Totterdown’s Woolly Wonderland – in pictures

26 Nov


Well, we did it! 50 knitters and crocheters (including children from the local school, who made the lovely sign), a huge pile of yarn, donated by The Knitter, Simply Knitting, and very generous local people. And hours and hours of work.

This is what you get when you put it all together. Totterdown’s Woolly Wonderland is still up in Arnos Vale cemetery, and there are no plans to take the work down. Instead, the cemetery volunteers will remove pieces when they start to look a bit tired. As people seem to have been adding to the original pieces which were put up, I suspect there will always be a few trees with woolly decorations in this much beloved cemetery.

Anyway, enough words. Just take a look…

IMG_6110We spent the actual weekend of the Front Room arts trail hosting a tea, cake and pom pom making party at Hannah’s house, and raised £30 for Refuge.


What we didn’t really foresee, was how much the kids would love it all…

And did I mention? The sun shone ALL weekend!

There are too many people who contributed to thank individually, but rest assured, every scrap of work was appreciated and used.

We’ve been asked what’s happening ‘next year’ and the honest answer is, it’s been so much work, we haven’t thought that far ahead. Ideas on a postcard perhaps?


The sun’ll come out tomorrow! (we hope…)

17 Nov

Wow. Well, after three months of knitting and crochet by the lovely people of Totterdown and Knowle, this weekend is IT. It’s time for Totterdown’s Woolly Wonderland at the Front Room!

Hannah, Violeta, Ange, Jean, Pat, myself and a few others were at the cemetery this morning, finishing a few things off and hanging up the first of the pieces. We hope to be finished by early afternoon tomorrow, so that the children at Hillcrest School can see all their hard work sparkling in the autumn sunshine.

We’re not going to spoil the surprise of what everything looks like in situ, but below are just a few pictures of the project, in progress over the past few months, and some of the amazing people who’ve made such a generous contribution, of their time, skills, materials and enthusiasm.

If you’re not on here, it doesn’t mean we’re not grateful, we just didn’t take your picture!

Do come down to the cemetery over the weekend to see everything up in place. There will also be a knitting and crochet cafe at 19 Summer Hill on the Saturday and Sunday from 12noon to 6pm both days, when you can come and do some crafting, and have some tea and cakes.

The cakes are being sold in aid of Refuge, so if you have time to make a few, or fancy contributing some shop-bought ones that would be absolutely fantastic. Just drop them by 19 Summer Hill any time over the weekend (although maybe not 5.55pm on Sunday or we’ll be forced to eat them ourselves!),

As well as our crafty cafe, Hannah’s house will feature photographs by Violeta and screen-printed T-shirts by the Bristol Hospitality Network.

As an aside, you may have heard that there was an arson attack in Arnos Vale a few nights ago, which destroyed all the seasoned logs which the cemetery normally sells over the winter. This means a loss of about £2,000 in income for the cemetery, so if you feel like you want to, you can make a donation to buy a virtual log.

OK, here come the pictures! If you have anything ‘last minute’ to give us, just email with the details, or come down to the Spielman Centre in the cemetery on Friday morning where there should be someone who can collect it from you.

Jean making a giant crochet flower

A pom-pom finger knitted snake, made by one of our younger members

Violeta gets Pablo crocheting early...

Frances, with just a few of her beautiful garlands

Ladybirds in progress...

Sarah and Ange with their accidentally coordinating projects - and outfits

Betty and Pat enjoying some alfresco crafting

A beautiful garland posted to the project. Thanks!

Knitting in the pub!

Val and some other knitters at The Oxford

Linda and her amazing snake

With thanks to Emma Turner for the lovely pictures from The Oxford, Hannah for her sterling work with her phone camera, and absolutely everybody else too!

One week to go!

10 Nov

Can it be that time already? It seems like no time at all since I was standing in School Road playground, having a chat with Hannah about ‘some kind of yarnbombing thing’ in Totterdown.
Fast forward a couple of months, and here I am, with a massive stash of knitted birds, bees, fruit, veg, snakes and all sorts of flora and fauna, lurking in my airing cupboard, along with countless squares, rectangles and garlands.

Thanks to the amazing hard work of about 30 local knitters and crocheters, and lots of help from the wonderful children at Hillcrest School, and our friends at knitiffi, Totterdown is going to be one woolly place next weekend!
Hannah and I have got the super fun task of going through everything to sort it into piles of nicely coordinating colours and ideas. The pictures here are just some of what we’ve got. You won’t believe it when you see it!
We have two meetings left before the Front Room art trail, so the plan is to use them for sewing everything up. Rather than any more knitting or crochet work, please do come along and bring along tapestry (big eye) needles, scissors and spare yarn. The more help you can give us, the better everything is going to look so please, please, even if it’s only for half an hour, please do come!

The meetings will be at the Spielman Centre in Arnos Vale on Sunday from 1pm to 3.30pm, and Monday at The Oxford in Oxford Street from 7.30pm onwards.
If you have more time after that to carrying on sewing up, please do let us know. We’d like to put as much as possible up in one go on the Friday, during the day, so we’ll need to collect it from you by the Thursday morning. You can get in touch to arrange anything via

And if you’re free to help put a few things up on Friday do let us know too.
If you have made something for your street (eg a lamp post cover) we can’t wait to see it! The exhibition starts on Friday evening, so if you are able to get it put up by then that would be fantastic. Alternatively, as long as it’s up by Saturday morning, lots of people will get to see all your hard work.
We have a tip that Balmain Street is going to be particularly dolled up, but if you have any more hints for people on the trail about what they might find, just let us know and we’ll spread the word…

See you very soon and thanks so much for all your amazing work!

One month to go!

26 Oct

Hi there everyone! Wow, only a month left until all your hard work will be up on display for the amazing Totterdown Front Room art trail!

We’ve been really delighted with how many people have joined us to help create the Woolly Wonderland. We hope everyone has enjoyed the meetings as much as we have!

If you haven’t been yet do come and join in, at the Spielman Centre cafe at Arnos Vale cemetery  every Sunday until 13th November from 1pm to 3.30pm;  and The Oxford pub in Oxford Street, Totterdown every Monday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm until 14th November.

We’ve been siting in the sunshine at the cemetery for the last two Sundays, knitting together and talking about all kinds of things. Betty has developed a brilliant way to make ruffled flowers – they look especially good in variegated yarn. If you would like to make one too just crochet about 6 chains, join in a loop and then do two double crochet stitches into each stitch. Continue doing this in a spiral until you have the flower you want . Or come along on Sunday and Betty will show you!

Jean has made some amazing woodland creatures. Her grandchildren are keen to have them , and they are going to be on sale at the Arnos Vale Christmas Bazaar but will appear in the wonderland first. Thanks so much Jean!

This week at the Oxford a folk band sat down at the next table so we had music to knit to. They are a lovely bunch of peeps and have promised to play ‘The Old Hank of Yarn ‘ the next time we are all there together.

Val has made an amazing collection of ladybirds and mice, and apples to hang from the trees. I’m looking forward to seeing Clare’s finished woodpecker which is going to go high up in a tree at Arnos Vale.

A certain little mousey has also been finished too…

We’ve got workshops at Hillcrest school coming up, and the lovely people from knitiffi who made the knitted boat which paid a trip to the city docks recently are going to help us as well. Do come along and knit or crochet with us! Don’t worry if you don’t have wool or can’t knit- we can help!

If you have any questions, or projects you would like to be added to the blog please do email us on If you have finished things please do bring them to our meetings or come and get one of our nice duck labels to sew onto them. If you have spare bits and bobs of wool to share we appreciate those as well.

We are planning to concentrate on sewing up on the last Sunday and Monday before the art trail, and then putting things in the cemetery and Totterdown on the Thursday and Friday before the Art Trail. We’ll update on here with the plans when we have them.

In the meantime, happy knitting!

Come knit and crochet with us! All our meetings before the Front Room weekend

10 Oct

Hi guys! Hope you are all well and, if you’re already involved in our fun little project, enjoying knitting away for the Woolly Wonderland!

If you’ve not heard of us, then here’s the score. We are a group of local knitters and crocheters, and we’ve got a fun plan – to decorate Totterdown with knitting and crochet for the Front Room art trail on 18th – 20th November 2011 ( The Arnos Vale Charitable Trust have also asked us to make a knitting and crochet trail using the trees in the cemetery for Front Room weekend. We are planning a nature theme.

Over the art trail weekend we’ll have knitting, tea and cake at a house in Totterdown. Don’t worry if you can’t knit or don’t have wool, we can help, and children are very welcome too.

We are making 15cm squares and 15cm wide strips of knitting or crochet, and knitted or crocheted flowers and animals. These will be placed on the trail in the cemetery, and also used to decorate the streets of Totterdown. Please bring anything you make to one of our gatherings or send them to us – you can get in touch via this blog, email, or phone 07791 983040.

Phew! Now that’s all out of the way, this is just a wee note to tell you that between now and the Front Room weekend (November 18 to 20) we will be meeting TWICE a week – once in the day time, and once in the evening.

We’ll be at the Spielman Centre Cafe in Arnos Vale cemetery every Sunday from 1pm to 3.30pm, and at The Oxford pub in Oxford Street, Totterdown, every Monday, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Do come along!

If you need some inspiration, here are some lovely flowers that Laura made for the project. We think they’re gorgeous!

See you soon we hope,

Hannah, Rosee and Violetta xxx

Come knit and crochet with us on Monday!

28 Sep

Hey there lovelies!

Just dropping in to let you know that our next gathering is on Monday October 3rd and we’d love to see you there!

After such a fun meeting at the Thali a couple of weeks ago, we’re hoping for another great turn out of knitters and crocheters to help transform Totterdown into a Woolly Wonderland for the Front Room Arts Trail in November.

We’ve also been asked by the Arnos Vale Charitable Trust to make a trail by decorating some of the trees in the cemetery.

If that sounds like your cup of tea then please do come along to The Oxford pub on Oxford Street on Monday at 7.30pm to find out more and join in.

We’ll be making 15cm x 15cm squares and strips of knitting and crochet, and knitted and crochet flowers, birds and animals.

There’s lots of free yarn available, patterns and friendly advice and encouragement if you’ve never tried to knit or crochet before (or, like lots of people we’ve met, haven’t done it for a long time).

Since our last meet up we’ve had all sorts of offers of help and generous donations, including a knitting machine, lots of cones of machine knitting yarn, and hand-knitting/ crochet yarn in lovely bright colours. If you’d like to join in, but don’t have much time, we’d love to take any unwanted materials off your hands. Just drop us a line at

If you want to keep up to date with what we’re doing then please subscribe to our email list by sending an email to

There are also lots more people interested in getting involved now, and we’ll have more news on that at the meeting on Monday.

Hope to see you then!

Knitting at the Thali – the Woolly Wonderland is go!

23 Sep

Wow. We’ve already been overwhelmed by the response to our idea to cover Totterdown in woolly goodness for the Front Room Art Trail this November.

But we were still pretty bowled over when 20 lovely knitting and crochet volunteers turned up to our first meeting at the Thali cafe this week.


The meeting was a huge success (even if I say so myself), with lots of volunteers to make squares, stripey strips, birds, and flowers for our trail through Arnos Vale, and some extra goodies for the streets of the art trail itself.

A jolly time was had by all, new friends were made, our donated yarn stash was extensively raided (yay!) and we ended the night on an absolute high, fuelled by the yummy poppadums and chutney provided by the Thali, and a cheeky Asian beverage or two.


We’ll have a new meeting date for you very soon so keep your eyes firmly fixed here. There will be leaflets going out in the local area too, for those of us without access to the internet.

Since the meeting we’ve had more donations of yarn (lots of lovely bright colours) from The Knitter magazine, the offer of an entire knitting machine, plus cones of machine knitting yarn, and even a crocheted stair runner to wrap around a lucky tree in the cemetery. Phew!

Thank you so much for getting involved and making what was just a vague idea two weeks ago into something quite spectacular.


Want to be kept up to date with what’s next? Just drop us a line to, or rugby tackle us in the street if that’s more your style.

Special thanks for the meeting go to Hannah, for booking the room, little Pablo, for not making a fuss about being out and about rather than tucked up at home, and everyone who turned up to offer their help.


See you soon!