Yarn-bombed Sitka signs vandalized

SITKA — Vandals have destroyed knitted decorations that were put on Sitka public signposts by a local woman in a personal beautification project.

Fran Hartman discovered that at least six of the 16 signpost decorations she put up on Lincoln Street in recent weeks were in tatters, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported.

“It breaks my heart,” Hartman said. “I spent hundreds of hours, and my own money, and I was just starting to get businesses to back me, and now they’re just gone.”

The vandalism occurred overnight last Wednesday. Hartman made the discovery the following day.

One of her projects was to add knitted eyeballs to fish-shaped bicycle racks. “I wanted to brighten everyone’s day,” she said.

Hartman said she has received positive reviews from local residents about her project. She also hoped it would leave a memorable impression on tourists. Some of her knitted contributions came from fellow knitters that she’s met around the world.

Hartman had planned to add more of the knitted decorations, but said soon after the vandalism that she’s having second thoughts.

Early in Hartman’s “yarn-bombing” project, someone stole a stop-sign wrapping that featured three crocheted skulls framed in red.

Yarn-bombing is a form of street art that has been done in cities across the country in recent years, with knitters crafting cozies for everything from vehicles to trees. Last summer, more than 1,800 knitters covered Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Bridge in 3,000 feet of colorful yarn.

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