public art

Keeping Cozy in Dallas

Tree by Modest Ambition

Here’s the surprising thing about yarn bombing a tree: it’s really rough on your hands. As I carefully wrapped the trunk and branches with layers of crocheted and knitted yarn, my fingers and hands were scraped and scratched. I watch tiny ants scurry about as I pulled my oversized needle and thread through the yarn and bound up the branches. I worked back and forth to secure the tops of the tree scarves to withstand drooping from the weight of water from rain and wind.

Yarn bombing has been going strong in Dallas this last year, but this is the biggest project to date. When you visit the Winspear Opera House grounds, you’ll see that it has been transformed by unexpected bright and colorful handworked yarn. There are cozies on every parking bollard arranged in a rainbow spectrum, trees wrapped in full sweaters, and dangling flowers and peace signs overhead along the walkway.
Colorful bollards
This particular installation was requested by the opera house to celebrate the opening of the musical “Hair.” KWitta and the Dallas Yarn Bombers helped coordinate the local knit/crochet community to take on this large-scale project. Over the summer it took shape: taking counts of bollards, measuring trees, and showing off progress to each other.

Using fibers to create public art rather than functional knitwear is still a new idea here, though it’s been done elsewhere. I like to think of it not just as public art, but as social sculpture, working together to build community as we finished off each row. In the end, this whimsical and charming installation is our gift to the public. 

Detail, tree by Modest Ambition