Everything from felted fungus to knitted slugs burst from the branches of Cumbrian National Trust properties from 2013 after hundreds responded to the call-out to make woodland-themed artworks and create the Woollen Woods installation.
This year submissions are sought again to make Woollen Woods bloom - not just in Cumbria but all over the British Isles in support of the Campaign for Wool. Woollen Woods sites include:
Each venue has identified a signature flower for people to knit, felt or crochet to fill their woods with a riot of colour. They can also send in woolly fauna inspired by the inhabitants of their chosen woodland, ready to populate it in time for Voluntary Arts Week, 15 - 24 May 2015.
"It's a magical experience seeing all the woollen creations in the trees especially when you've made some of them yourself," said Cassandra Barron of Voluntary Arts, the national charity that is organising this year's event. "It's a fantastic way to have your work seen and admired by thousands of people."
Participants can use any technique to create their woollen artworks and are encouraged to use yarns with a high wool content where possible because - like the sheep - it's remarkably hardy and can withstand the elements.
"We've started with flowers for each venue because you don't need much yarn to have a go, it's something people of all skill levels can do and they look amazing," said Cassandra. "There are also more crochet patterns this year as we're hoping Loom Band crazy kids will feel inspired to upgrade their skills.
"On the website there are also details about the wildlife in each wood for people to get inspired. At Rufford for example, they've got beehives so a knitting group has already begun making bees and baubles inspired by pictures of microscopic pollen. At Talkin they're felting otters and even fish! People can take the theme wherever their imaginations lead them."
Full details, including the entry form and a selection of free patterns are available on the project website www.voluntaryartsweek.org/woollen-woods/ The exhibition is non-selective and the deadline for entries is at the end of April 2015 (check the site for venue variations.)
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