Yakima yarn bomb

Yarn figures wearing masks hang from the State Fair Park fence facing East Nob Hill Boulevard on Saturday in Yakima. The figures were put there by members of the Yakima Knitting Circle.

YAKIMA — The Central Washington State Fair fence line is more colorful these days.

The sight of multi-colored, knitted stick figures, woven onto the fence and wearing masks, now will greet anyone who passes by the area of the fair grounds near Fiesta Foods.

In between the figures, rainbow-colored letters announce “Juntos” and the word’s English translation: Together.

Sheila Weber, an executive assistant at the state fair park, said the fair agreed to allow the Yakima-based Ewknits knitting group to “yarn bomb” the fence.

“The message is to encourage the public to wear masks so together we can do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Weber said.

Yarn bombing is a term used for a form of street art that uses knitted or crocheted yarn to create colorful displays in public spaces.

Around 9 a.m. Saturday, Eweknits members met to assemble their display, with figures and letters crafted by members Nancy Born, Tish Powers, Leslie Smyer, Hannah Harrison, Martha Rickey, Denise Lefebvre, Joan Miller, and Leslie Deardorff.

By 10 a.m, their creation was complete.

Born, whose mother taught her to knit when she was young, said the state fair park has hosted yarn bombing competitions for the past several years, which gave members the idea to approach leadership about the exhibit.

Born said she chose to come involved with the yarn bombing because she is a self-proclaimed knitting “fanatic,” but also because knitting has helped her cope with pandemic conditions.

“It’s been — for all of us — really helpful to have this passion during the pandemic,” she said. “We hope it’s a positive message, and also fun for people.”

Powers, who was out of town for installment of the yarn creations but said she was cheering from afar, echoed those sentiments.

“We really want our project to bring a healthy reminder and a smile to our Yakima community,” Powers said.

The group plans to leave the installation up for the next few months and then take it down, Born said.

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