Have you ever drove through Mountmellick on a bright July day and wonder where all the woolly decorations came from? I was one of this people. I wanted to know who put the decorations up, why they wanted to it and how much effort went into it. So I went to visit the Yarnbombers at their weekly meeting in Mountmellick.
The Yarnbombers are known for the cascading the town of Mountmellick in brightly-coloured knitted and crochet creations. Their displays are put up under the cover of darkness on one night-which gives the element of surprise element. The designs stay up for a month before the bombers take them down. From yarn bicycles to yarn-covered cars, their magnificent displays are the talk of the town.
The idea for the Yarnbombers came about after one local woman posted online about doing something to raise the image of the town. From there, Yarn Bombing Mountmellick was born.
That was three years ago in June 2014. Since then the Yarnbombers have grown from strength to strength each year.#
On an international stage
The Yarnbombers are fast becoming famous on the knitting scene. They have attended the Bloom Festival and a knitting festival in Yorkshire, England, where they were instantly recognised. This year, they to be featured on the UK’s biggest knitting magazine, Simply Knitting, as a ‘club of the month’. Their designs have made it over to Lourdes and back and they have over 2,000 followers from 45 different countries on Facebook.
The team are very humble about their success, with member Anne Harvey simply calling their setup, “urban art in organised chaos”.
But they do more than decorate Mountmellick, they also contribute greatly to it. Their latest project is working with the homeless organisation PATH. They are making scarves and hats for those facing homelessness this winter.
In previous years, they have worked with TidyTowns Mountmellick, the local Men’s Shed and raised over €1,700 for the Ben & Jake Connolly Trust.
They are entering the Durrow Scarecrow Festival for the first time this year. I’m told their scarecrow idea is the most secretive of secrets.
Yarnbombing Mountmellick was also set-up to celebrate the history of the town.
“There is a long history of yarn in Mountmellick,” said Nina Horan. “It’s famous for the mills and cottage industries that were here. I suppose we’re trying to tap into the heritage of the town,” she added.
The Yarnbombers say that the club has a great social element to it. “There’s been a fantastic response and it’s great just meeting up with everyone here,” said Cathy Bishop.
Anne Harvey said, “The pride you feel after completing a project is great. It’s getting bigger and bigger every year.”
One thing is for sure, the future certainly looks bright and baubled for this club.