Bristol transformed into Briswool by knitters

By Caroline Le Marechal
BBC News, Bristol


Artist Vicky Harrison said it was one of the customers at her arts and crafts shop who suggested "knitting the iconic buildings of Bristol".

This inspired Ms Harrison's project to create a three-dimensional model of the city out of wool, with 100 people casting off to crochet, knit, bead, felt and embroider.

Ms Harrison's shop in Bedminster has been taken over by "a woolly world filled with crochet trees, beaded swans, knitted Totterdown houses, the SS Great Britain and Cabot Tower perched on top of the woolly undergrowth of Brandon Hill".

It was also customer Alison Pigeon who came up with the title "Briswool".

Ms Harrison said the project had been "self-funded", with all the crocheters and knitters being volunteers.

She held free workshops and contributors to the woollen landscape included beginners along with advanced knitters.

In the team were a seven-year-old girl who made penguins for the zoo and knitters in their late 70s.

The project involved more crocheting than knitting.

The foliage, trees, half of the knitted squares and most of the buildings were crocheted.

Ms Harrison said the woman who knitted City Hall, where Bristol City Council is based, chose it because it was where her father had worked and that he had designed public toilets in Bristol.

Clifton Suspension Bridge was knitted by Joy Roddy, who also knitted the cathedral, the swing bridge and "lots of little boats including the Pyronaut".

She said: "I was pleased with the bridge - I love fiddling and creating."

Harrison said a "huge amount of wool" had been donated by Eileen Stansfield, who has "been crafting all her life" - and who also made the beaded swans and squirrels for Briswool.

The project has so far required about 4,000 hours of work, the team estimates.

"There are so many people involved and we're quite tenuously linked.

"Some people just come into the shop once and some you don't hear from and then they'll suddenly appear with a knitted item or square," said Ms Harrison.

Briswool will be on show at Paper Village at 200 North Street in Bedminster from 17 to 27 May.

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