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'Yarn Bomb' Over Kennedy to be Turned Into Scarves for Kids

By Victoria Johnson | December 10, 2012 4:28pm

AVONDALE — A "yarn bomb" installed on a bridge over the Kennedy Expressway will find new life this week as scarves for grade school kids.

The project took shape in October when textile artists Lindsay Obermeyer and Mary Lawrie stitched together knitted submissions from 30 volunteer yarn bombers in the Avondale area and tied them around a handrail on the expansive Addison Avenue bridge over the Kennedy.

The idea was to extend the colors from the mural at Addison and Avondale avenues, completed over the summer, across to the bridge to Athletic Field Park, as part of a "yarn bomb," or an outdoor knitting project meant to spruce up less attractive urban scapes.

After two months of being exposed to the wind and rain, some of the segments were worse for wear and others were blown off completely. What was left was taken down and washed, and this week will be donated to students at John B. Murphy Elementary School in Irving Park.

Anne Moschopoulos, a 39-year-old stay-at-home mom, was one of the volunteer knitters who answered the call.

"I just saw it on Facebook and I called and got involved," she said. "I've never done any outdoor project, so I thought this would be cool."

Two workshops were held to show the 30 would-be yarn bombers — made up of 29 women and one man — how to create their own individual scarves that combined would cover the length of the bridge's handrail.

Another volunteer, 37-year-old Lisa Macri, helped with the mural and was thrilled to continue beautifying the neighborhood with something she knows well — yarn.

"I helped paint the mural and then [mural organizer Joanie Friedman] was like, 'And now we're gonna do this yarn project,' and I said, 'Oh yay, I know how to knit!'"

Like Moschopoulous, this was the first stab at an outdoor knitting project for Macri, who works as an art teacher at Mozart Elementary School in Logan Square.

"I'm used to doing stuff for people and for me, so this was neat," she said. "It was kind of cool to be able to decorate the neighborhood."