99% of our time around the Dollie table is spent creating our one-of-a-kind dollies and colorful teddy bears, but VERY occasionally we set the little ladies and gents to the side and take on a new creative venture. For example, the past two years we have created hundreds of valentines which we’ve distributed to children at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital so that each little patient won’t miss out on this special day of love.
Dorothy and Cindy are always a good team for coming up with crazy new ideas, and then enthusiastically seeing them through. With Halloween approaching, one morning they announced, “Ladies, we are yarn bombing Simon Meadow!” Many of the Dollie ladies had no idea what they were talking about, so a little education was needed. According to Wikipedia “Yarn bombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”
Cindy and Dorothy have volunteered at the Palisades-Malibu YMCA Simon Meadow for many years. This 4 acre park at the base of the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains serves as the YMCA’s pumpkin patch, Christmas tree lot, soccer and tag-football field, and the location of a wide variety of family friendly events. The director of the YMCA and Dollie Ambassador Carol Pfannkuche, mentioned that she felt the pumpkin patch needed a boost this year, something special that would draw more families to come and buy pumpkins while at the same time enjoying all that the meadow had to offer. “Hmmm…” the wheels began turning in Dorothy and Cindy’s head. “YARN BOMB the place!” they said. Carol was one of those persons who never had heard of a yarn bomb and wondered if the neighbors would object…but after Cindy explained what it was all about, she was IN.
We began collecting small crocheted squares from our friends and supporters. Our organization receives donations of dollie quilts several times a month from several stitching groups, and we decided to use some of those as they could be easily washed and reused afterwards.
We decided to yarn bomb five large Eucalyptus trees which were located directly in the middle of Simon Meadow. First we measured the circumference of each tree, and then we stitched together panels that would reach around each one of them.
Pat hard at work stitching the squares together (quite time consuming)
Dorothy and Cindy “designing” the panels
Then we headed over to Simon Meadow where we met Carol, who insisted on climbing up the tall ladder to drape the panels around the trees. Upon reaching the top step of the ladder, Carol zip-tied a panel around the trunk, then folded it over a little bit to cover the ties. One of our Dollie ladies “from afar” Mimi Jo Reeder had crochetd ties for us which we used to secure one end of the panel to the other end.
Rita, Dorothy, Cindy and Carol after the installation was complete (on the hottest day of the year!)
Dorothy taught Cindy how to make “webs” from branches and yarn. We strung the many webs we made between the trees. You would not believe how many people wanted to buy a web … or have us make one for their front door!!! They are so simple to make…and once you start looking for long branches you can’t stop! All it takes is securing 4 (or more) branches in the middle (with tape, zip ties, or string) and then start winding the yarn round and round on one branch, then move to the next branch..always going over the top of each branch. It’s fun to sprinkle spiders, flowers, acorns, or other found objects around the branches (use a glue gun).
Thank you to the always wonderful Rich Schmitt, from our local newspaper The Palisadian Post, for many of the photos in this blogpost!
A SPECIAL TREAT:
Dollie lady Pat Bauer was good enough to video the installation – take a look!!!