It’s Just Beautiful

This past Friday, August 16, we visited our son in Pittsburgh. We had a variety of activities planned for the one day we would be in town, including taking him our old kitchen table and four chairs for his new apartment. But – I also had another purpose – I wanted to view the Knit the Bridge yarn installation on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

I won’t go into too much detail about the overall project – you can read about it on their blog here. It’s enough for this post to say that many, many people knitted or crocheted items to a specific size, and then they were attached to the bridge, along with special panels made for the towers. Panels were made by a single person, a couple of people, a larger group, or even by many anonymous people working on a stitch here and there at some more public projects. Small sections were pieced together. Knitters and crocheters are both represented.

A large volunteer force was the backbone of the event with professional help for installation as needed. It took a lot of planning and preparing for the sight that greeted our family. And a nice thing – the panels will live on – when the installation comes down (in early September) they will be washed and given to charity.

We spent quite a bit of time at the bridge. As a knitter myself, I wanted to pay tribute to each panel by viewing it individually where I could (the ones that were installed along the walkways) and see the ones from a distance I couldn’t get close to (the ones on the outside railings). I took pictures of the panels I liked most, but there wasn’t one that didn’t appeal to me.

Some pieces were obviously planned out in advance – others looked more impromptu or spontaneous. Every panel did not contain perfect work – knitters and crocheters of all skill levels were welcome. Some panels looked like abstract art and some were very traditional patterns. And don’t overlook the railings – they are all covered by knitted or crocheted black covers, once again in all kinds of patterns and styles.

We walked along slowly, enjoying the overall impressions we got from the works and also examining the work techniques. I saw several pieces I wish I had been able to ask the maker for a pattern or explanation – plenty of things I’d like to try myself!

It was a beautiful sunny day and the work showed itself off to its best advantage. The entire installation was just beautiful. I am very happy I was able to see it.

Here’s how I organized the pictures – they are in the order I took them as we walked across the bridge.

– Numbers 30-46 (the last digits of the photo number) are crossing the bridge from downtown Pittsburgh, going north. I took some pictures looking forward and some looking back at the city.

– Numbers 48-52 are of the towers and views of the outside panels, first on the east side and then the west.

– Numbers 55-67 are crossing the bridge going south, back to downtown. Some photos are looking toward the city and some looking back at the north shore.

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6 thoughts on “It’s Just Beautiful

  1. mim4mail

    Thank you so much for posting these close up shots. We had visitors from Pittsburgh this past weekend and talked about this. We’re now thinking about a trip to Pittsburgh next year. While we’ll miss this installation, we know there’s lots to do see. Our daughter, who attended U.Pitt for a year before transferring, is encouraging us to make the trip. This post comes on the heels of our discussion. Exciting. Again, thanks for sharing this.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Glad you liked them. We had a great time at the installation – it looks so much better in person because you can clearly see the techniques, stitches, and the occasional mistakes or glitches! I can reccomend a trip to Pittsburgh – there is plenty to do there and especially if you know someone who lives there.

  3. Laurie Spencer

    Claudia, I loved to read this!  I can picture how happy you were to see this.  I am thrilled for you! I also can see your mind spinning from here and if you decide you want to start something like that in your area, give me a warning so I can start learning how to knit so I also can join in on the fun! Laurie PS(Don’t even try to say this is not something you would want to do because you knitted your mail-box!)

    ________________________________

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thanks for your faith in me! After seeing this project I think my mailbox was plenty. It’s hard to imagine the planning and logistics that went into this event, but having seen it now up-close, I have such an appreciation for the organizers. I am not in that class! But anyone did do a project like this here at home, I’d certainly contribute. And myabe I will do another yarn covering for something in my yard this winter. It would brighten things up when the plants and trees are bare…

  5. Frederick

    Claudia ~ My wife spends A LOT of her spare time knitting, as does her eldest daughter. We live on the coast of Maine and it is simply TOO far to drive to see this amazing and gorgeous endeavor. THANK YOU so much for posting your pictures! You have brought the project much more to life for me! I am thrilled that my “home-tahn” has “cutting edge” women (and men) beautifying what is arguably the most gorgeous urban setting in the country!

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me this and I am glad my pictures were of interest! I have knitted for almost 50 years and when I heard about this project, I felt fortunate to be able to visit it in person. I had not been to Pittsburgh before my son took a job there, but have made several trips since, and you are right, it is a truly picturesque place.
    And the bridge project is even more impressive when you see it in place and realize what it took to get to that point. I really admire the work the whole group did to make it happen.

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