October 16, 2012

Knitting to Heal

4 months of continuous work, lots of planning and tons of crocheting, knitting, sewing involved. Many ideas tried out, new techniques and stitches learned and developed. Plenty of emails and phonecalls, meetings and letters... Lots of new people and more new friends. An awesome team of volunteers and an incredible amount of yarn... And finally we installed the work of all this months in an amazing display of public art, in the form of yarn bombing around the Downtown Square. We dressed in "sweaters" 23 trees, sponsored by local businesses full of good will to help with a fundraiser for Middle Way House, the local organization that supports and helps women and children that are/have been victims of domestic violence. Through this project I've seen a lot of love and support from volunteers and people walking down the street that stop to admire the trees. 

Yarn bombing is typically anonymous and installed when no one can see the installation, ours not only displays the name of the sponsor, but the installation is planned to take place in broad daylight, during the Gallery Walk, when a lot of people is outside. It is absolutely amazing to see how pedestrians and drivers react when they see you up in a tree, hugging and sewing a sweater to it. October is the month for domestic violence awareness. With this project, Knitting to Heal, we hope to raise a lot of awareness against this awful situation and also give hope to those who have been there. www.knittingtoheal.org   
Knitting to Heal is a fundraiser for Domestic Violence Victim Services.
Middle Way House teamed up with Yarns Unlimited to raise funds to aid victims of domestic violence.
Local businesses and groups were asked to sponsor a downtown tree.  Knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists were invited to work collaboratively with sponsors to create tree sweaters for them. Installation of knitted works took place the first week of October 2012, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the community will vote, with its dollars, for its favorite sweater the last weekend of the month. Tree sweaters will remain in place until spring.
Benefits to the community include increased knowledge of domestic violence, new public art for the downtown, and a new attraction to draw in-town and out-of-town visitors to downtown Bloomington and its businesses.
Fiber artists consulted with corporate sponsors on sweater designs that incorporate images and messages pertinent to Domestic Violence Awareness Month and/or expressive of the hope, warmth and caring victims find at Middle Way House.  Each sweater features as well a screened square recognizing the sponsor. The use of recycled materials was highly encouraged and, when the sweaters are taken down, artists can opt to have the materials unraveled and stored for use by artists in 2013.
Yarns Unlimited will provided consultation on resources, design and techniques and served as a drop-off and distribution site for donated supplies and recycled materials.

1 comment:

  1. What a lot of work and organization! Fun project! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)


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