LITTLE VILLAGE —After yarn bombing Manuel Perez Plaza in Little Village last summer, a group of crotchet enthusiasts returned to bring some joy to a library in the Southwest Side.
Despite the snow and frigid temperatures, members of Little Village Busy Bees, a club dedicated to knitting and crocheting, spent hours affixing more than 100 elaborate decorations around trees, bushes and bike racks at Toman Branch Library, 2708 S. Pulaski Road over the weekend.
The library is the third location for the group, said Busy Bees founder Yesenia Juarez.
“I really enjoy activating and beautifying public spaces,” Juarez said.
After testing yarn bombing a bike rack at the library, Juarez reached out to the group to see if they’d be interested in beautifying the space with decorations ahead of Valentine’s Day.
To get through winter gloom and the continued quarantine, Juarez thought it was a perfect way to be “fun to do a Valentine-themed” yarn bomb.
“I thought it would be a cute place for couples to visit and take a couple of pictures and have a nice destination for their walk and go about their way,” Juarez said.
Juarez formed Little Village Busy Bees in 2015 as a way to meet other crafters who also love crocheting. At first, she would meet with her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and friends once a week at the Green Tomato Cafe on Ogden Avenue. They would eventually go on to meet weekly La Villita Community Church prior to the pandemic.
Through months of isolation, the group has continued to check in on each other and their crochet creations. Last August, the group decided to “yarn bomb” Manuel Perez Plaza to bring “light” to the plaza amid difficult times. In December, they did another yarn bomb at Columbia College.
On Saturday, 15 members worked to beautify Toman Library. They started preparing and crocheting for the latest yarn bomb in late December.
The Busybees decorated trees, bushes and other items with over 100 pieces including hearts stitched to other elaborate pieces. Some were repurposed pieces from previous yarn bombs, Juarez said.
Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd), who visited the group on Saturday, took to Facebook to thank the group for the yarn bomb event.
“This effort to beautify and take community ownership of public space is a great effort to improve our community and we are happy to support these efforts,” Rodriguez said.
Much like the first yarn bomb, they received positive responses from neighbors and visitors of the library, Juarez said.
After the third yarn bomb, Juarez hopes it encourages anyone to take similar initiatives to bring “joy and create positive spaces” in their communities.
“The elderly who go to the library, the young children were so happy, “Juarez said. “That’s the best part find joy in it.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.