By Brenna DeBlasio | firstname.lastname@example.org
An explosion of colorful textiles took over Flagler College’s campus in an act known as “yarn bombing.”
The yarn bomb went on display Feb. 18, and stayed up throughout the week in conjunction with the “Deeper than Indigo: Southeast Textile Symposium” that was also taking place on Flagler’s campus over the Feb. 23-24 weekend.
Flagler faculty and students teamed up with members of the community to start the group “Random Acts of Fiber Kindness.” The yarn bombing display was the group’s first event, but they hope to do more in the future.
The group began when Flagler art professor Laura Mongiovi connected with the St. Augustine Textile Guild’s Margo Pope about helping with the textile symposium.
“For over two years I’ve been organizing a textile symposium,” Mongiovi said. “I’m interested in local history, as an artist I make work in response to local historical sites … when I started planning the textile symposium, I reached out to around the community and I didn’t know we had a textile guild in St. Augustine … so I went to talk to them and was like, ‘you need to do something with me.’ And it was actually Callie Christensen who came up with the idea.”
Christensen, a member of the Textile Guild, had come up with the idea for a yarn bomb display long before ever meeting Mongiovi, but had nowhere to put the display.
“I had mentioned to other guild members that I had for some time been thinking of a yarn bombing project but did not know of a location where we could obtain permission to install our fiber creations. We met with Professor Mongiovi and the yarn bombing project became part of the symposium as Random Acts of Fiber Kindness,” Christensen said.
Mongiovi also recruited the help of her students to pull off this project, including Ilyssa Harrington. Harrington is a senior at Flagler studying fine arts, with minors in illustration and psychology. Mongiovi approached her with the idea to cover the campus in yarn last spring.
They then started a Random Acts of Fiber Kindness Facebook event page to open up the opportunity to anyone interested. Mongiovi’s goal was to include the community in the event.
“There were over six groups involved in making the pieces that were displayed on campus,” Harrington said. “Some of the groups include Ketterlinus Elementary School, St. Augustine Textile Guild, Flagler College faculty, staff, and students, Girl Scouts, and individual members from the St. Augustine Community and surrounding area. All of these groups knitted, crocheted, and weaved pieces that were in the display.”
Harrington helped with putting together the on campus group who made pieces for the display.
“During the fall semester there was a Call to Knit club held every Monday that would come together on campus and knit for the yarn bombing,” said Harrington.
She added, “The Saint Augustine Textile Guild played a huge role in this as well. They donated multiple bags of yarn, came in and taught people how to knit and weave, provided needles for people to learn on. They made a large number of the pieces that were in the display, including but most definitely not limited to the fun little hats outside the library.”
The yarn bomb will be taken down February 25, and the pieces are going to be collected to be reused.
“All of the pieces will be washed and many will be donated to homeless shelters. Pieces will also be saved for future projects,” Mongiovi said.
Even though this event has ended, the Random Acts of Fiber Kindness group plans to continue putting their fiber talents to good use, as Mongiovi would like to see the group make yarn goods for those in need.
“There are so many ways we could do projects,” Mongiovi said.
Some of her ideas include knitting hats for babies or blankets for shelters. Mongiovi would like to see the group complete a few projects a year.
For now, she and the other leaders will reflect on the success of their yarn bombing display.
“The goal for Random Acts of Fiber Kindness was simple,” Harrington said. “Cover the campus in yarn, to bring people a little burst of joy. That we did. There were many smiles caused by brightly colored yarn, this past week.”
“Obviously a lot of people had to get together to make this happen,” Mongiovi said. “So that’s the underlying message: lots of people got together and made one big thing. And that’s kind of inspiring.”