On one of the coldest days this winter, even the statues bundled up for warmth.
About two weeks ago, Southwest Minneapolis knitters Joclyn Okubo, Pam Meier, and Chris Rieffer of Linden Hills Yarn and Textile, plus the owner of South Minneapolis' Steven Be yarn shop met up outside Target Field. As a bitterly cold wind whipped around their ankles, the quartet bravely battled with oversized homemade sweaters, eventually fitting them around the statues of Kent Hrbek, Rod Carew, and Tony Oliva that stand outside the ballpark.
But "yarn bombing," this wasn't. Working in concert with the Minnesota Twins, the four knitters—plus scores of local knitters affiliated with nine Twin Cities yarn stores and clubs—were trying to raise donations for a new slate of knitting classes at local Boys & Girls Clubs. At the same time, they hoped to get in a humorous plug for last weekend's Twins Fest, a yearly celebration of all things Twins. Windom Dual Immersion school students performed at last year's Twins Fest.
"Everyone got behind the project, whether it was donating yarn or teaching time," Okubo said in an interview with Patch. "My car and my garage are literally full of yarn."
It's not the first bit of philanthropy the knitters have been involved with. Last year, Patch organized out of the Steven Be yarn shop, which also involves many of the knitters involved in the Boys & Girls Club effort.
Rieffer said the process of swaddling the statues was a little tricky. She had to carefully design—and even incorporate zippers into—the sweaters to accommodate the larger-than-life statues' dimensions. The Carew statue's head, for example, is 39 inches around, and bigger than many people's chests.
"I said to Chris as we started, 'Make sure your hands are dry, or you're going to be stuck out there until spring training," Okubo joked.