A Telling Yarn at Cianfrani Park

Philly Knits will yarn bomb the Bella Vista green space on the Saturday morning.

Did you find that winter seemed to drag on for longer than usual this year? Are you eager to revel in saying “goodbye” to the harsh season and “hello” to spring? If you bellowed a resounding “yes” to these questions, Lynn Landes and the Philly Knits crew have the perfect activity for you, namely, Saturday’s yarn bombing at Cianfrani Park, 742 Fitzwater St. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., aficionados of the fiber arts and those who wish to explore a possible new hobby will unite for an installation and community bonding event that is sure to shake off anyone’s winter doldrums.

“We always look to spread the joy of being able to create and to appreciate the craft,” Landes, Philly Knits’ founder, said of the motivation behind the group’s existence. “Now that we’ve reached what people typically know as a very productive time of year, we want to reinforce how fun and therapeutic the fiber arts can be.”

Having received assistance from volunteers who put together such items as butterflies, circles, flowers, pompoms, and squares, the Center City resident will tout those sentiments through the Bella Vista-based gathering, using “Spring Has Sprung” as the day’s theme. Attendees, shunning the somewhat common practice of placing yarn creations on trees, will instead adorn street lights and railings, among other spots, with their creations, and their handiwork will remain at Cianfrani Park for at least a couple months. Once it comes down, the installation could live on to a different degree, as Landes noted that Philly Knits might sew panels together and auction those off as an afghan whose proceeds would benefit the park.

“We will definitely have enough material to make a statement for everyone to see,” the overseer said of the free four-hour session. “We really want to make this a joyous occasion.”
Feeling that ready-made goods have led many people to forget about the beauty of creating fiber-based items, Landes hopes that Saturday furthers or initiates pulls toward knitting, crocheting, sewing, and weaving. With more than 2,200 members in its Meetup group, Philly Knits will be looking to attract more people to its events through the yarn bombing, but the organizer stressed that simply being willing to explore fiber arts’ myriad possibilities will be far more important.

“Yarn bombings are attention-grabbing, visually appealing experiences,” Landes, whose brainchild contributes fabric, yarn, and other supplies to the School District of Philadelphia and whose South Philly connections include programs at the Fumo Family and South Philadelphia branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia, said. “We certainly plan to make that the case at Cianfrani.”