Last week, the Allegheny County Council voted unanimously to allow the Knit the Bridge project to “yarn bomb” the Andy Warhol Bridge from August 10th to September 7th. Now, the Seed Award project has been all over the news with its message of bringing together communities from all over Southwestern Pennsylvania. At the County Council meeting that approved the project, the Post-Gazette was there to report:
Not only did the project receive no resistance from the council, it was endorsed as one of Pittsburgh’s points of pride by county Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
“We’re very excited,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “It’s going to be beautiful once it occurs, and it’s going to bring us some national recognition.”
In another article, the Post-Gazette spoke to project manager and fabric artist, Amanda Gross, about the far-reaching scope of the massive installation art piece.
“Currently, we have 725 individuals and 70 groups participating,” Ms. Gross said. She estimated that more than 900 artists are participating. She hopes to have every county in Western Pennsylvania and every community in Allegheny County represented by the panels.
Donna Stoltz of Shaler is one of the knitters. A professor at the University of Pittsburgh, she learned of the project through a colleague. Ms. Stoltz said she started her panel while riding in the car with her husband and decided use rainbow colors. An avid kayaker, she has a plan for when the bridge is complete.
“I want to kayak under the bridge when it is done and just take it all in,” she said.
Already, the dream of Knit the Bridge is coming true, tying together communities from all backgrounds, regardless of age, race or gender. Pittsburgh’s NPR news station, WESA, sat down with a group of teen boys from Allegheny Youth Development in the North Side’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood who are a part of the project.
The boys were eating hot dogs, talking about the NBA playoffs and sharing their report cards. AYD held the event to celebrate all that the few dozen teenage boys who take part in the program did over the course of the last school year.
Among those accomplishments, they learned to knit. They even made parts of the panels that will be hung on the Andy Warhol Bridge later this summer as part of the Knit the Bridge project, which is expected to be the largest “yarn bomb” ever in the United States.
“It’s just positive … I like it so much; I just love it,” Diondre Harris [one of the boys] said. “It’s easy and it’s not that hard; it’s not too complicated. It’s just something I can do. If you need somewhere to go or something to do to take your mind off of something, like if somebody bashes my family or my friend or something, I’ll just go in my room and I’ll knit, and just sit there and knit and knit.”
All throughout the city, people are knitting the 2,500 panels that will be hung over the steel bridge’s towers and rails. If you’re interested in being part of the project, you can visit Knit the Bridge’s website or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. And even if you can’t knit (or crochet!), you can still donate to the project’s IndieGoGo campaign to help pay for all the materials, installation costs and stipends to make this one-of-a-kind community art project a reality.