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January 26, 2011

Wool is Cool

Perhaps as a counterweight to the era of cheap clothes and the throw-away culture, the crafts of knitting and crochet are enjoying something of a comeback – community festival organisers in Leith are stitching together a plan to celebrate. Cool Wool is a mass knitting event which will either take centre stage (literally) at this year’s Gala or result in a dressing-up game for the trees in the park…

Leith Festival is launching a guerrilla knitting project called CoolWool. We are looking to the community – young, old, knitting/crochet/sewing groups and clubs, anyone really that wants to create and be part of this community knitting project.

We will either provide “woolly jumpers” for the trees in Leith Links or create a giant community picnic blanket that will be used on gala day.

The idea is to get as many people as possible to make 6”x 6” squares. Depending on the quantity of squares we receive, we will then start the installation a couple of days prior to the start of the festival so that it is complete for gala day on the 11th June.

The inspiration for this project came from the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry that many of my friends have been involved in and organised. It was an amazing project that struck a chord with the human spirit and the want to create. I thought it would be fabulous to harness people’s talent (small or big) to bring everyone together to produce something wonderful that the community can participate in with as much effort as they choose and to be proud of it.

Knitting/crocheting is a huge craft at the moment but it is also a craft that is as easy or as difficult and as intricate as you choose to make it; its accessible and is very beneficial to mental and physical well being. So why not tap into this???

I do hope that we attract a wide variety of ages. People who participate will be published on our website so that everyone is aware of the amount of people from our community and beyond that have chosen to participate in this project.

We will also be looking for volunteers to help sew all the squares together. If the trees are the objects of our guerrilla knitting, then the squares will have to be sewn together on site. If we are making the community picnic blanket, the sewing together of the squares can begin well before the festival.

The project outcome will only be determined towards the end of March depending on the response and permission from the council to wrap the trees. This project will run until the end of April.

This project is all about fun, colour and community spirit. If you are interested in joining the CoolWool project, please email me, Adele Conn on with your contact information – name, address and contact number and then get creating