Yarn bomb lands on Cherry Hill Public Library

The library’s newest community art project, “A Common Thread,” celebrates the diversity of Cherry Hill through knitting and needlework projects.

In Gabriela Zintz “Ssslithering into Ssspring,” snake slithers his way along the bike rack at the Cherry Hill Public Library.

At the Cherry Hill Public Library, a snake is slithering his way along the outdoor bike rack.

The two figures in the “Sunday Morning” sculpture got dressed up for the winter.

Two chairs near the circulation desk are now themed to Pokémon.

Some undersea creatures lead patrons up the stairs to the children’s area.

All of these changes at the library have taken place thanks to the library’s yarn bomb project, “A Common Thread.” More than a dozen knitting and needlework projects are decorating everything from the trees outside the library to the staircase inside the building.

Yarn bombing is a form of art where knitted objects are created to interact with real world objects and environments. In recent years, yarn bomb projects have taken over public places in cities, such as parks, trees and sculptures.

“We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” pays homage to the “Wizard of Oz” at the Cherry Hill Public Library’s book drop.

Librarian Kristin Redmond and Cherry Hill resident Mieke Zamora-Mackay teamed up to make “A Common Thread” a reality. Redmond and Zamora-Mackay had been in a knitting class together. Last fall, Zamora-Mackay asked Redmond if the library could bring a yarn bombing project to the library.

“I just told (Redmond) it had always been my dream to do a yarn bomb at the library,” Zamora-Mackay said.

Redmond, who works with the library’s Needlework Guild group, thought it would be a neat way to display knitting projects and allow all members of the community to participate.

“It was to promote the diversity of Cherry Hill, different people coming together with ‘A Common Thread,’” Redmond said.

Multiple participants in the Cherry Hill Public Library’s “A Common Thread” project helped dress the Sunday Morning sculpture in front of the library for last week’s chilly weather.

Work on the projects began in January. The library held open work sessions for participants to work on their projects together. Knitters also worked on the projects during their own time.

“Some of them were group projects,” Redmond said. “Some of them were individual. Some of them did multiple projects.”

“As soon as somebody signed on, they could work when they wanted to,” Redmond added.

On the weekend of March 18 and 19, the projects were put into place around the library. The project has created a mini-scavenger hunt throughout the library. Cards are available at a table near the library’s staircase listing where all of the projects are located.

Zamora-Mackay completed three projects as part of “A Common Thread.” One of her projects is at the library’s reference desk, where flowers made of yard are hanging from the reference sign.

Mieke Zamora-Mackay created colorful flowers to hang from the Cherry Hill Public Library’s reference desk sign

“I thought it was a cute idea to jump start spring in such a serious space,” Zamora-Mackay said. “I thought it might be nice to bring in some color in that space.”

Zamora-Mackay, who is also part of the South Jersey Writer Group, also created a sign featuring a quote from C.S. Lewis. The piece, named “Writing on the Wall,” is hanging in the children’s area of the library.

Mieke Zamora-Mackay’s tribute to writers is on display in the Cherry Hill Public Library’s children’s area.

“I wanted to have something to represent the writers,” she said.

“A Common Thread” is still a work in progress. Along the library’s staircase, dozens of colorful pieces of yarn hang around the railings. The library is inviting anyone who wants to be a part of the project to create their own work of art and hang it along the staircase.

“A lot of people took a piece of yarn and braided it,” Redmond said. “That’s an ongoing piece.”

Zamora-Mackay hopes more people take up knitting after they see the projects at the library.

“It’s such a lovely form of expression,” she said. “When you knit or crochet or make something in general, there’s an extra effort into it. That effort you put into the piece, it kind of elevates the piece.”

All of the projects from “A Common Thread” are available to view during library operating hours. More information on the project and cards listing the location of each work are available at a table near the staircase. “A Common Thread” will be on display through May 12.

Visit www.facebook.com/cherryhillsun to see more projects from “A Common Thread.”