Stoke & Staffordshire

Crewe 'guerrilla knitters' mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Tree Cozy Project
Image caption The Tree Cozy project hopes to connect more than 2,000 people of all ages and backgrounds

When seven multi-coloured scarves were left wrapped around a Crewe lamppost earlier this year many people were mystified as to where they had come from.

The lamppost in Jubilee Gardens was the subject of the town's first ever "guerrilla knitting attack" and the reason behind this random act of knitting has now been uncovered - it was an early experiment for a forthcoming project.

The Tree Cozy project is planning to create a vibrant piece of public art in the town centre to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year.

Trees will be fitted with snug knitted jumpers and lamppost banners will replace traditional bunting as the whole gardens is set to get a wool makeover.

Yarn bombing

The event is being organised by the Crewe and Nantwich Seniors Voice Group, and was originally the brainchild of the group's chairman, Adrian Lindop.

Image caption Seven short multi-coloured scarves were left overnight on a lamppost

On a visit to the USA earlier this year, Mr Lindop came face to face with an American tank covered in wool. It was his first experience of so-called "guerrilla knitting" (also known as yarn bombing or knit graffiti).

The craze involves dressing up trees and pieces of street furniture such as benches, signs and lampposts in the hope of reclaiming or personalizing public spaces.

Mr Lindop said: "The trees in Jubilee Gardens have been there since 1902. I used to play in the park and climb those two trees when I was a boy.

"The park had been neglected in the past and we just wanted to reclaim the space - and this project allows us to do that."

The organisers say they want everyone to 'knit their bit'. They will be arranging free drop-in workshops over the next 12 months to help people knit 12x12cm squares which will then be stitched together.

The patchworks will then be installed in the park for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday, 5 June 2012 and a Mad Hatter's Tea Party will take place in the newly-decorated gardens.

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