Peter's Blog

Easter Yarnbombing

Written by Peter Johnston on .

A year ago I went for a walk with the dogs at Crathes Castle and enjoyed seeing the beautiful yarnbombing on the trees along the driveway up the castle. It gave me a notion... Then a couple of months ago I was asked to provide a response to the Life and Work magazine's Big Question (a regular item in the Church of Scotland magazine where a number of folks are asked for their responses to a particular question) which was "Is your church doing anything different for Holy Week?"

The idea came together with the impetus to write something for Life and Work so I wrote about a plan to yarnbomb all the trees around Ferryhill Kirk. Only, I had not shared that idea with anyone before I had to submit my copy for Life and Work.

When I did, however, the response was brilliant. We had folks knitting away during the services, friends and relations, including some who were watching the YouTube stream of the service (all the way from Portugal!) and residents at the next door Cowdray Club Care Home all adding their contributions in order to decorate and bring some colour to this wee corner of Ferryhill. Some people, including Rev Mary Whittaker, learnt how to knit just to be able to add their own square.

When you spend a bit of time looking at the variety of styles and colours, the knitting and crocheting, the types of yarn used, you see a representation of the rich diversity of people who contributed, a symbol of our own diversity as a community: all different yet all drawn together.

With the amazing response, we had enough yarn not just to decorate the trees but also the pillars and more. Thank you to everyone who contributed their knitting and crochet skills.

But that was not all. For the idea was to slowly grow the extent of the yarnbombing over Holy Week. This is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday: the week in which we remember Jesus' last days after his arrival in Jerusalem with his friends. It is a week that ends on Good Friday with the crucifixion and then the dawn of hope on the day of resurrection, Easter. We wanted to represent this graphically and to help us do that Leila Kleineidam, an art student at Grays, took up the challenge and created seven pieces of original artwork that reflected on the Bible passages I had given her as inspiration. This artwork was photographed and then printed on weatherproof banner so that it would withstand the worst of the weather. Each day during Holy Week we decorated a new tree and added the artwork associated with that day until the whole area was decorated for Easter Sunday.

With the weather continuing to be so cold and with no greenery visible on the trees at all just yet, this art installation provides a much needed shot of colour that celebrates Easter Sunday and a great talking point. I have had numerous conversations with people intrigued by what this all means over the last week.

We intend to keep the yarnbombing in place throughout the Easter season all the way to Pentecost Sunday, so you will have plenty of time to have a look and study the handiwork.

After that, the intention is to re-purpose the yarn squares and create blankets with them.

Thanks again to everyone who helped create this beautiful display.