Megan Heath Gilhool, right, with Frances Rooney, whose hot dog stand was given some decorative touches in yarn last week. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Mixed in among the many Memorial Day celebrations and reopenings in recovering Sea Bright over the weekend, a rogue group of vandals struck one of the town’s most beloved landmarks.

During the chilly, rain-soaked early hours of Friday morning, a dozen women swarmed an Ocean Avenue lot with one mission in mind: to leave their mark on the town. They diligently went to work, covering the fence that encloses Frances Rooney’s hot dog stand with their own personal ‘tags.’

After they politely asked her permission, of course.

Not only did the vandals request their target’s consent beforehand, but they did their dirty work with yarn, taking part in the phenomenon of yarn bombing, in which renegade knitters express themselves by covertly decorating outdoor areas with their own, knitted creations.

In this case, women who have been taking part in Sea Bright’s post-Sandy yarn therapy group, held in the borough’s Community Center every Thursday, were the culprits, covering Rooney’s chain-link fence with flowers, pinwheels, and a myriad of colorful decorations, all made from yarn by the knitters at the weekly meetings.

Local artist Megan Heath Gilhool, a regular at the weekly gatherings, caught up with redbankgreen on Wednesday afternoon as she was touching up the fence after this weekend’s inclement weather.

“We have so much yarn donated to the group from the community and residents, so we decided this would be a good way to give back to the town, and try to beautify the area at the same time,” she said.

“Mrs. Rooney was one of the first businesses to come back after the storm, she’s in the center of town, and she has been a staple for song long, it seemed like an obvious choice to decorate her fence,” Gilhool added.

“I was very pleasantly surprised, and honored they chose my spot,” Rooney said. “It took a lot of work, but they did it cheerfully.”

The group used zipties to attach their fabric creations to Rooney’s fence, applying pieces they had been crafting for some time. Gilhool said the group plans to maintain their target, making sure it stays intact.

It appears the trend has caught on too, as the yarn-bombers found early this week that their project had been yarn-bombed itself, with an anonymously placed red heart mysteriously added to side of the fence.

“We were so happy to see someone else contribute to the fence, and do such a tasteful and nice job with the heart,” Gilhool said. “It adds another fun level to the whole thing. So thanks, mystery bomber.”

When asked if the group had plans to yarn-bomb any other local points, Gilhool was tight-lipped.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” she said.