Hi! My name is Jessica and I am a literary artist at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12. I am currently in 11th grade and my favorite type of writing is poetry, although fiction comes in as a close second. I like to think that I’m a professional friendship bracelet maker and I also enjoy knitting. I enjoy reading very much and find myself to be most content when I am curled up with a book and a cup of tea.
Knitting is something that only your grandmother does…right? Not anymore! Just when you were thinking that knitting (and crocheting) could never be cool, an amazing art installation project called Knit the Bridge is coming along to prove you wrong.
So what exactly is Knit the Bridge anyways? Knit the Bridge is a community-led project with the hope of bringing communities together to all participate in an amazing final project of yarn bombing the Andy Warhol bridge downtown. Normally, yarn bombing is done on a small scale, usually on trees or monuments, but Knit the Bridge is taking it a step farther and covering an entire bridge with beautiful hand knitted or crocheted panels. They have somewhere around 600 panels, all donated and made by community groups or just by single members of the community. All of the panels are unique in their own ways, representing the diversity that Knit the Bridge wants to capture.
The project has had people working for a little over a year now and everyone involved is very dedicated to the project. In fact, there is currently a gallery over in East Liberty where Knit the Bridge has assembled a headquarters of sorts before their installation date. It is called the Spinning Plate gallery and it is covered with all the knitted panels and houses a workshop as the group continues to prepare for the yarn bombing. I encourage you to go and take a look and see what they are all about, even if you cannot knit or crochet.
One of the best parts of this project has been its ability to bring people together. As I have participated in it, I’ve met many new people and even learned to knit, something I couldn’t do before. I never realized how much fun knitting could be, but when you are surrounded by great people who are all very dedicated to something, there is so much good energy that it helps you become a better person.
The bridge is set to be covered on August 10th and 11th and will be taken down September 7th and 8th. The group has gathered a huge amount of volunteers to help them affix the panels to the bridge, including the railings and towers. Now you may be wondering how all of these blanket size panels will be put to use after serving their time on the bridge, but worry not because they are going to be used for a good cause. The panels will be taken down, laundered, and donated to local homeless shelters to be used as blankets.
I believe very strongly in this project and what they are trying to accomplish. Not only will the bridge be beautiful, but it will bring a spark of color to the Pittsburgh city and showcase the artwork of so many people. There’s something about a bunch of people coming together and participating in something for a good cause that is sort of magical in its own way and it gives off a great feeling. Hopefully this bridge will draw national or even global attention, but even if it doesn’t, it will be a masterpiece that all of Pittsburgh will love.
If you are interested in learning more about Knit the Bridge, visit their Facebook page just by searching “Knit the Bridge”, or check out their blog at knitthebridge.wordpress.com.