Knitted nature will be taking a hold in woodlands across the nation this year to spin a yarn about British wildlife and the amazing world of wool-craft.
Everything from felted fungus to knitted slugs burst from the branches of two Cumbrian National Trust properties in 2013 and 2014 as hundreds responded to Eden Art’s call-out for woodland-inspired woolly artworks.
Voluntary Arts has now taken over the project, and in 2015 is working in partnership with outdoor venues and arts groups across the UK to fill six woodland locations with colourful creations – but we need YOUR help to make those woods bloom – not just in Cumbria but all over the British Isles, including:
- Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran;
- Speke Hall, Liverpool;
- Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire;
- Talkin Tarn, Cumbria;
- Arlington Court, Devon;
- Nottinghamshire *location being confirmed*
Each venue has identified a signature flower for people to knit, felt or crochet to fill their woods with a riot of colour. Groups and individuals are also invited to send in woolly flora and fauna inspired by the inhabitants of their chosen woodland, ready to populate it in time for Voluntary Arts Week, 15 – 24 May.
“It’s a magical experience seeing everyone’s woollen creations in the trees, especially when you’ve made some of them yourself,” said Cassandra Barron of Voluntary Arts. “It’s a fantastic way to have your work seen and admired by thousands of people.”
Participants can use any technique to create their woollen artworks but are encouraged to use ‘real’ wool in support of the Campaign for Wool, ideally 100% wool because – like the sheep – it’s remarkably hardy and can withstand the elements.
“We’ve started with flowers for each venue because you don’t need much yarn to have a go, it’s something people of all skill levels can do and they look amazing,” said Cassandra. “There are also more crochet patterns this year as we’re hoping Loom Band crazy kids will feel inspired to upgrade their skills.
“On each Woollen Woods project page there are also details about the wildlife in each woodland for people to get inspired. At Rufford for example, they’ve got beehives so a knitting group has already begun making bees and baubles inspired by pictures of microscopic pollen. At Talkin they’re felting otters and even fish! People can take the theme wherever their imaginations lead them.”
Full details, including more information on each site and a selection of free patterns are available here. You can also find patterns, share your creations and connect with other Woollen Woods crafters on the Woollen Woods Facebook page and Pinterest Board.