Flat Iron sculpture gets a sweater

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Purl's Yarn Emporium yarn-bombed Wall Street, taking on the Flat Iron sculpture and even the trees. Photo by Hayley Benton

Photos by Hayley Benton

On mobile? Have no fear! To view the photos, click here.

From Purl’s Yarn Emporium:

The stealthy stitchers of Purl’s Yarn Emporium are at it again. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Wall Street in downtown Asheville will be transformed with knit and crochet creations. As with their installations last spring and fall, the stitchers will be adorning many of the parking meters, bollards and other fixtures along the quaint street. This fall, however, they have added a much larger target to their yarn-bombing: the Flat Iron sculpture.

Organized by Purl’s Yarn Emporium, in consultation with city officials, the goal of the seasonal installation is to bring a bit of color and amusement to downtown visitors. According to Elizabeth Schell, one of the organizers: “One thing I love about yarn bombing is how it brings mundane city objects to our attention — objects we pass by everyday with little notice. Covered in warm knitted ribs or crocheted stripes, the parking meter that may normally aggravate us instead makes us crack a smile.”

When asked why they chose to target the flat iron, Schell explained: “We all pass this iconic statue everyday. For visitors to Asheville, the statue is a photo op. But we locals mostly shuffle by unseeing — unless some awesome buskers at the popular spot grab our attention. Covering the iron was a big project. We often questioned if we could really do it. But we hope it helps people appreciate this sweet statue.”

The flat iron sculpture, created by artist Reed Todd in 1997, is stop No. 8 on Asheville’s Urban Trail Walking tour. It took over a dozen stitchers to fully yarnify Todd’s 8-foot-tall sculpture. Measurements were taken and patterns made and many details were discovered. Ever noticed the cross hatches on the giant handle (the 58” tall handle that stitchers chose to reflect with a giant knitted cable)? Or the letter “C” and the number “6” on the back of the iron? The 6 is the weight of the iron (if at normal scale!) and the “C” is the manufacturer’s mark. Both of these details the stitchers decided to accentuate with contrasting colors.

The installation will remain up through the weekend of the downtown holiday parade (Saturday, Nov. 21). Fiber artists hope this will give the community plenty of time to come downtown and check out the whimsical creations — and also patronize all the wonderful shops and restaurants of Wall Street.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] gmail.com. Follow me @HayleyTweeet

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Flat Iron sculpture gets a sweater

  1. GentrifyAsheville

    We have a toaster with a sweater, but we arrest our homeless sleeping on cardboard boxes. Anyone see the “IRON”y with this?


    Why not knit sweaters or blankets for the homeless people sleeping around the Flat Iron building instead?

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.