeting each Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Café Eclectic.
“We’re the fringe group,” says Leibovich, explaining the decision to unite and their choice of venue. “We’re younger than a lot of members of knitting groups, and we have really dirty mouths and like to drink, which they [don’t care for] at yarn stores.”
Having been inspired by other guerilla knitting projects around the country, they decided to make their own as sort of a “valentine” to Café Eclectic. Café owner Cathy Boulden is thrilled by the results: “Isn’t it cool?”
Part 2 of the project will cover the sign, and the Memphis Knit Mafia is considering other guerilla knitting ideas as well.
The group has a Facebook fan page, which can be found by searching “Memphis Knit Mafia.”