Sun City Needlecraft Club Keeps Art Alive With Yarn Splash

Yarn "splashes" made by Sun City Needlecraft Club members have dressed up a gazebo in ...

Yarn "splashes" made by Sun City Needlecraft Club members have dressed up a gazebo in Temecula.
A group of local women are hooked on keeping the art of knitting alive, one stitch at a time.

The Sun City Needlecraft Club, part of the Sun City Civic Association, has brought women together to knit and crochet articles of clothing, blankets and more for the past 50 years. The 32-member club recently completed a two-month-long Yarn Splash project that is now on display at the Sam Hicks Monument Park in Old Town Temecula.

Together they produced 164 colorful flowers with visiting butterflies and six giant American flags to decorate the park's gazebo and fence surrounding it. They also made a moon, a sun and a rainbow with clouds to hang from the roof of the gazebo.

"I hope people smile when they see it," said Inger Davidson, who joined the club three years ago.

According to club president Mary Dempsey, they decided to participate in this project when they heard the Temecula Valley Museum was looking for artists in the surrounding areas to decorate the park for the city's first ever Yarn Splash. Artists were required to knit or crochet pieces to hang or wrap around anything in the park, using yarn only.

Museum specialist Dale Wilkins said the Yarn Splash is being held in conjunction with the art festival going on in Old Town Temecula. He believes it will attract more people to the park, which is usually only occupied by wandering tourists or the homeless.

"I'm sure they'll enjoy it," he said. "It'll add a little color and make the park some place to come to."

When members of the Needlecraft Club first scouted out the location, Davidson said the homeless were very friendly and excited about their project. In return, the club decided they will repurpose and recycle their project into blankets for the homeless who hang out in the park.

This is the first time the Needlecraft Club participated in a Yarn Splash. They usually volunteer their time knitting and crocheting for various charities and organizations in nearby areas, such as SAFE Temecula, Michelle's Place, and Life Care Nursing Home. They are particularly fond of donating to veterans and to Blankets for Brianna, a nonprofit located in Menifee for mothers who give birth to stillborn or premature babies.

The women also knit and crochet for family members, friends and for themselves. It's an activity that helps them relax and makes the time go by faster. Because most of them are retired, they need projects to keep them active and motivated.