Friendship Bridge dressed up for winter

Olympia group Spectral Spiders makes fashionable art out of an unlikely ‘model’: The Yashiro Friendship bridge

Contributing writerOctober 4, 2013 

In the Olympia library, Jill Harlow, from left, Pat Harper, Nicole Reister create lamppost cozies for the Olympia Yashiro Friendship Bridge cozy project.


Arts Walk is an occasion for dressing up. And, often in fall, for bundling up.

For Arts Walk XLVII though, fashion enters a whole new realm: Barring something unforeseen, the Olympia Yashiro Friendship Bridge got dressed for the occasion Thursday night. A group call the Spectral Spiders cozied up the bridge’s lampposts with knitting and crocheting.

“I’ve driven the Olympia Yashiro bridge many times and looked at the poles trying to imagine how they would look if covered with color and design and knew it would be so cool — and perfect for our fall days,” said Gail Pollock, who organized the effort. “Outside of a knitted cover with a pom-pom on the Capitol Dome, there is no better place in Oly to show the stitches of our artists.”

Pollock formed the crafty Spectral Spiders group to create the bridge cozies. The aim was to cover all three dozen, but Pollock wasn’t certain whether the group would succeed.

“Yarn bombing,” as it’s popularly known, has been a trend for a while now, but this will be Olympia’s first taste of large-scale public fiber art.

Pollock is a beginner to fiber arts, so she enlisted the help of Diana Ruth Olegre, who created patterns to help other crafters create the lamp base covers.

The Spectral Spiders are a loose-knit group. Some people attend meetings at the Olympia Center and the libraries, while others — including Stephanie Johnson, who coordinates Arts Walk for the City of Olympia — do the work at home.

“I’m furiously knitting,” Johnson said last month.

“I love things like this,” she said. “Arts Walk is a great opportunity for artists to try things, maybe even big things.”

Johnson and Pollock both were incorporating other knitted items into their projects, but Pollock said she thinks the work will consist mostly of new creations.

“We have people who are making incredible creations where each piece has different textures, different yarns and different techniques,” she said. “There is an octopus that’s coming.”

Olegre is excited about what the group could accomplish in the future.

“The vision of working together to create a warmer, more cozy world really seems to resonate with people,” she said. “We can do big things if we work together, and handcrafts draw people together.”

Bridge Cozy

What: The Spectral Spiders, a group of crafty folks with a desire to decorate the world, have knitted, crocheted and sewn covers for the lamppost bases on the Olympia Yashiro Friendship Bridge.

When: The bridge cozy was to be installed Thursday night and is set to stay up for a week.

Also: The group plans future projects and welcomes new members.

More information: Call 360-866-7221, email spectralspiders@ or go to

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