By Sue Moore
Casting on and casting off? What kind of party is that? For Tanya DeLong, who runs a yarn shop in her Tanya’s Girl Garage store in downtown Vicksburg, casting on and off are an everyday occurrence and usually have to do with knitting and crocheting.
In this case, she’s planning a party for casting on July 1 and a follow up party for casting off on July 31. In between, she hopes to have swarms of people coming in to her shop to participate in a knit-athon to raise money to improve the parking lot behind the stores in Vicksburg on the west side of Main Street.
The knit-athon participants will knit squares for scarves for South County Community Services. To get the community to participate and bring the event to the attention of all the knitters in the area, they plan to “yarn bomb” the benches downtown to advertise the knit-athon for the scarves. All of the yarn has been donated.
The knitters will make six by 60-inch strips to wrap the benches in downtown Vicksburg to raise awareness and incidentally get the community members to donate money. Donations will buy 8” squares that will go into making knitted scarves to donate to South County Community Services to keep people warm all winter long. DeLong is hoping that pledges from interested citizens can raise upwards of $1,000 to go toward creating matching funds to improve the unsightly parking lot.
As past president of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and now treasurer, she knows that the funds are sorely needed. “Of course the parking lot will need way more than $1,000 for the beautification effort, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” DeLong says. “Maybe we can find some grant money that will help the project along.”
She hopes to decorate the benches in all kinds of colors with the knitted stripes to attract attention. After that, she will have people knitting all day long in her shop with pledge forms available to all who enter Tanya’s Girl Garage at 123 S. Main. Those who do the knitting will be out soliciting pledges for their efforts as well, through the month of July.