March 27, 2022
Walking through the 900s building wing, a colorful display of crocheted yarn decorating a tree catches your eye. This is the artwork of Ana Blanco, a student yarn bomber at Cupertino High School with a passion for crocheting, who uses yarn bombing as a means of spreading Breast Cancer Awareness.
Blanco started knitting in third grade, which sparked her interest in working with yarn. Recently, upon seeing people on Tik Tok, Instagram, and Pinterest sharing their crocheted creations, Blanco was inspired to pick up the hobby of crocheting. Blanco also values the support she receives from friends and family when crocheting.
Said Blanco, “My parents would send me links or be like, oh, you should do this. Because like people tend to do that. They tend to send me things and be like, ‘you should make this.’”
Yarn-bombing, a type of art that uses vibrant displays of crocheted yarn, started in Portland, Oregon. At the time in 2014, it was started for Breast Cancer Awareness, and it would decorate things from trees to bikes all around the city.
Said Blanco, “I remember seeing [yarn-bombing] when I was younger, like news articles, and being like, Oh, that’s really cool. Because I used to live in a little town, and people started doing that too.”
Blanco was inspired to decorate the tree in the 900s wing after always seeing the bare branches during her math class. Her math teacher, Ms. Woo, also desired a prettier view, prompting Blanco to yarn-bomb that tree. Throughout the process, Blanco was also very flexible.
“My original plan was to do it after cheer practice when no one would be here. I talked to Ms. Tomberlain and Ms. Tomberlain gave me the green light,” said Blanco.
For Blanco, crocheting is even similar to a sport, emphasizing the importance of stretching her hands before doing so in order to avoid getting carpal tunnel.
In addition, Blanco runs a small business on Instagram (anas._.crochet), where she sells crocheted plushies.
“I started making a lot of hats, and then people were asking me like ‘Oh, do you sell these?’ So then eventually I just started selling,” said Blanco.
To balance crocheting, fulfilling her business’ orders, and other school commitments, Blanco crochets during class. Blanco is grateful that her teachers are very understanding and allow her to crochet in class, as long as it does not impact her learning.
Blanco hopes to continue yarn-bombing trees, including the rest of the trees in the 900s wing. The trees each have their unique theme, and the upcoming tree’s design was inspired by her sister.
“It’s gonna be a little bear. And then these are combs, honeycomb, and these are going to be little bees and then a little beehive, and then these are just like the granny squares that you see on the other tree,” said Blanco.
Blanco aspires to share her passion for crocheting with other students at Tino and further contribute to the community.
“Me and another girl in the school are working on creating a club so we can give it to the hospice and give it to dementia patients or people in wheelchairs. So I feel like once we get around to doing that, that will definitely be more rewarding.”