Graffiti yarnstorm: Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers

Warning: This post contains some very poor French. My apologies to all French people.

Zuts alors! What do you get if you mix one yarnstorming graffiti knitter, one pile of insanely coloured yarn and the biggest comics festival in Europe? You get the Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers!

I work my woolly magic at The Fleece Station, a studio in deepest Deptford which I share with not one but two comics-making geniuses, and in the year or so since I’ve been there I have learned that comics aren’t all superheroes and slapstick. In fact there are some bloomin’ amazing things going in the comics world.

And the AngoulemeFestival International de la Bande Dessinee (Angouleme Comics Festival for those of us less French) is the jewel in the shiny comics crown. Everyone who is any one in comics goes and it takes over the whole city. Not just inside at exhibitions, the comics literally run wild on the streets! It’s fantabulous!

Street art is huge in Angouleme, with comic characters and all sorts of other inspiring graffiti goodness appearing in the city. How could I resist?

If you’re going to yarnstorm you have to do it properly. Since I’m not really a ‘socks on lampposts’ gal I needed a focus. Who best to knit but the festival’s mascot?

Ladies and gents, meet Le Favre the Angouleme Festival Cat, created by comics-god Mr Lewis Trondheim. Say ‘bonjour’ Le Favre…

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Le Fauve the Cat models


 Using my sneaky stitching skills™ I conjured up a crafty version of the kitty:

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Fauve the Cat and his woolly friend Fibre Le Fauve

"Bonjour aussi!"

And because comics are running wild in the streets I sprouted a bunch of Woolly Wildflowers to go with them:

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Four Woolly Wildflowers sprout

"Nous sommes les fleurs sauvages!"

The plan was that there was no plan. Until I saw Hergé’s head.

Hergé is the guy who created Tin Tin. And if you don’t know who Tin Tin is then shamez vous (I made that French up)!

Because he’s a rockin’ all-star of comics, Herge has a HUGE statue of his head smack bang in the middle of town. That’s some tribute…

But when I arrived another street artist had already got to him! A giant pair of graffiti glasses graced the famous man’s huge face.

Fibre Le Favre and the Woolly Wildflowers and I had a quick conference and decided we didn’t mind at all. Our street art powers combined and we think it turned out rather nicely:

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Fibre Le Fauve poses for the camera

"Bonjour Angouleme!"

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Three Woolly Wildflowers hang with Hergé

"Nous sommes les fleurs sauvages de la rue!"

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Hergé's head gets yarnstormed


As always the knits were a little nervous about being left behind:

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Curious Woolly Wildflower

"Vous nous quittez ici?"

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Fibre Le Fauve's eye view

"Mais il fait froid!"

But they soon bucked up when they saw how much the people of Angouleme liked them…

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - papped

"Tout le monde dit 'Fromage!"

And as always I knew they’d be whisked off to good homes by thieving swine. They didn’t even last till sunset. Woo hoo!

I wonder who has them now?

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - passers by

"Au revoir, mes tricots petits!"

And that wasn’t the end of it. I had three more Woolly Wildflowers left and no plan at all. Which is just the way I like it.

This is where they ended up:

La Quatrième Fleur was planted in a shady alleyway at the door of our favourite crêperie (mmm crêpes). Our waitress asked if she could buy a flower when she saw me stitching away at the table. I told her sadly they weren’t for sale but if she found one she could keep it.

This was my favourite yarnstorm of the weekend:

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Woolly Wildflower alone

"Je suis tout seul..."

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Anyone? Hello?

"Sans amis..."

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - Noticed

"Bonsoir, madame!"

I saw her hug the little Woolly Wildflower and grin her face off as I scarpered from the scene. Hooray for sneaky stitch stealing!

La Fleur Cinquième was planted at the bottom of a wall full of other people’s street art. As a rule I never yarnstorm at night. It’s too hard to take good pictures and it’s not as much fun sneaking about in the dark. But when I met a guy putting up graffiti tiles (see top of the wall) and sporting an extendable ladder (I need to get me one of those), I was inspired to join in right then and there.

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - You're not leaving me out here are you?

"Oooo! Il fait sombre..."

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - hanging with a graffiti pony

"Un poney!"

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - All street art together

"Fête des graffitis!"

And for La Dernière Fleur? Well, it didn’t even leave our cosy guest room.  The lazy thing. I left it for Helen, the lovely lady we stayed with.

Weekend of the Woolly Wildflowers - The final Woolly Wildflower gets to stay indoors

"Je vais rester ici. Bien."

Et voila! A city peppered with purly petalled people. Mischief managed.

Here’s a sneaky peek at some of the other utterly marvellous street art I saw during my woolly wildflower weekend.

Thanks for having me Angouleme! I’ll be back next year and I’m bringing the woolly wildness back with me.
[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157629186806529"]


PS Thanks for all the eversonice comments you’ve been leaving me. I love reading them and always try to reply so do comment if you feel like it.



  1. Denise
    February 5, 2012


    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 5, 2012

      Glad you liked it. It was a stupid amount of fun to do. 🙂

  2. Stephanie
    February 6, 2012

    Mais non ! I wasn’t able to get to Angouleme this year. I indulge in le tricot urbain too. I would have loved to have seen your fabulous creations. Can’t wait to see what you do next year!
    That was so sweet of you to leave the flower for the waitress!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 6, 2012

      Sacré bleu! Shame you missed out. I’ll definitely be going back next year so keep an eye out if you make it along. 🙂

  3. Laureen
    February 6, 2012

    “The Waitress and the Little Flower”…a movie in the making! Or comic…?!
    Good to see you are getting the Woolly Works spread about the land! 🙂

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 12, 2012

      Hello my dear! A comic would be ace. I hope they’re very happy together. 🙂

      (Still hoping to send you books! Just busy busy) xx

  4. BasteK
    August 29, 2012

    So we can meet during 2013 edition, and give more colors to the city together 😉

    • Deadly Knitshade
      August 29, 2012

      Sounds like an excellent plan! I’ll let you know if I can make it. 🙂

  5. Paris // Tonkar
    August 29, 2012

    Hi ! The artist who made the collage Men at Work (character in blue) is TAREK (“Fête des graffitis!”)… He was in Angoulême for their comic’s book and street art with Bastek who paste the canvas.

    More infos :

    • Deadly Knitshade
      August 29, 2012

      Hello! That’s awesome. I loved those little guys too. Love this set of images. Am off to share it over on Facebook and Twitter. 🙂