Yards of yarn wrap downtown Cary

Community art project adds hand-knit fun

akenney@newsobserver.comJanuary 26, 2013 

ANDREW KENNEY - AKENNEY@NEWSOBSERVER.COM

— Downtown Cary is wrapped in a few thousand yards of yarn.

It’s not hard to find the stuff: Just look for two dozen street poles wearing new hand-knit sweaters. They’re the subjects, or victims, of a “yarnbombing,” one of the tidiest forms of street art ever.

The fuzzy project is the handiwork of about 40 local knitters and crocheters, each of whom wove together a foot or more of scarf-like material over the last few months.

“When we started, we thought we’d have three or four poles. We got 26,” said Rebecca Hart, organizer of the communal art project and owner of Warm ’n Fuzzy, a yarn store that took up residence in Cary last year.

Yarnbombing, also known as yarnstorming and guerilla knitting, has turned into its own form of street art. Sometimes with permission, sometimes without, knitters and crocheters have blanketed objects from the Charging Bull statue near Wall Street to the Rocky Balboa statue in Philadelphia.

Cary’s own version was far from graffiti.

“We went through the town of Cary, had to talk to a whole bunch of people,” Hart said. “Then ... we asked people to just start knitting these pieces.”

The final installation happened in mid-January, when about 25 people stormed downtown to stitch together the multicolored pieces, which are set to clothe poles for four months.

“It’ll get wet and it’ll dry and it’ll get wet. It’ll get a little grungy after four months,” said Hart, who splits time between the shop and her job in business analytics.

Ed Gawf, Cary’s downtown manager, said the project lined up with his vision of a more colorful downtown.

“We need the downtown property owners and the downtown merchants to continue to promote themselves in the downtown, and do creative things,” Gawf said. “Part of what we want is for downtown to be a center of innovation and creativity, which means some people like it, some people don’t. That’s what creativity generally generates.”

Kenney: 919-460-2608 or facebook.com/CaryNews

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