The Alliance group’s “wire bombardment” to touch the person

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Alliance Crochet Club has a new plan for its annual Yarn Bombing event at Downtown Alliance.

The fiber artist group is planning a fundraiser that will give Alliance-area residents the opportunity to request special items to include in the assembled decor at the city’s Place de la Liberté.

The effort began about 15 years ago as a “non-destructive form of graffiti,” said group member Holly Oyster. As with most events, this effort took a year off in 2020 due to COVID-19 and restrictions on public gatherings.

Each year, around ten crochet men and women create squares of assorted sizes that are tied together and then spread out on a frame that has a permanent mount in Freedom Square.

Oyster said city officials contacted the group to participate in its holiday exhibit while it was located on East Main Street in the city’s downtown area. The holiday lighting event has since moved to Silver Park, with Alliance City Parks as a co-sponsor.

The city acts as a sponsor, helping to pay for the materials used by the group.

The tree with threads remains on the Place de la Liberté and the group will decorate it again this year with the hand-made squares.

This year, however, the group is opening the process to residents of the Alliance region who might want to see a personal square on the tree.

Oyster said area residents can request designs, including items such as their baby’s first Christmas, colors or mascot from your favorite area schools, such as Alliance High School, a school in the area. Western Branch, Mount Union University or even the State of Ohio.

“For example, someone might ask us for something in the Western Branch colors, with the number 31 on it,” Oyster said. “Or a purple with a white flower, for the mother of a deceased person. Or a red carnation for Alliance, or a reindeer and the name ‘Nate. The possibilities are limitless. And I think it would help people feel part of the process. “

However, the organizers will reject any conceptions that could be considered offensive, such as hate speech, anything political or phrases that attack the beliefs of others.

A close-up of one of the squares that make up a holiday tree erected every year on Liberty Square in Alliance.

A completed tree contains 186 squares. It takes about seven weeks to prepare the parts. The crochet team requests that requests be returned by October 15th, so that they have enough time.

Requests should be made online through a form the group has created on this shortened link, bit.ly/3kO4Y3t.

“At the end of the holiday when we remove the tree, the person who requested the item can pick it up or allow us to use the square to make blankets to donate to local homeless shelters,” said Oyster.

Each year, group members use the individual squares to form twin size blankets that go to Alliance for Children and Families.

The funds raised through the creation of the squares will go to Alliance Community Pantry. Payment for squares can be made using the Donate button on alliancecommunitypantry.org. A suggested donation is $ 10 per square.

Holly Oyster holds two of the blankets that will be given to the needy as part of a group effort in Freedom Square in Alliance.  Photo taken on Wednesday September 22, 2021.


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