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Meters on Montague Street will be a real stitch

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Everyone hates the parking meters on Montague Street — but what if they were covered in bright, hand-knitted sleeves that look like the socks grandma used to make?

It’s a start.

That’s the concept behind a new public art installment where a rogue knitter and her crew of local volunteers will wrap all 69 parking-meter poles on Montague Street in knit sleeves on May 13.

“People are going to be charmed and delighted when they see it,” said Chelsea Mauldin of the Montague Street Business Improvement District, which is commissioning the installment. “It’s such a surprisingly beautiful thing to see in a public space.”

The artist Magda Sayeg similarly wrapped parking meters in Paris in 2007 and even knitted a sock around an entire bus in Mexico City in 2008 — and now she’s preparing to knit one, purl one of her famed installments in Brooklyn Heights.

Local knitters have a big role to play in the final results. About a dozen showed up at a recent planning meeting — and Mauldin is aiming for at least half of the sleeves to be produced by local volunteers. That’s one busy sewing circle.

Katya Usvitsky, a knitter from Sunset Park said she heard about the project from a friend and “just really loved the concept” of a guerrilla-style “knit-in.”

“I’m drawn to what knitters like Magda are doing right now — taking the traditional craft and turning it on its head,” she added.

Each parking-meter sleeve takes approximately two or three hours to knit and about 15 minutes to install onto the actual pole. Mauldin hopes all volunteers will submit their pieces by May 5 and then help the artist with the actual installation on the night of May 13.

“We want to get all the sleeves installed in one evening so people will wake up the next morning to see all the meters covered in this wonderful, colorful surprise,” she said.

The knitted cozies will remain up for about four weeks, or until they start to fall apart.

Well, it’s a start. Now, if the city would eliminate all the meters entirely that would be sew good!

To volunteer as a knitter, contact the Montague Street Business Improvement District at (718) 522-3649. Instructions are online at www.montaguebid.com.

Updated 5:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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