A Romsey councillor is hoping to spark a knitting revival in the town in the run-up to this year’s arts festival.
Former mayor, Dorothy Baverstock, wants to wrap the trees in the War Memorial Park with woollen squares.
Her idea has been inspired by the town’s past – Romsey’s early prosperity was based in part on the woollen industry – and the new craze of “yarn bombing”, in which trees and landmarks are decorated in brightly coloured wool.
The practice is believed to have originated in Texas, where knitters turned their left-over wool into street art.
“This year, we want to raise interest in our historic past by having a major knitting event for the arts festival,” said Dorothy, who is also chairman of the Friends of the Memorial Park.
Next week, there will two family knitting workshops at Romsey’s Rums Eg Gallery, in Bell Street, where children can learn to knit. The knitting sessions, which will use wool donated by Bradbeers, will be held on Tuesday and Thursday between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
Dorothy is appealing to everyone who can already knit to make rectangles the size of an A4 sheet of paper which will be used for tree dressing in the park during July’s arts festival.
Completed rectangles can be left at the Town Hall or Rum’s Eg. “We do need hundreds to make a really good display for the many tourists and residents who will come to the festival,” said Dorothy.
The finished squares, which can be in any stitch, but preferably in acrylic wool, will then be recycled to make bunting for the War Horse Project, of which Dorothy is also chairman.
“This is very much in keeping with the ladies of the First World War who knitted for the soldiers at the front,” said Dorothy.
The War Horse project will see a bronze resin statue to commemorate the horses and mules killed in the Great War erected close to the entrance to the park.