Guerrilla Knitting

Guerrilla Knitting

Nov. 1, 2012

Knitters adorn trees with scarves to bring attention to social injustice.

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The oak trees on Pacific University’s Forest Grove campus probably aren’t cold—but somewhere, a person is.

On Wednesday, a group of so-called guerrilla knitters adorned several trees with hand-knit scarves to bring attention to social injustice in the United States.

The art installation, titled “Social (In)Justice,” spread among the trees between Marsh and Warner halls.

One piece listed the distribution of financial wealth among social classes in 2010: the lower class held 5 percent of all financial wealth, while the upper class held 42 percent.

A pastel green and purple scarf told passers by that inequity for minorities still exists in the U.S. Minorities, it said, are more likely to receive high-cost mortgages than white families, and African-Americans typically have double the unemployment rate as white Americans.

Meanwhile, a scarf featuring wide white stripes and thin red stripes declared, “Unequal patterns may be pretty in knitting but not in the workplace. Equal work deserves equal pay.”

Nov. 2 update: Patricia Cheyne is teaching Pacific's new fiber arts course this year and explained that this project was an outside-of-class project that stemmed from that course. "Several of the students wanted to learn how to knit," she said. "We thought this would be a fun way to do it, so we got together out of class and knitted these round pieces." Students measured the trees they wanted to scarve, knitted fitting pieces and researched their favorite topics to include facts about social justice. Due to recent rain, the fact cards have faded, but Cheyne said they will be replaced soon.