Missing ‘yarn bomb’ ribbons returned

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Members of a knitting group responsible for creating a temporary display of public art was returned Wednesday. Known as “yarn bombing,” the display was taken down by an unknown individual or group on Tuesday — less than 24 hours after they were installed. (Photo courtesy MARY MALONE)

SANDPOINT — Members of a knitting group which create a colorful yarn bombing project installed in the city announced in a Facebook post the creation’s return.

“To whomever turned it in, a HUGE and heartfelt thanks from the group, it means a lot to us,” Trisha Miller wrote in an update to her initial post that the display had been taken down sometime on Tuesday — less than 24 hours after its installation late Monday night. “If whomever turned it in is the same person who took it down, then a double-thank-you to you … that takes great courage, you can color me impressed.”

Miller said it would take a few days for the group to assess possible repairs to the rainbow-colored yarn ribbons. As soon as that happens, they’ll be reinstalled.

“Thanks to everyone for their opinions, good or bad,” she added. “Our community does better when we communicate.”

The Sandpoint area knitters had created the art display as a way to add a splash of color to brighten the gray days of winter — something they’ve done several times over the past several years. Unfortunately, the art display was taken down by an unknown individual or group at some point during the day on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after it was installed.

The “yarn bombing” art display, its removal and its meaning drew heavy comment on social media posts with many condemning the removal of the yarn ribbons and others, while saying the removal was wrong, questioned if the display had a political meaning. Group members said the art project was simply that — a chance to put up a temporary art display and celebrate their love of rainbows.

“All we wanted to do was brighten up a bleak winter day when folks drive by there and give them a smile,” Miller said in an initial post announcing the disappearance of the display.

The group had originally intended to weave the strips into the fence along Dog Beach but BNSF crews had removed the fence and the knitters were looking for another location, Vicki Reich said. While often done without permission, Reich contacted the city of Sandpoint in the past month to request approval to install the art at the location.

The colorful knitted strips were part of a temporary display of public art — known as “yarn bombing” — on a few of the city’s trees and was done with the city’s permission by a group of local knitters who simply wanted to add a little color to Sandpoint. As such, the city entered into an agreement to allow the colorful, knitted ribbons to be wrapped around the base of the trees, Sandpoint officials said in a press release.

The trees approved for “yarn bombing” by the knitting group are located on the city-owned right-of-way on Boyer Avenue, at the intersection of Cedar and Main. The temporary display, once returned and reinstalled, would be removed by June 14, 2020, to ensure the health of the trees.

“Yarn bombing” — also known as yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting, or graffiti knitting — has becoming popular in cities across the globe, and includes tree wraps such as the ones that were installed by the local group this week. Other cities have had displays ranging from wraps on bicycle racks to entire buses.

Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at clobsinger@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.

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