Yarn bombs make me smile. What a colorful, creative and noticeable way to make a point. According to a New York Times article, Magda Syed of Houston is considered to be the "mother of yarn bombing." In 2005, she covered the door handle of her shop with leftover yarn. Not long after, needlers and hookers of all sexes were picking up yarn to create stories, signs and creatures all around the world. The world-record holders for the largest display of crochet sculptures is the Craft Club Yarnbomers from Essex, England, who covered a children's hospice with 13,388 crocheted items.
Utah has its own guerrilla knitters and crochet-happy folk who can be open and covert in their deeds. The most notorious creator in recent weeks is Katie Pugh who covered trees in City Creek Park with crotched signs reading "Welcome to Memory Grove," "Save the Trees," "I provide shade" and "I'm 110 years old." This kniffiti's various messages are to draw attention to Salt Lake City's plans to improve a 76-year-old water source for the growing demand of housing in lower Capitol Hill, the new airport, prison and possible inland port. The well provides millions of gallons of water every day to certain areas of the city and local officials want to update the pump and improve it to meet safety codes. This means that a rather large structure is planned (almost 2,000 square feet) to bring the well's casing above ground and easily accessible by those who watch and protect our drinking water. Locals were angered at the possibility that many old and beautiful trees will have to be removed if the plan goes forward. The new pump house, they contend , will be just plain butt ugly.
The Salt Lake City Council met after hearing citizen concerns and seeing the croched signs for themselves. They agreed to fund a proposal to improve the largest water well, but lessen the size and look of it. The Fourth Avenue Pump House is in next year's city budget that the council must consider by the end of the month. And really, this isn't just "it's old, let's update it." This is about making sure the drinking water is safe and meets federal requirements.
International Yarn Bombing Day just passed earlier this month. You might want to put that into your calendar for next year and work up your own set of protests of textile art. It's gonna be a presidential election year and your version of Baby Trump might look good on a Sinclair gas station dinosaur.