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Cloverdale Comments - December 2016

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Cloverdale Comments - December 2016

by Carol Russell

“That's the test of street art - to see if anybody stopped."  — Jenny Holzer

Shortly before July 4th of this year a dozen red, white and blue “yarn bombs” suddenly appeared on tree trunks along Cloverdale Blvd. in our downtown core. Also known as urban knitting, yarn storming and kniffiti, this delightfully creative community project magically turned a familiar household craft into vibrant street art. 

Two weeks before all this happened Chamber of Commerce President Marne Dupere showed our good friend Elizabeth Trent (who knows something about knitting and crocheting!) pictures of yarn bombs from around the world and asked if she’d be interested in replicating them here. 

The Chamber generously agreed to support the project and Elizabeth (who also knows a great idea when she hears one!) readily agreed and immediately began talking with friends in the Nimble Fingers group that meets at our Senior Center Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.to 1:30 a.m. She also reached out to Creative Notions, the Senior Center’s shop that fundraises through sales of donated yarn, fabric, notions, and more. So, with all key components in place, the knitting and crocheting began! 

The first 12 yarn wraps those talented volunteers created brought such enthusiastic responses from folks of all ages both within our community and among our visitors that, as we write this, a range of artistic wraps in various fall colors gently embraces 30 tree trunks. Some are multi-colored, others mainly black and orange featuring traditional Dia de los Muertos and Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve) images celebrating family and friends who have left us. In this tradition, the lovely multi-colored yarn wrap pictured here outside of Gina and Randy Hatchers’s Eagle Tech Auto Shop honors Gina’s late mother, Kay Steinbach and was crafted by Iris Konic from Kay’s own yarn which Gina had given her.

As Elizabeth explains, the project expanded thanks to the increase in the volunteer team from 6 to 15 intergenerational, male and female craftspeople ranging from 15 years old to 96 years young! What will these artists create to delight us in the Christmas and Hannukah holidays ahead? We’re already looking forward to Valentine’s Day with St. Patrick’s and Spring not far behind. If we’re at 30 yarn wrapped trees can we look forward to 50 with colors and themes changing along with passage of the year? If you haven’t seen our “kniffiti”, come join us and enjoy seasonal changes in a fun, surprising way. 

Meanwhile, we thank those who have already brought us such joy, including: the Chamber of Commerce, especially Marnie Dupere for introducing the yarn wrap concept and Robin Wilkerson (Executive Director of the Chamber) for her volunteer work on the project, plus Creative Notions, the Senior Center, all the dedicated knitters and crocheters and everyone who has donated materials. Most of all, we thank Elizabeth Trent for her hard work organizing the project’s numerous elements, for creating some of its exciting works of art and for her own heartfelt appreciation of everyone involved, especially those who stop to enjoy. 

Future columns will tell you lots more about what’s happening along Cloverdale Boulevard, including our two newest restaurants, The Trading Post and Keith’s Firehouse BBQ and Ribs. Plus, under its new ownership, the enlarged menu at Pick’s Drive-In.