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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Enormous and inspiring – Textile art from the web

There are two projects I've come across this week that are so massive in their undertaking that I just have to share them. The first one was a yarnbomb my Dad shared on Facebook! Not that he took part, but he did go and visit it and then send me the pics. It's the Holbrook yellow submarine yarnbomb – the largest yarnbomb in Australia to date.

Holbrook is a small town of about 1,200 people that's 80km south of the town I grew up in. It was the last town to be bypassed as part of the Hume Highway upgrade between Sydney and Melbourne, and the yarnbomb was a way to attract visitors to the town.
The Holbook yellow submarine yarnbomb.
The reason there's a whopping great submarine sitting in the middle of rural NSW is that the town purchased the Otway when the Royal Navy decommissioned it to honour its namesake Lieutenant Holbrook. In a nice bit of synchronicity, a string of knitted bunting was sent over for the yarnbomb from the town in Scotland where the HMAS Otway was built.

The yarnbomb was perfectly timed to match the 50-year anniversary of the Beatles tour of Australia and to coincide with world yarn-bombing day and world knit-in-public day too. Check out this great timelapse of the submarine being covered – it truly was a mammoth effort.

And in a nice segue from knitting in Scotland to embroidery, the next project I wanted to share is the Great Tapestry of Scotland. I came across it earlier in the week on Kate Davies' lovely blog.

This monumental piece was the brainchild of Alexander McCall Smith (what doesn't that man do?). He was inspired by the Prestonpans tapestry and contacted its designer – Andrew Crummy – to see if he would be interested in the project. Andrew said yes, and the whole thing took off from there.

The tapestry covers 420 million years of Scottish history and is worked in a similar style to the Bayeux tapestry, but is much longer. Its 160 panels were stitched by 1,000 volunteers working in groups, with each panel taking more than 400 hours to complete.

It's worth taking a look at Kate's blog too, as she's doing a series on the detail of each panel. It's not until you're up that close that you can see how truly stunning the work is.

Now I'm going back to my projects which seem quite small-scale and domestic after this lot! Happy week everyone.

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