Crafters in bid to save the planet

Crafters from across the Borders concerned by the climate crisis have added their voices to a protest message for the world leaders attending the COP-26 summit in Glasgow later this month.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:45 am
Jane Pearns and Vicky Davidson load the EYCDC electric vehicle with the crafted material.

Dozens of knitters, stitchers and crocheters from every part of the Scottish Borders have

collaborated to produce an eye-catching 70 metres of panels to be hung on Glasgow Green during

the summit.

The local panels will help make up a 1.5 miles scarf to represent the 1.5°C target for limiting global

warming which was reached at COP-25 in Paris.

Jane Pearn from Selkirk, who acted as the Scottish Borders co-ordinator for the Stitches for Survival

protest, admits she was surprised by the scale of local involvement.

She said: “When I offered to be the regional collector for the Borders contribution for the Stitches

for Survival mass-craftivism project, I thought we'd have about a dozen panels.

“We have shown the panels in Selkirk, in Melrose, and in Peebles, and each time the display has

grown bigger, and we now have 70 metres to send.

“So many people have contributed their time and gifts - from highly skilled elaborate applique work

to single squares to be joined to others.

“Some have striking and passionate messages to COP26, others make their point with images or

blocks of colour.

“Every message and every stitch counts - I hope that by adding our voices to all the others, we can

help to persuade the delegates that serious action on climate change is needed, and is needed now.”

Panels have been made in almost every community across the Borders – from Eyemouth to the east

and Peebles in the West, from Lauder to the north and Coldstream to the south.

And the age of stitchers and knitters has ranged from children as young as six to care home residents

in their 80s.

Jane, who had to hand-stitch the metre-long panels together for dispatch, recruited the Ettrick and

Yarrow Community Development Company (EYCDC) to deliver the Borders contribution to Glasgow

this week in their electric van.

She added: “As the number of panels grew, we had to think about the most climate-friendly way of

getting it to Glasgow.

“I was delighted when someone suggested asking if the EYCDC e-vehicle could be used – and they

agreed.”

National organisers of Stitches for Survival hope the colourful panels – many with strong climate

messages – will remind COP-26 negotiators of the scale of concern from around the world.

Vicky Davidson, project manager with the Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company,

delivered the panels to Stitches for Survival’s national offices in Cambuslang in time for them to be

added to contributions from across the country.

She said: “We were delighted to offer our electric vehicle to transport the panels when we were

approached.

“It’s our contribution to make sure that these wonderful, hand-crafted messages from the Borders

about climate change get to Glasgow in the most climate-friendly way possible.”

Following the Glasgow Green protest, the panels will be donated as blankets for refugees and other

communities in need.