On 23 March 2020, the UK went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many organisations came to the fore to help and support their communities, including the Riverside Parish Churches. A leaflet was produced giving important information and also some ideas on how to keep busy while stuck at home. One challenge was to create knitted or crocheted squares for the purpose of turning them into blankets to yarnbomb trees around the Riverside community to provide some brightness as people took their walks around the community at that time.
In a short space of time a fantastic effort produced hundreds and hundreds of squares which were then sewn together creating blankets for the trees in the Duthie Park and around Ferryhill and South Holburn Parish Churches. The vibrant colours, varied textures and patterns of the squares and the hearts, butterflies, rainbows and other adornments on the panels were admired by many and helped to lift our spirits during a difficult time. The blankets remained in place over the summer months and were finally taken down in August.
Keen to find a more longlasting purpose for everyone’s efforts, it was decided to make a wallhanging that could be enjoyed for years to come. The blankets were washed after allowing for any wee beasties that had made their homes there time to escape.
Having carefully sewn the squares together a few months before, the stitches were all unpicked and the squares bundled into similar colours and patterns before the design for the wallhanging was finalised. Many ideas were discussed and given the volume of wool available, and our creative gurus Linda Elder and Jacqueline Adam decided that there would be enough to make three wallhangings to cover the walls in the Foyer recess. The designs for the wallhangings were influenced by the many rainbows which had been seen everywhere during the pandemic, especially those made by children and displayed in house windows during the pandemic lockdowns.
One wallhanging tells the story of lockdown while another represents the Church of Scotland's Aberdeen Riverside Parish Churches. As with most designs, the wallhangings changed as they were worked on with additions and alterations happening up to the last minute.
The final, larger wallhanging started as a rainbow forest but gradually became inhabited by lots of woodland creatures which it is hoped you will enjoy finding. The squares have been adapted, cut up and felted into new shapes and many of the adornments have been incorporated into the panels. A few of the Easter daffodils, made for April 2021, have also been added to the large wallhanging.
Thank you to Linda and Jacqueline for the many, many hours they have put into these pieces of art, to all of you who knitted panels that have found their ways into these beautiful wallhangings, and to Fiona and Nigel Firth for much practical assistance.
You can view the wallhangings on Saturday mornings when the Coffee Shop is open or come and join us for worship on a Sunday morning and admire them before entering the sanctuary.