By KLTV Newsdesk
Kirklees based WOVEN is launching its BIG RAINBOW KNIT, an exciting new project that’s encouraging people to knit in rainbow colours which will then be used to ‘yarn bomb’ Huddersfield Train Station pillars ahead of the WOVEN Festival in June 2021.
The term ‘Yarn Bombing’ started as a clandestine movement where anonymous knitters would transform an area, feature or object by covering or decorating it in a knitted fabric.
As a form of Street Art, there was always a political edge to the action, highlighting issues and raising awareness of neglected spaces. Now the practice has become more mainstream, with woolly decorations used to celebrate special events such as the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire, and also to commemorate significant occasions such as Remembrance Day by knitting poppies.
The ultimate aim is to promote community and co-operation and can involve people of all ages.
Now the practice will soon be coming to Huddersfield Train Station by way of the WOVEN festival next year.
Designed by the architect James Pigott Pritchett, the grand station is well regarded for its neoclassical style facade and its six imposing columns leading out into St George’s Square.
WOVEN aims to ‘yarn bomb’ the central pillars, transforming them into a colourful rainbow medley, directly created by the community.
Initiated and funded by Kirklees Council, WOVEN is a celebration connecting a strong heritage with today’s innovative developments in the textiles industry, university research, strong arts and crafts scene and the creative expression of the district’s rich and diverse communities.
Knitting for the Soul
Inspired by yarn bombing in France, Sara from Hepworth, near Holmfirth, decided to start her own during lockdown by decorating her front garden.
She said: “In terms of mental health – it has definitely been a cheery experience – I have loved watching and hearing people’s reactions and it has certainly brought a smile to a lot of people’s faces.
“It has cheered up the road and helped me deal with the lockdown – I have sat and knitted through every Downing Street Daily Briefing and it has helped me cope with that!”
There are great social and mental health benefits to a project of this nature.
A recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that lockdown has contributed to almost 8 million adults in Great Britain being affected by loneliness.
Knitting has been proven to have beneficial effects on mental health, including lowering blood pressure and reducing depression and anxiety.
Research from Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute found knitting induces the body’s natural relaxation response and lowers the heart rate by an average of 11 beats per minute.
Because of this, it found blood pressure drops when knitting.
It is not just older people who are knitting, it seems younger people and men, in particular, seem to be realizing the benefits of this calming activity.
Cllr Rob Walker, said: “WOVEN in Kirklees’ is about celebrating our textiles heritage and how textiles from innovation in fashion, medical and science to home crafts are still as important and relevant to us today.
“Kirklees is also not new to seeing yarn bombing and we have seen before how knitting brings colour and vibrancy to unexpected places and spaces, but we are very excited to see how, by public vote, yarn bombing of the station will look in WOVEN 2021!
“This brings together our iconic architecture with our wool heritage in something truly spectacular!”
The BIG RAINBOW KNIT has been announced across WOVEN’s social media and website and will culminate in the Huddersfield Railway Station and others within Kirklees being yarn bombed in June 2021 during the next WOVEN Festival.
The Festival hopes to get anyone interested in knitting involved regardless of where they live in the UK.
To get involved or for more information visit www.woveninkirklees.co.uk or social media @WoveninKirklees