Stitching a smile on to faces of Tring shoppers

Fun knitted art mysteriously appeared overnight in Tring town centre at the weekend, with colourful crochet decorating Church Square and perplexing locals on Saturday morning.

Inspired by International Yarn Bombing day, needlecraft gurus Hessian & Indigo met under cover of darkness at 5am and adorned the high street’s bus shelter and surrounding area with woollen delights.

Tring yarn bombing: the knitted art left people scratching their heads

Tring yarn bombing: the knitted art left people scratching their heads

Founders of Hessian & Indigo and childhood friends Sally Spriggs and Hilary Gatehouse have been crocheting and knitting since they were young girls, and now teach both budding and more accomplished knitters at weekly drop-in sessions.

Along with their fellow enthusiasts, Sally and Hilary arranged their creations in a carefully-planned clandestine operation before sun up – all in an attempt to bring a smile to people’s faces.

The bollards were festooned with cosy bobble hats and vibrant bunting was strung from the bus stop and between benches, cheering up bus passengers and passers by alike throughout the weekend.

The postbox wasn’t left out, as it too was dressed in fetching scarves and its own hat, and the bus shelter even had a little knitted birdie make its nest there for the day.

Tring yarn bombing: the crocheted pieces were popular with the young ones

Tring yarn bombing: the crocheted pieces were popular with the young ones

The town’s older generation also had a hand in the affair, as the blanket draped across the bus shelter seating was created by keen knitters at St Joseph’s care home on Aylesbury Road, under instruction of Hessian & Indigo member Ayari Gonzalez.

This phenomenon is not exclusive to Tring, and worldwide guerilla knitting projects like these are often referred to as a form of graffiti and are technically illegal, although prosecution is rarely enforced.

The knitted and crocheted items sported tags assuring people the handiwork would be removed on Sunday evening, but unfortunately many of the pieces had gone walkabout by the time the group went to remove it as promised.

Sally said: “We hope it made people smile, and that the pieces that went missing went to a loving home.

“It went really well, and we’ve had a lot more hits on Facebook now with people asking to join in next time.”

So, will there be any more yarn bombing activity in Tring in the future? Sally said: “Watch this space!” For more information or to get involved, search ‘Hessian and Indigo’ on Facebook.