Last weekend I went to the Unravel, Festival of Knitting in Farnham in Surrey. I’m an occasional crocheter (I used to do a lot more before I started writing novels) and am just about competent with a pair of knitting needles. I saw some amazing hand-crafted garments, beautiful wool and yarn in every possible shade and came home with lots of lovely ideas.
But the most inspiring thing was also the most unformed and random. It’s a project called ‘The Blue Jumper’ which has been put together by an artist called Sarah Filmer.
As you can tell it’s not actually a jumper at all but a community knitting project. Knitters are invited to join in and knit as much or as little as they like. There’s only two rules, you must use blue yarn and you have to knit directly onto the piece.
While I was adding my few rows there were a group of about six ladies doing the same. When we’d finished Sarah Filmer took our names so that she’s got a record of everyone who’s been involved and gave us a blue badge. So far over 700 people have knitted part of the Blue Jumper and it’s been to art exhibitions, festivals, care homes and community centres.
Sarah’s put together a little book about the project which includes copies of notes that knitters have written after they’ve worked on the jumper. Some of them are hugely moving as people tell how it got them knitting again after a bereavement or helped them make friends in a new area.
I was involved in a community knitting project last summer when I helped knit a bike (yes,really) to celebrate the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire. As the whole county went cycling mad it was fabulous to be involved in a small way in the celebrations and to help create something special that was displayed in one of the parks in York.
As we all know writing can be a lonely business. The Blue Jumper made me remember how important it is to do other creative things. So I’ve made a resolution to get out from behind my laptop and meet other people to chat about yarn and life. And who knows what incredible stories might come out of that?
You can find out more about the Blue Jumper here and some fabulous photos of the York knitted bike here
One thought on “Knitted Together”
The blue jumper is, indeed, quite random. But it’s very blue and I love the idea that someone feeling quite blue can feel better after it. I wonder if that’s why that colour was chosen? I can’t knit myself. The only project I ever started was, believe it or not, a blue jumper! It was to be a pastel blue bat-wing number and, by the time I got about a third of the way up the first side, a few years had passed and it would have no longer fit me! I’ll stick with cross-stitch which I can do. I look forward to seeing more pictures of your projects 🙂 xx