If You Go Down to the Woollen Woods …
If you go down to the woods at Rushcliffe Country Park between 15 – 24 May you won’t see teddy bears, unless you take one with you. However, in the wooded sensory garden, you will see knitted, crocheted or felted woodland themed woollen artworks in support of The Campaign for Wool.
Each Woollen Wood has a theme and a signature flower. The theme for Rushcliffe is the birds and the trees, in particular the oak tree (part of the emblem of Nottinghamshire) and swans (resident in the park). The signature flower is the cherry blossom reflecting the native cherry trees in the park.
Free Knitting and Crochet Workshops!
I’m leading free drop-in workshops in the Education Centre at Rushcliffe Country Park between 10 am – 3 pm on Sunday 17 and Sunday 24 May. Turn up any time and stay as long as you like. I’m providing patterns, yarn and equipment, although you’re welcome to bring your own.
If you’ve never tried knitting or crochet you can have a go at French knitting (no needles or hooks) and help produce the longest twig.
For those who can already knit or crochet there’ll be patterns for woolly woodland leaves and flowers suitable for different levels of experience.
Volunteers from the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington will be at the park with their Griswold circular knitting machines. These are small machines that were used in Victorian times to knit socks; if you have a go on one you’ll be helping to knit a giant swan’s neck!
What if I Can’t Come to a Workshop?
You can take or send your woolly flora and fauna, inspired by the parks themes, to the Rangers’ Office at Rushcliffe Country Park or the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington.
You can use any technique to create your woollen artwork. We’d like to encourage you to use yarn with a high wool content where possible. Wool, like sheep, is remarkably hardy and can withstand the elements. And wool is natural, biodegradable and sustainable.
What if I’m Not in Nottinghamshire?
Woollen Woods is a nationwide community craft project coordinated by Voluntary Arts and partners as part of Voluntary Arts Week, which takes place from 15 – 24 May 2015.
As well as the Woollen Wood at Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, there will be five other Woollen Woods in 2015:
Brodick Castle & Country Gardens and Roots of Arran Community Woodland, Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire.
Talkin Tarn Country Park, Carlisle, Cumbria.
Rufford Old Hall, Ormskirk, Lancashire.
Arlington Court, Barnstaple, Devon.
Diamond Jubilee Woodland, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
How did Woollen Woods Start?
Woollen Woods was launched in 2013 by Eden Arts, bringing crafters together to create a wood full of woollen woodland artworks. The first Woollen Woods was at Acorn Bank in 2013 and the second one, last year, was at Sizergh Castle.
Would You Like a Free Pattern?
I’ll be sending out some free patterns via my newsletter later this week. And, when I have time, I’ll upload them on Ravelry, so you can create your own woolly woodland flora and flauna. Meanwhile, I have a few more designs to finish, photograph and write up!