Smeaton’s tower was covered in more than two kilometres of colourful knitted scarf as part of a mental health project today.
The Opportunity Knocks Project ‘yarn-bombed’ Smeaton’s Tower today to mark the end of the Livewell South West Festival of Art and Mental Health Wellbeing.
More than 900 squares were knitted by members of the community and all of the knitting will be donated to local charities.
Helen Fallows, organiser of the event, said: “We’ve got 900 knitted and crocheted squares that have been made by people across the city, as part of the Health and Wellbeing Arts Festival that was promoted by the university in conjunction with Livewell and lots of other organisations across the city.
“We’ve knitted them into several parts of a long scarf, and the plan today is to yarn-bomb Smeaton’s Tower by dropping the scarf from the top.
“We should have about eight or nine big drops of scarf people to see.
“It’s all about how knitting is really good for mental health, so the Thrive Plymouth initiative for year four is mental health and wellbeing, they want people to connect, to learn, to be active, to notice and to give.”
Thrive Plymouth is a council-led 10 year programme to get everyone working together to improve health and wellbeing and narrow the gap in health status between people and communities in the city. The focus this year, year four, is mental health and wellbeing.
Seventy-year-old Sandie Connolly spent months knitting squares for the scarf and in total produced over 150 squares and stitched together 250.
Sandie used the knitting as a way to relax and clear her mind.
She said: “It was brilliant, any worries I had, or anything like that, just went away, I was just involved in the knitting all the time.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it beautiful, like a big rainbow. That signifies people, all those colours are meant to be people.
“When I sewed them up, I made sure the colours were suited, and that was good fun as well working it out, all over my lounge.”
Sandie’s cat Fidd was not as pleased with the knitting and had to kept out of the way to stop Sandie’s efforts going to waste.
She said: “I had to hide it away all the time, at one the poor cat had to go into the bathroom or else she would sit on it.”
The project received contributions from people aged 18 to a 95 year old lady who had not knitted for 60 years, but got back into it so she could add to the scarf for the event.