I helped Knit the Bridge.
After learning about the new graffiti tactic known as yarn-bombing,I wondered if there was any such thing in Pittsburgh. A Google search informed me that “Knit the Bridge” project was well underway and needed more help. I was on vacation but quickly emailed Amanda Gross and volunteered to crochet a couple strips of black for the railings. Later I learned how big this project was. Last weekend I helped stitch some of the colorful panels in place.
Bridges are more plentiful in Pittsburgh than in Venice.
The 7th Street Bridge connects the North Shore with downtown Pittsburgh. People drive and walk it daily. But this project connected people in almost every community in Allegheny county. Hundreds of men, women and children worked needles and hooks to pull yarn of all colors into beautiful abstract artwork. People of all walks, all incomes, all races and religions participated. Some panels were created by individuals, some by groups. I attended training with 30 strangers. We laughed about the craziness of the project, excited to cooperate in making something bigger than us all.
Seldom do we collaborate with strangers in such a remarkable product.
The artwork will remain on the bridge for about a month. The plan is to remove the panels, wash them and donate most of them to homeless shelters throughout the region. So the project transforms again into a philanthropic gesture of love. Imagine the colorful warm blankets the homeless will be sporting this winter.
Rarely does public artwork carry such a humanitarian purpose.
Thank you to those who followed the inspiration with hard work. Over 18 months of planning and countless hours of knitting and crocheting came together this week. Engineering permits and safety concerns and environmental warnings were considered and addressed. What an achievement.
Let’s keep knitting bridges between people.