Tag Archives: yarn bombing

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.

Almost a Year Later, Now Look At It

Last May, I yarn-bombed my mailbox. If you aren’t familiar with yarn-bombing, it’s a public art movement in which almost anything can acquire a knitted or crocheted cover – door handles, sculptures, bike racks, tree limbs – mailboxes.

I knit a lot and had a good amount of acrylic yarn left over from various afghan projects – I use this kind of yarn for them because it is washable and does not shrink. The idea hit me to do a project for my mailbox, so I just started in and created a nice little sweater for the post.

As I said, I put it on the post last May. It’s been out there in the weather since then – surviving hurricanes, snow, the very bright sun, dirt – whatever came our way. I’ve been noticing it looks a bit shabby recently, so I decided it was time to retire it. I took it off this morning.

When you look at the pictures you can see that being outside for a year will really make a difference to your appearance! But – the sturdy acrylic yarn has not weakened or deteriorated at all – it’s just as strong as it was when it went outside.

I also photographed the knitted piece front and back, and you can see the effect the sun in particular had on the colors. But it gave me an idea when I did this – I could turn the piece inside out, because I think it has a nice look to it, and put it back on the mailbox. I also think I’ll turn it upside down. What do you think?

First, though, I’m going to give it a trip through the washer. A sort of spa day as a reward for enduring so well.