- Associated Press - Sunday, March 1, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A flash of color from the handmade scarf and a simple, handwritten note drew extra attention to a snowman in Goodale Park.

“If you’re stuck out in the cold, take one!” the note read.

Another scarf and note adorned a nearby tree. And another. And another.

In all, 25 colorful scarves fluttered from the snowman’s neck, trees and signs in the Victorian Village park this week.

The scarves and the notes were placed there by a woman who spent her free time knitting in hopes that chilly passers-by would take them to help fight off the record cold that has settled over Columbus. Another round of extreme cold and snow is on the way.

“Those who may not have homes or shelter this time of year have been on my mind and heart,” said Beth Boring, 26, a Grandview Heights native who lives in Clintonville.

“I figured that foot traffic would be high enough there that anyone who may wander that way would spot them and either take one if they needed one or spread the word to anyone who might need one,” she said about choosing Goodale Park to share her artwork and warmth.

Knitters across the country have been playfully “yarn-bombing” trees and sculptures and other fixtures in public places for years. They wrapped their fuzzy, sweater-like work around poles and trunks to add color and draw attention to the art of knitting

Boring yarn-bombed a few trees last winter, but her project was cut down within 24 hours. She decided to try a different knitting project this winter.

She read a news story about knitters in Detroit, Indianapolis, Toronto and elsewhere who have been yarn-bombing with scarves.

While relatively new to Columbus, the scarf-bombing social movement has gained worldwide popularity through a group called Chase The Chill, based in Easton, Pa. It has spawned numerous similar events across North America and the hashtag #chasethechill on Instagram.

According to its Facebook page, Chase The Chill Chillicothe placed 50 scarves in that Ross County city’s Yoctangee Park in November, and it donated 77 more to the Seeds of Hope homeless charity. A group of seven women who meet each Wednesday at St. Peter Catholic Church in Chillicothe to knit and share new scarf patterns organized that effort.

Group organizer Karen Blumberg, 46, said she has spotted some of her scarves being worn around town. “It’s a pleasure to give to people in need,” she said.

Although it would seem that the need for scarves would end soon, it won’t go away for the foreseeable future: Columbus was expected to see highs on Sunday in the 30s and another round of snow throughout the day that continues into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Boring started knitting scarves long before winter. She was at it in September during free time at home and during breaks as a receptionist at the Columbus West Park rehabilitation and nursing center. Boring received most of her materials as donations from nursing-home residents who had leftover yarn but no longer possess the fine motor skills required to knit.

With the help of four friends, Boring hung her scarves at the park on Sunday. She has offered knitting lessons to her Facebook friends in an effort to get more people involved in donating scarves.

“There are so many ways you can give back with this hobby,” Boring said.

She estimates having spent more than 100 hours knitting for this project, as each scarf takes an average of five hours to complete.

She also has donated knitted winter-wear to Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, a Volunteers of America thrift shop and Nationwide Children’s Hospital since she began the hobby at 14.

Columbus Recreation and Parks Assistant Director Terri Leist, who has heard of the good-deeds movement spreading across the country, said she was unaware it was happening in Columbus.

“As long as the trees don’t get damaged, I think it’s a wonderful thing she’s doing,” Leist said. “It’s A-OK with us.”

Boring said she plans to revisit the park soon and will collect any remaining scarves, wash them and donate them to a shelter.

Martha Graham, 52, of Grove City, who now lives at Columbus West Park, said she loves to watch Boring knit and crochet, especially knowing where some of her handiwork is going.

“I don’t think she does it to get attention,” Graham said. “She’s one of those who pay it forward.”

___

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide