News

Yarn bombing will offer a unique, creative attraction in Norwich's downtown this summer

By Jennifer Vandermeer, Norwich Gazette/IngersollTimes

Flat knitted or crocheted yarn items will be wrapped around poles and benches in the downtown area of Norwich this summer.

Flat knitted or crocheted yarn items will be wrapped around poles and benches in the downtown area of Norwich this summer.

NORWICH - 

Call it guerrilla knitting, kniffiti or any other name, yarn bombing is coming to Norwich.

It's a project of the Norwich BIA, spearheaded by Laura Barker, to beautify the downtown for the summer, and will see knitted or crocheted items cover everything from streetlight poles to benches.

Barker said yarn bombing is a type of artwork and allows participating knitters and crocheters to express themselves while offering a unique sight for visitors to the town.

“Mostly it's people expressing their creativity,” said Barker, who describes the project as an urban type of graffiti.

The Norwich BIA sent out a call for volunteer yarn crafters in January and received many requests for patterns. As many as 30 volunteers have come forward, and the initiative includes involvement from the various knitting clubs in the county. Projects are constructed as flat pieces that will be installed and stitched together at the beginning of June. There have been several pieces dropped off at Barker's Re/Max office in Norwich, including a maple leaf and tree cozies, such as a bird that Barker herself created.

The installations will be in place for the summer, including during the Nostalgia Days celebrations in July. Barker said the yarn bombing is another attraction to draw people to the village.

Another benefit she has noticed is the impact the project has been having on people in the community. Knitters are getting involved who might not otherwise participate in an activity outside their home, and others are working in intergenerational groups to make their yarn creations.

“It's bringing the community together like crazy,” Barker said.

Yarn bombing started as an art form about a decade ago and has gained popularity worldwide as a way to reclaim and personalize public places. These installations are popular because they are not considered permanent, and can be removed at any time.