Taunton’s first mass yarn bombing, set in motion by GoCreate for Taunton Live Arts Festival 2015, turned out to be far more sensational than anybody imagined.
In October 2014, local knitters and crocheters were asked by Fran Pitt to participate in producing pieces to dress Taunton for the festival. Existing knitting groups were invited to join in and new groups set up, and there was mention of a cup for the best display.
Soon, ambitions climbed beyond simple knitted squares and on July 17th, when the results of months of hard work were installed for the 8-day festival, the results were stunning.
In the town centre, Bath Place, Goodland’s Gardens and outside the Library were most heavily yarn bombed, and quickly became centres of attention, with narrow Bath Place gridlocked on the first Saturday. Meanwhile, other yarn items popped up elsewhere, on railings and in trees. The only out of town entry came from Ruishton.
An independent knitting expert was asked to judge the entries, and the flower-crowded arch over the door of St George’s church, Ruishton, immediately impressed her as the most spectacular piece she had seen. The theme continued around and inside the church to complete a display ‘perfect in co-ordination, execution and attention to detail’.
In Stitches @ St Georges was presented with the cup (crocheted by ‘Close Knit’ group member Geraldine Field), at the Taunton Live finale on Castle Green. They were greeted by roars of approval from a happy crowd gathered to listen to the bands.
2016’s Taunton Live built upon the previous year’s Yarnbombing display with the winners being picked by the public vote as ‘Bath Place’ and their fantastic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme with thousands of visitors flocking to see the weird and wonderful knitted creations.
Fran Pitt has now handed over the yarnbombing reigns to Marcia Hill who is coordinating the 2017 Taunton Live Yarnbomb kindly sponsored by Monkton Elm Garden Centre. The 24th July will showcase knitted creations in many new locations and with more groups involved so look out for the festival programme where further details of where to see this year’s woollen wonders of Taunton will be unveiled.
GoCreate thanks everyone involved: your hard work and generosity has been much appreciated.