Vernon, get ready to yarn bomb away

Vernon Public Art Gallery and Gallery Vertigo workshops lead to yarn bombing event in celebration of Culture Days Sept. 29.

One of Eleanor Bassett’s squids. Bassett gives a guerilla knitting workshop at the Vernon Public Art Gallery Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

One of Eleanor Bassett’s squids. Bassett gives a guerilla knitting workshop at the Vernon Public Art Gallery Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Anyone who visited the Caetani Cultural Centre recently would have seen the colourful knitted “cozies” on the trunk and branches of a tree that sits in front of the property on Pleasant Valley Road.

Resembling the famed Truffula trees that were turned into knitted Thneeds from Dr. Seuss’ tale The Lorax, the tree cozies, knitted by Caetani resident artist Sandra de Vries, are an artistic means of expression gaining steam the past decade.

Known as yarn bombing, or guerilla knitting, art created with yarn has become a recognized form of public art –– often temporary and always colourful.

Vernon will be getting in on the action when the Vernon Public Art Gallery (VPAG) and Gallery Vertigo co-host a public art barrage of knitted proportions.

The yarn bombing event on Sept. 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., comes in celebration of Culture Days, a nation-wide volunteer movement to raise awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement in arts and cultural community activities, said Kelly MacIntosh, with the VPAG.

“Everyone is invited to attend this free event and help install the soft, fuzzy installation art in downtown Vernon,” she said.

In preparation for the bombing, both avid knitters and those new to purl stitching and the like can attend workshops being offered by both Vertigo and the VPAG.

On Saturday, Gallery Vertigo Knitting Circle member Kelli Rose offers a workshop at Vertigo (#1-3001 31st. St., downtown) from 10 a.m. to noon.

“The workshop is suitable for knitters of all experience levels and no registration is necessary,” said Rose.

The fee is $5 or free to those who have already have paid a $5 drop-in fee at Vertigo’s Knitting Circle.

Also on Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the VPAG, is a guerrilla-style knitting workshop by guest artist Eleanor Bassett.

“Never-knitters and crochet-pros are all invited to attend the workshop to learn how to make a piece intended for yarn bombing, otherwise known as graffiti knitting,” said MacIntosh. “Learn what yarn bombing is all about, tricks and tools of the trade, then how to attach your work of art as an installation. Make a simple square or a 3D shape; there is something to learn for all levels of experience.”

Bassett grew up in Vernon, and has been knitting for a handful of years. She has a masters of science and enjoys mountain biking. She became hooked on knitting after learning to knit stuffed vegetables and squid.

In her spare time, Bassett loves traveling, reading about farming, and teaching people how to knit. She recently returned to Vernon from Kamloops, where she worked in the grasslands and went to university.

The fee for this workshop is $10 for VPAG members, $12 for non-members, and $5 for Gallery Vertigo Knitting Circle members.

Pre-registration is required for this workshop. Contact the VPAG at 250-545-3173.

More information on Culture Days is available at vernonpublicartgallery.com