Stuart Hillard, the star of BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee, officially opened WOVEN in Kirklees by unveiling a spectacular yarn bomb of Huddersfield Railway Station.
The unique rainbow installation – The Big Rainbow Knit – has been created with over 15,000 knitted squares which have been created by an army of knitters and crocheters from all over the UK and worldwide including Germany, Finland, Italy, New Zealand and Australia.
The yarn bomb covers the six grand pillars at the front of the station as well as other markers in St George’s Square.
The biennial festival, which is funded by Kirklees Council, runs from June 5-27, with a programme of special, themed textile events taking place in various locations across Kirklees including demonstrations, talks, exhibitions, family activities, trails, performances, workshops, panel discussions, open studios and walks.
Stuart is a renowned quilt designer, maker and home décor expert who regularly appears on TV and radio as well as writing for several craft magazines each month sharing his love of yarn, knitting and crochet.
Stuart said: “It’s a great honour to be part of this amazing event and the yarn bomb looks spectacular – a must see for anyone visiting or passing through the town.
“It’s great to see the support that this project has attracted and how people have used their skills at whatever level to get involved with the project. This year has been difficult in so many ways for us all so being part of a wider crafting community will have been a big help to many.”
Nat Walton, WOVEN festival curator, added: “There is no better way to kick start this year’s festival than with the unveiling of a huge yarn bomb on one of Kirklees’ most iconic buildings.
“We truly are overwhelmed by all the contributions we’ve received so far – without them this project wouldn’t have been possible so we are extremely grateful for every square created by the people of Kirklees and beyond. This year’s festival might look a little different to what we first envisaged all those months ago but it promises to be just as exciting with lots going on for all to enjoy.”
Clr Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “It’s fantastic that Kirklees’ Woven festival has touched the lives of so many people, with contributions to the yarn bomb coming in from across Kirklees and around the globe!
“Creativity has united many of us through the ups and downs of the last 12 months – and, of course, the rainbow has become a beacon of hope and connection. As restrictions ease now is the perfect time to celebrate all of the creativity that surrounds us in Kirklees.”
The Big Rainbow Knit will be on display at Huddersfield Railway Station for the duration of the festival. Once the festival has ended the installation will be removed and made into smaller blankets which will then be given to local charities.
The full WOVEN in Kirklees programme is now live and can be found at www.woveninkirklees.co.uk