Saanich woman knits decorations for 185 days straight to boost pandemic positivity

It was the day before our old normal disappeared that the new knitting first appeared.

“I put up one a day,” Dela says of her plan to decorate her front yard with hand-knit ornaments, to make the pandemic cozier and more colourful. “The first one you don’t notice. The second one you don’t notice.”

But 13 days later, you couldn’t not notice knitted ornaments hanging from branches and wrapped around trunks.

It was the end of March, and Dela’s cousin was concerned about more than COVID-19.

“My cousin said, ‘I hope you have enough [material to last] until the end of April,’” Dela laughs. “And I said, ‘I think [the pandemic] might be longer than that!’”

Dela was prepared. After decades of knitting, she had countless bits and pieces to repurpose for her pandemic positivity project.

“Giving out to the community is kind of fun,” she explains.

The people in the neighbourhood returned the favour with smiles, compliments, and a letter from the little girl who lived a block away.

“Your yarn bombing is beautiful. Please enjoy our scraps to add to your art,” Dela says, reading the letter.

“I cried,” she says, after reading it.

Dela used that fabric to keep ‘yarn-scaping’ her yard and decorating her trees with delight for 185 days straight — until today.

“I’m going to start taking things down,” she says. “But only one at a time.”

One a day for six more months.

“People won’t notice it a first. But after a while people will see things are missing,” she says before laughing. “It’s kind of like ‘Where’s Waldo?’ What’s missing?”

Perhaps they’ll also start finding that what remains is a kinder, calmer, safer community.

“I hope when this is empty I don’t have to start again,” Dela says.

No matter where we find ourselves in another six months, and no matter how dark the days are that keep us apart, there will always be bright moments to knit us together.  

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