PARNELL Street Park was yarn-bombed into a woolly wonderland of kaleidoscopic displays this Wednesday as community and educational groups across the city knitted together to celebrate Community Learning Day.
This display of street art known as yarn bombing was officially opened by Mayor Kathleen Leddin, who declared: “I’m delighted to be here this morning to see this wonderful display of art. It’s something that I would like to see in every area of town. I must congratulate everyone involved for putting this together.”
Mayor Leddin said that when she retires from the cut and thrust of politics she might take up knitting again after being inspired by this “wonderful display”.
Catherine Aylmer of Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN) described the genesis of the project: “We were looking for a way to display crafts in a different form and instead of knitting jumpers we thought this would be a great way to display all the contributions from everyone involved in the community groups,” she said.
“I want to thank all the people that got involved with it - they really put their heart and souls into this project,” added Catherine.
LIT student Gabriella Giordana, who is studying for a Master’s in Limerick Lace in conjunction with the Limerick City of Culture 2014, is a tutor in Southill knitting group. She was proud of their work, saying their efforts amounted to an amazing job.
Gabriella described how knitwear is part of our tradition and heritage and in tough economic times many people return to these traditional arts, such as crochet and lace making. “It’s a lovely way to get in contact with your heritage and to get in contact with people,” she said adding: “Sometimes we get wound up in our own lives and we forget about the people around us and a big part of this project is stitching the community together through knitting.” Mary Hamilton – herself a former craft teacher – said that the yarn bombing of this park is a great way of bringing attention to the crafts: “As you can see from the reaction of the passersby they can see the value that being engaged in the various crafts bring to people and the community.”
Knitter Helen O’Regan, from Our lady of Lourdes knitting group, was proud of her piece.
She knitted the roof of a bird house, but said she is looking forward to completing a bigger project – she’d like to have a go at a blanket for her next challenge.