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Yarn Bombing in a Most Unlikely Place

It will be 25 years since I started the Crochet Guild of America and the ongoing battle to bring awareness, to anyone who will listen, of the intricacies and delights of crochet. It's been an on-gong challenge to break the stereotypes surrounding crochet. Yes, some of us are "old ladies in rocking chairs making doilies;" but hey, today crochet is at an all-time high in popularity with the twenty to forty-year-old generations.

It has been a marketing challenge to wear, exhibit and promote crochet at every opportunity. Always proud when we pull off a major PR coup, I am even more delighted when I innocently discover "someone else," not connected to CGOA, is out there helping us!

That's precisely what happened on December 16 while I was on my way to a Yuletide concert in downtown Indianapolis! I arrived a bit early on Monument Circle where the theater is located, and decided to kill time by walking around the Circle a few times.  A sunny and beautiful day, I wanted a photo of what is known as the "world's tallest Christmas tree."

As I rounded the circle, what appeared to my eyes was astonishing. There in plain view to everyone was Christ Church Cathedral festooned in Yarn Bombing. Surely this work of art could not have been done by Guild members or I would have known about it! If not them, then who would have taken on such an elaborate project? I had to get to the bottom of it!

Photo courtesy Christ Church Cathedral
Two phone calls and two weeks later, I was becoming anxious to know more just because I love it so much! At the same time I realized it was right in the  height of Christmas Season in which people do get busy; I thought I had to wait patiently until January. Then, to my surprise, I got a call on New Year's Eve from the lovely lady who had the answers: Julie Breuninger!

"Hats for Indy" and Cathedral Women work together all year long on their three-fold  ministry:  having fun and fellowship; helping those most in need in our city; and letting our neighbors know that our church is involved in outreach while inviting them to join us. The group has forty members; and monthly averages twelve to fifteen volunteers who crochet and knit hats, sleeping mats from plastic bags; and this year "quillows" were added (blankets that can be folded into pillows). They can be seen once a month in pubs, restaurants or sitting on the circle in the summer sharing their crafts. A group of ladies from the retirement home, Marrquette Manor, also contribute to our efforts.

Cathedral Women sponsor "Festive Advent Dinner" and a meeting of the Coalition for Homeless Intervention and Prevention (CHIP). A speaker conveys the urgency of the problem for our city and  participants bring donations of individually wrapped food or toiletry items.

In 2013, the tradition of Yarn Bombing the Cathedral started as a way to call attention to the plight of homelessness in our Indianapolis community and to directly reach out to those in need. Julie explains, "On any given night, there are 1,787 people without a home including a large percentage of whom are women and children. We are dedicated to help all individuals; and each day during Advent, 6 stockings are filled and hung on the railings outside the church. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me; I was in prison and you came to visit me.'" Matthew 25: 35-36.

Photo courtesy Christ Church Cathedral
Photo courtesy Christ Church: Crafted Warmth in the Creche 
"The congregation of Christ Church Cathedral, known as 'The Little Church on the Circle,' was founded in 1837. At the time, Monument Circle was a muddy, rutted roadway; and a fence had to be built around the property to keep pigs away out of the church yard! In 1857, construction began on the current building. "Today Christ Church is more than a Cathedral and the ceremonial seat of the Bishop of Indianapolis. It is a refuge for the city; and we believe in the dignity of every human being. Our doors are open 365 days a year-to the homeless the lost, the steadfast and the strong."

Congratulations to all who have worked so tirelessly. To get involved with this worthwhile mission, contact Julie at


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