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Yarnbombing gives small rural town of Beaudesert a pick-me-up for the Christmas season

Jessica Hinchliffe, Wednesday December 4, 2019 - 14:08 EDT
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Volunteers drape the town with green, red and white. - ABC

Benches covered in red, white and green knitting, light poles covered in crochet, and thousands of metres of bunting have created a popular attraction for a small community trying to lift spirits after a hard 12 months.

Beaudesert, south-west of Brisbane, has yarn-bombed more than 32 trees, 29 light posts, and 20 benches with knitting and crochet.

In addition they have deployed 160 metres of sewn bunting throughout the town.

Co-ordinator of Beaudesert Yarnbombers, Finella Lock, said the idea came after residents were feeling a little low.



"Four years ago, we didn't even have a Christmas tree in town and people were complaining that there was no Christmas spirit at all," Ms Lock said.

"A local councillor and I got together and found other Christmas tragics in town and [we] started by putting tinsel and bits and pieces up and then we wanted to do more.

"We thought by getting people to make their own decorations together it would create that positive community spirit."



Boxes of green, red, and white donated yarn were left around the community for residents to pick up to use for their knitting or crochet project which were then returned to the same boxes.

Volunteer 'elves' then collected the handmade items, stitched them together, and decorated the main street.

"The fun thing is we never know who does what," Ms Lock told

"We estimate that more than 100 people have created things this year, but it's hard to judge as it's anonymous — it then appears like magic."

Raising spirits after drought and bushfires

The rural township on Queensland's Scenic Rim, with a population of 6,000, has been faced with severe drought and nearby bushfires over the last 12 months.

Ms Lock said the group hoped the Christmas cheer would help lift spirits in the town and draw visitors in.



"The community response is phenomenal, and we keep adding new things," she said.

"I love the fact that when we do the callout we've received so many items.

"Children have been making bunting as it's easier with only two rows of stitches, and we're up to 160 metres of bunting with more than 1,000 flags coming in.

"We've heard wonderful stories of grandmas teaching their grandchildren how to crochet and knit to take part."

Along with spreading festivities, the local Scenic Rim Council hoped visitors would also spend money within the town.



"It's such a beautiful visual thing and we hope people will come and see the yarn-bombing and spend a few dollars in our main street as well," the council said.

And there is no waste or pieces thrown away with the volunteer 'elves' weaving their magic once the season finishes.

"We take them all down before New Year and then they are sorted and washed so we can reuse for the following year," Ms Lock said.

"Nothing is left or wasted — we get to keep adding to our collection."


- ABC

© ABC 2019

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