Yarn bombers bring cheer to church and local community

Yarn bombing on the gate leading to Parkway Station by St Mike's Yarn Bombers (SMYB).

Knitting and crocheting enthusiasts from in and around Stoke Gifford have created an exciting local group called the Yarn Bombers. It all started in the Old School Rooms near St Michael’s Church, when local resident, Kia Harris, mentioned the idea of ‘yarn bombing’ the building. A group of friends got together to make creative designs based on a particular theme and decorated the space with their artwork.

One of the group members, Debbie Bambridge, spoke to us about the group. “We describe ourselves as a group of like-minded crochet and knitting lovers who want to spread a little woollen love around St Michael’s Church and the Stoke Gifford community,” said Debbie. “We currently have nine people who are actively knitting or crocheting and more who are interested in getting involved.”

Debbie added: “It’s amazing what a variety of people we have in our group. All ages from 20s to retired, all abilities from beginner to those who write their own patterns, and each contributing what they can to each project. Being part of this group has been a brilliant way to build community as well as a great way to learn new skills and share creative ideas.”

The group goes under the name St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB) and the SMYB label is used on everything they make.

So far the group has done four ‘yarn bombs’, each one different, and each one bigger than the last. February’s theme was love, and three of the members made hearts in different shades of pink and red to decorate the pillars, gate and railings around the Coffee Shop at the Old School Rooms. In May half term, the group put up flowers, butterflies, bees and ladybirds all around the outside of the Coffee Shop and new St Michael’s Centre, and even on the gate by Parkway Station for the commuters.

Each time, the Yarn Bombers have put labels up with the crafted items, with Bible verses on a theme. They want to bless the community in any way they can, and “inspire people with the love of God, as much as with the beauty of the things they’ve created.”

Debbie mentioned they “have lots more in the pipeline!” Although she added that, “As much as possible, we like to keep it a secret what we’re working on and put things up under cover of darkness, as a surprise for local residents and visitors.” One thing they have revealed is that they’re working towards making a community Christmas tree. This will be something for any interested knitters or crocheters to get involved with. Debbie adds: “We will be looking for people to make 6-inch green squares (in any shade of green and in any stitch) that we will put together to make a Christmas tree. We will also be looking for local craft groups to get involved and there will be an activity at the November Messy Church so children can contribute too.”

Anyone who wants to keep up with what the Yarn Bombers are doing can like their Facebook page (to find it, search for SMYB). Knitters or crochet enthusiasts who want to get involved can email them at S.M.Y.B@outlook.com

Yarn bombing on the Old School Rooms railings by St Mike's Yarn Bombers (SMYB).

Photos: 1 Flowers on the gate leading to Parkway Station. 2 Flowers growing out of railings at the Old School Rooms Coffee Shop.

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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