If you’re driven along Adeline past the Here and There steel-plate letter sculptures that mark the border between Berkeley and Oakland recently, you will have noticed that the letter “T” has been looking somewhat cozy.

The explanation is that it has been yarn bombed — enveloped in a custom-made knitted covering  in a covert operation that is being echoed around the world in a movement that sees public art receive a little stealth knitting attention.

The “perpetrators”, who clearly need to remain anonymous, took two nights to carry out Operation Yarn Bombing.

“We measured the T and then set about designing how much knitting we would need,” writes the lead yarn bomber. “We gathered a band who came armed with the biggest needles possible and started knitting. It took two nights. One of knitting. One of assembly. And then, armed with our ladder and knitting, we headed over to the T. We were all dressed in black. (Actually a coincidence). In the dark, we sewed the pieces on to the T and… voila. We were done.”

The motive was frustration with a quote from Gertrude Stein, who said about Oakland, “There is no there”, after returning to the city from Paris to find her childhood home, school and synagogue had all disappeared. The knitters felt her comment is interpreted as a derogatory remark about Oakland.

Thus “Here and There” becomes “Here and Here”.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...