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Collingswood

Collingswood under wraps with guerilla knitting installation

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On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Collingswood woke up to a colorful surprise blanketing the downtown.

Overnight, a team of crafty ninjas decked Haddon Avenue in hand-stitched creations for a festive yarn bomb promoting the event’s theme, “All You Need is Love.” Hearts, hope and happiness abound in the beautifully crafted artwork. The team of volunteers, affectionately nicknamed Yarn Bombers, share their creative spirit and vision with fellow neighbors and visitors to the destination town to combat a gray winter in the midst of a pandemic.

“COVID fatigue is real,” says Director of Community Development Rebecca Callaway, “and our hope is that the Yarn Bomb lightens the air a bit and gives our neighbors a reason to smile.”

The team worked diligently over the past two months on their creations, sized just right to wrap trees, cover walls and warm up poles and benches along Haddon Avenue. The artists, given only a theme and color palette, were not shy in letting their creativity and ideas
flow, evidenced in the unique pieces found throughout the installation including a welcoming avocado, bountiful hearts and even dapper top hats adorning the horse ties found along the avenue.

Shares artist and resident Bernadette Rossi, “I am delighted to share my love of fiber arts with my community through the yarn bombing, especially this year. This was a labor of
love.”

Yarn bombing, or “guerilla knitting,” can focus on smaller objects like pipes or tree branches, bringing attention to a part of the landscape one may otherwise miss. A yarn bomb can also include larger items. Collingswood’s installation includes the famous Haddon Ave clock and fountain.

Yarn bombing, also called yarn storming, became common in urban areas in the 2010s,
decorating everything from lampposts to entire vehicles. Dozens of organizations dedicated to the craft and execution of bombings exist around the country. In 2012, the city of Pittsburgh organized local knitters to decorate the Andy Warhol/7th Street Bridge. Collingswood’s artists are residents and knitting and crocheting enthusiasts that designed and installed the large-scale, fiber arts installation.

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