Cranberry knitters work to cover Pittsburgh bridge with crocheted masterpiece
By late-summer, one of Pittsburgh's Sister Bridges could sport some fancy fashions that might drive its siblings to jealousy.
Participants in the Knit the Bridge project are hoping “to dress” the spaces, rails and beams of one bridge in handcrafted panels created by the region's knitters, crocheters and fabric artists.
Cranberry's Sit n Stitch group, which meets Tuesday evenings at Panera Bread, is contributing to the effort. Group members will continue to stitch until the June 1 deadline and perhaps carry on chatting and working on personal projects the rest of the year.
“We just grab a table and do our thing,” said Jeanne Marino, 53, of Cranberry, who learned about the project at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival held at the Four Points Sheraton, Marshall Township, in 2012.
“'Yarn bombing a bridge, I thought. This is cool,” Marino said.
Through her meet-up page, she has invited other crafters to get involved.
Yarn bombing is the term for wrapping inanimate objects in public spaces with knitted, crocheted or fabric pieces.
The bridge project, connected with Fiberart International 2013, celebrates Pittsburgh's history as a city of bridges and steel. It also will bring together the crafting community for a display that could make the Guinness Book of World Records, according to Marino.
Amanda Gross, fiber artist and a member of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, is coordinating the project that is larger than the one that covered trees in the city's cultural district last year.
“I was thinking about how to do it in a bigger, more inclusive, more collaborative way that could be an opportunity for knitting communities together,” she said. “Besides, what's more Pittsburgh than bridges?”
While crafters from the region enthusiastically picked up their yarn, needles and hooks, Gross, 29, from East Liberty, continues her efforts to raise funds, engage insurance firms and contractors and gain approval for one bridge to be covered. The Sister Bridges cross the Allegheny River at Sixth, Seventh and Ninth streets Downtown.
The project is backed by many from Pittsburgh's artistic community.
Peggy Bisher of Ingomar joined Sit n Stitch to meet new people, since moving to Pittsburgh less than three years ago.
“As an electron microscopist, it's hard to meet people in the lab,” she said.
Having learned to knit when she was a child, Bisher, 57, plans to complete a square rather than a full panel.
Dominique Hensley, 24, happily crochets every Tuesday. She, too, was looking for friendship somewhere close to her Cranberry home.
She learned to crochet in high school.
“It was my second choice after a theater class that was full,” she said.
Barbara Hutcheson, a retired English teacher from Slippery Rock, describes herself as an avid knitter. She admitted to being “burned out” making sweaters and looked forward to the ease of rows of simple stitches.
“I don't know if I would be doing it would it not be for charity,” Hutcheson, 61, said. “It's beauty and usefulness.”
When the more than 600 panels come off the bridge, the ones that have outlasted the weather will be laundered and given to residents of homeless shelters, nursing homes and to animal shelters.
“This has never been done to a bridge this size,” Marino said. “This is huge. I'm thrilled to be a part of it.”
For more information, visit www.knitthebridge.wordpress.com.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 28th annual Evans City Oktoberfest nears
- Changes to Cranberry restaurant could ease traffic congestion
- Cranberry homes could lose flood-hazard designation when FEMA udpates flood plain maps
- Cranberry musician cleared of rape moves on with life