When Greerton’s blossoming cherry trees drop their colour and stand stark naked on the sidewalk, in steps Carol Power.
For the past three years it has been her role as Coordinator of Greerton Village Yarn Bombing to encourage teams of knitters to cover the trees according to an annual theme.
“It’s all for a great cause,” Carol bubbles infectiously. “The event creates a comradery between different clubs who all nominate a not-for-profit organization to receive the prize money.”
There are two categories; people’s choice which highlights the different groups and charities and is chosen via Facebook advertising, and the Judges Choice. “
What was originally a small event with 16 decorated trees has grown to over 60 trees with yarn bombers from Rotorua to Raglan willingly clutching needles and knitting meters and meters of boldly coloured textile art.
When complete, segments will be stitched onto the trees, surrounding trunks and branches
and where they will stay for up to six weeks, or, until those trees begin to clothe themselves in new growth.
The 2019 theme is Children’s Books, and while there is sure to be plenty of Hungry Caterpillars, Hairy McLeary’s and traditional tales, Te Puke Kiwi Coast Lions have chosen
“The Farmyard Idol” by local author Angie Belcher and illustrated by Maungatapu based Debbie Tipuna. “Think American Idol in the farmyard” Angie says. “Complete with all the ego and insecurities of the competitors.”
Creating the menagerie of animals is Te Puke’s creative genius Michelle Cliff, well-known throughout the community for her ability to take on tough challenges, involve members of the community and raise money for good causes.
“I just love this sort of project” she says, “I get a picture in my head, pick up the needles and start knitting.”
Her enthusiasm is infectious and all 35 other members in the club arrive at meetings with
needles in hand ready to knit colorful triangles for bunting and patchwork for the background. Those who can’t knit or crochet are delegated with making pom poms and tassels.
Like designing a new dress, a pattern needs to be created, trees measured and the logistics of hanging the textile considered.