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Yarn bomber targets busy town centre

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 28, 2012

MYSTERY: Knitted fruit has been hung on branches of several trees along Courtenay Street

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THE trees lining one of Newton Abbot's busiest shopping streets have become the latest target of a mystery yarn bomber.

Knitted fruit has been hung on branches of several trees along Courtenay Street.

Yarn bombing, or urban knitting, is a colourful form of street art which sees knitters secretly stitching together creations to be placed in an urban environment for the public to enjoy.

The appearance of fruit hanging from some of the town's trees in Newton Abbot this week marks the first case of yarn bombing in the town but it has been previously spotted in Brixham on the William of Orange statue.

Charles Walker, an engineer at Jaguar and Land Rover, first noticed the fruit while walking through the town on Tuesday.

He said: "It was the oranges outside Lloyds TSB that caught my eye to begin with. I just thought it was a bit strange, and then I thought 'that's not quite right'.

"I carried on and noticed the cherry tree and there was a bush with some strawberries too. Lots of other people didn't see them though and carried on."

Two small bushes outside Gerry & Co Jewellers have become home to several knitted strawberries and blackberries.

Catherine Pengilly, a sales assistant at the jewellers, said: "First of all we spotted the oranges in the tree, there were probably about 8 or 10 of them. Some of them were quite high up, so I have no idea how they got them up there.

"We didn't notice the strawberries, which are right outside our shop window, until the afternoon. The people who spoke to us all thought they were really nice. Someone has obviously put a lot of effort in."

Pioneering Devon knitter Alison Murray has created a number of large-scale knitted creations, enlisting the help of fellow knitters to help her create a 25 foot high Christmas tree, a life-size gingerbread house and a walk-through aquarium.

She said: "I would imagine that this is another case of guerrilla knitting, which is where people knit these creations and put them out there for people to enjoy, and quite often they don't want to be identified.

"There have been a few instances of this before in the West Country, a few years back a group of guerrilla knitters were interviewed on TV, wearing knitted balaclavas.

"It's just a bit of fun, to make people laugh and amuse them, as well as showing that knitting can be seen as an art form."

Ms Murray has been hard at work on her latest project, three nine foot high storybooks, which are due to be unveiled at the book festival at RHS Rosemoor next year.

"I would love to be the mastermind behind it, but can reveal that sadly I am not, as I am a bit tied up putting together my latest creation.

"It's just a bit of fun and it puts knitting out and about. The more people that see them and enjoy them the better."

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  • dimondbabe  |  October 01 2012, 10:13AM

    this is SO COOL! i LOVE IT!!! too many people always moaning about the town so its great to see someone just having fun and making it pretty! where can i learn to knit girls???