WMD Cozy was a interactive public collaboration and website that invited broad dialogue about the proliferation of nuclear arms through an engagement with domestic craft. The nomenclature of becoming cozy and responding to human crisis on a global scale through domestic craft was used to point to the absurdity of US government response to the safety of citizens during the Bush administration. ’Knit-ins’ provided for an open community dialogue and information session as crafters, and anyone else who wished to attend, were invited to participate in discussion of issues regarding the real threat of nuclear weapons use around the world.
The first WMDcozy was designed and made to fit a single ICBM Peacekeeper, the last of which was fully decommissioned on September 19, 2005. At a modest 71 fto 6 in (21.8 m) in length and 7 ft 7 in (2.3) in diameter, the Peacekeeper requires a mighty big cozy!
WMD Cozy all started when Tracey Cockrell, a sculptor and sound artist, began knitting gifts for writer Mary Boyes’ children. First it was a nifty cap for Mary’s son, Henry, then an exquisite baby blanket and hat knit from organic cotton for Mary’s daughter, May. Mary, who is not a knitter but has committed to learning, marveled that Tracey, then an art professor, could find the time to make art AND knit such cool gifts. The two started talking about what Cockrell would knit next. Tool cozies. Yes. They liked it. They had never seen a tool cozy and since both Boyes and Cockrell had a lot of cold tools in their homes and studios, this seemed like a good idea but was it art? Not yet. Weapons. Better. Cockrell knitted a nifty nunchuck cozy. Ah, but it was small and what did it say about weapons?
And what did Cockrell and Boyes think about weapons? Well, some are all right. A good knife never hurt anyone. Wait, a good knife has been known to hurt people but not too many at once. Then there are guns. Yeah, we know, guns don’t kill people. People kill people BUT usually, these days, the people who are killing people do it with guns. So we thought, maybe we should offer to knit gun cozies for people who wanted to reduce the possibility of posing a menace to society. Ah, but that would mean having to be in contact with a lot of gun-toting whackos. If we were going to risk exposing ourselves to whackos, why not take on the big guns, so to speak. Yep. Why not go with organized, self-professed killers? Why not knit cozies for weapons owned by governments?
Let’s Get Cozy
If you are a country (or even a rogue nation) and would like to retire your weapons of mass destruction, be it a nuclear warhead or a nice little arsenal of chemical weapons, we want to knit you cozies. Click on this handy button which will pull up a form you can fill out to let us know who you are and the weapon(s) you wish to retire. In order to fill out this form, you will need to have handy your WMD specs so that we can design an appropriate cozy for you. Only countries who are serious about reducing the threat to all humankind and the environment should apply. Please note, WMD Cozy reserves to verify the veracity of all quitters.
How can you participate?
Commit to knit a section of the overall pattern. Every week new portions of the pattern will be here for you to check out. Click here ( * ) to see the current pattern. Select a portion that has not yet been claimed and use this form ( * ) to email us with your request. If that portion is available we will email the pattern to you as a pdf file. You will receive instructions with the pattern regarding finished size, needle size, yarn weight and color, and gauge. You will have 5 weeks to complete and return your section of the pattern. Ultimately all of the separately knitted portions will be joined to make the cozy entire. Finish work on the cozy will be completed by Tracey in her studio.
Not a knitter? Collaborate with us on the design of this cozy. Send us a drawing of something you find remarkable in the world. Keep your drawing simple, a line drawing with fewer than three colors will do. Your drawing will be translated into a knitting pattern and integrated into the overall design where it may be chosen by some lucky knitter.
We’ll include your name in the gallery of the committed and if you send us photos of yourself working on the cozy we’ll include those too.
For more information on the Peacekeeper ICBM check out our Scary Facts List and Trajectories.
Not retiring a WMD but re-purposing it?
Don’t own an WMD but want to turn your everyday weapon into something more positive?
If you have photos to share of your weapon’s new and happier life (for instance: rifles turned pea trellises, tanks acting as raised bed containers, missiles silos holding massive quantities of quinoa and amaranth seed harvest), click this button so you can show the world of your commitment to quit recycling violence.
Send your photos by email as a pdf or jpg. Remember to include a note giving us your name and telling us a bit about the photos.