Get ready for the Oundle Yarn Bomb, to be unfurled in July to coincide with the town’s music and food festivals. Teams of busy needle workers are planning a massive installation that will transform the town’s centre.
Their ambitious plans are centred in the Market Place. They will be creating yarn art to cover two trees, benches, the telephone box, 23 bollards, sign posts, flower troughs, the bookshop columns and bus stops. Each area has been assigned a different project manager responsible for the design and coordination of the different contributors.
Oundle’s Town Events Manager, Paula Prince, was inspired to propose the event when she visited a small town in Lithuania: ‘I saw it in a small square and thought, we’re going to do this in Oundle. It was such a joyful thing to see.’
A few communities in the UK have initiated similar yarn installations, but perhaps nothing as ambitious as Oundle’s.
There are over 30 women and even a few men involved in the project. The ‘Knit and Natter Crochet and Chatter’ group meets once a week to discuss their progress and their plans to ‘Yarn Bomb’ Oundle. They want to have everyone knitting.
Lots of the volunteers are contributing 4 and 6 inch squares to cover the troughs, and are making bunting for the shops, including Rosie Kyle, who is 13 years old from Oundle Middle School.
Many of the people participating are Oundle’s own residents. Andrea Racey and Sally Cable are among these, and are both planning to make a huge contribution to the project.
Sally has been knitting for 16 years, and said: ‘I’m addicted, now.’ She is using crochet designs to cover one of the trees in the market place, and says that she will be adding animals to her designs such as red squirrels, ladybirds and butterflies, as well as the main feature: a scotty dog and a ring of flowers.
Andrea is planning to knit 250 four-inch squares to cover a tree in different patchwork styles; the very tree that she planted when she was at Middle School in Oundle more than twenty years ago! Her mother taught her when she was young. Andrea said that her mother ‘crocheted her wedding dress in the 70s!’ Andrea’s 12-year-old daughter is now also knitting to contribute to the project.
Lucy Milner, from Titchmarsh, is working on covers for 23 bollards decorated with crocheted flowers and other quirky designs. She said: ‘My granny taught me when I was a young girl. I’m still learning different techniques.’
The plans to ‘Yarn Bomb’ Oundle should be exciting, and definitely something worth coming into town for. It should be a wonderful event for the summer festival season.
Ellie van Staden