Knitters get needle after work is trashed

Linda Watson, Sarah Purves, Ann Todd, Michelle Gates, Teresa Dorward and Pamela Barnes, a few of the Kelso yard bombers willing to reveal thier true identities to voice upset over their project being thrown away.
Linda Watson, Sarah Purves, Ann Todd, Michelle Gates, Teresa Dorward and Pamela Barnes, a few of the Kelso yard bombers willing to reveal thier true identities to voice upset over their project being thrown away.
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An audacious yarn-bombing raid on Kelso by a group of 10 guerilla knitters delighted passers-by for a week – before their efforts were thrown in a skip.

While the efforts of Selkirk’s yarn-bombers induced smiles in 2015, with the results appearing in national newspapers and on television news, it appears this latest offering was not altogether welcomed by all in Kelso.

The 'cake' in situe outside Tait Hall, Kelso.

The 'cake' in situe outside Tait Hall, Kelso.

But it was the nature of the reaction that has angered the secret knitters enough to break free from their cloak of anonimity.

They had planned and prepared the stunt for months, so that it coincided with the 200th anniversary of the town hall, and hoped to reform their work into blankets so they could gift them to an animal charity after they had adorned the town centre for 10 days.

It took the form of a cake, which was draped over the Kelsae Stane under the cover of darkness on the evening of September 16.

It was made up of 160 squares, comprising a total of 950,400 stitches – every one of them painstakingly done by hand. Candles in the shape of the number 200 were added.

'made with love' ribbons on the knitted cake.

'made with love' ribbons on the knitted cake.

A member of the group, Ann Todd, told us: “The colourful cake was well received by members of the community, and the following few days saw many photographs taken.

“Families posed together in front of the cake, with the beautiful backdrop of the town hall behind.

“People stroked the
textured surface of the hand-knitted blocks, and people were interested in what it was all about.”

But it had only been up for seven days, before it was removed, and unceremoniously dumped in the community skip.

Ann said: “It’s just shocking.

“This act of malicious vandalism has caused great distress to the women who, with nothing other than good intention, gave their time and dedication to a project aimed at bringing pleasure to the community in which they live.

“Words can’t express the devastation the makers felt by this despicable act, which shows complete and utter disrespect for, not least the craftsmanship, but also the charitable efforts of these well-intentioned women.

“It’s such a pity the people involved could not see beyond their dislike to the well-meaning behind the gesture of these good women and the benefit to the community.”

Ann said they had been told it had been thrown in the community skip.

She said: “It was right at the bottom of the skip and had been covered over. But the SBC staff helped us to get it out.

“We have now got it back, and as it had been ripped, it has been repaired and washed and the 10 blankets are ready to be given to the animal rescue charity.

“So, in the end, it will go where it was supposed to go, but there was no need at all to react to it in this way, no matter how much they didn’t like it.”

The Southern tried to contact the secretary of the Friends of Kelso Museum – which is organising the celebrations for the historic hall’s birthday – several times this week for comment, but no-one returned our calls.