Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Yarnstormed!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Yarnstormed!

Article excerpt

It's been one of the most talked about stories of the year - and Teesside's biggest mystery. KAREN McLAUCHLAN looks back on the year of the yarnstormers and how their nimble fingered efforts brought the crowds flocking in their thousands.

IT'S been year of colour, creativity and mystery in Saltburn. The town's secret yarnstormers have certainly thrown the spotlight on the seaside town.

And the 'knit one, pearl one' puzzle has brought thousands flocking, making headlines across the UK and the world.

It all began in March when a 50m scarf appeared on the town's pier in celebration of the Olympics.

The huge winter warmer, representing sports from swimming to cycling all with their own knitted mini athletes, really got tongues wagging.

But neither locals, shopkeepers, businesses or local gossips knew who was responsible for the handy work.

It wasn't the first time knitting has turned heads and made headlines in Saltburn. Last October, the Gazette reported that a knitter, or knitters, had tried to pull the wool over the eyes of hundreds of folk at a popular Teesside resort. They'd tied scarves and knitted figures to various parts of the town centre - to lamp-posts, railings and buildings - and outside the library. This year the Gazette launched its own investigations.

While failing to discover the identity of the nimble knitter, it's thought the Olympic pier tribute was the work of several dedicated handycraft fans, who had taken months to prepare it.

But it didn't stop there. And as the year went on, so did the knitting. Later in March Olympic torch bearer John Pearson had a special woolly creation thrust through his letterbox at work.

At the dead of night, the IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT: The Saltburn Yarnbombers took pictures of their night-time creative assault on Saltburn pier now-famous knitters put a padded gold and red knitted torch through the letterbox at the DoorWays project in Station Square.

Also included was a needle and thread inviting John to sew the torch on to the world-famous 50 metre woolly masterpiece on Saltburn pier.

John, of Skelton, who was chosen to carry the Olympic torch on the Saltburn leg on June 18 due to his many years of youth work, said: "It's a thing of beauty - but I haven't a clue who's made it."

In April the now famous yarnstormers finally broke their silence - but kept their identity secret.

Those behind the pier creation sent a teasing statement and pictures of their night-time antics. The group said: "We're delighted with the imaginative and amusing coverage given to our Olympic yarnstorm on Saltburn pier.

"Many satisfying hours of secret planning and knitting have paid off in the many visitors also enjoying our work. "We're happy to share some of the photos we took for our own pleasure while maintaining the anonymity of yarnstorming. …

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