The Big Rainbow Knit Intro by Sandra Nesbitt

The Big Rainbow Knit Intro

May 2021
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The Big Rainbow Knit is one of a number of events that took place during the WOVENin Kirklees festival 2021.

However this is one event that actually started 12 months ago when there was a public poll asking local people to vote for a landmark in Kirklees to yarn bomb. The iconic façade of Huddersfield Railway station was the outright winner.

A call was put out on social media for help and the crafty people of the world got involved! Hundreds of people from across Kirklees, the country and the world – be they experienced wool crafters, complete beginners or somewhere in between – spent months & months making individual, coloured squares. Over 15,000 squares were created that’s equivalent to around 45,000 hours of knitting and crocheting and over 75,000 yards of yarn!

Local knitting expert, Gail Smith created a design scheme to map out the rainbow of 7 colours that went across and around the 6 main pillars and the lesser pillars to each side. Knitwear designer, Sandra Nesbitt was inspired by illusionary quilts to design a series of Kaleidoscopic Rainbow Rays panels that adorn the square and other satellite yarn bombings. These are The Rainbow Rays radiating out from the Big Rainbow.

Sandra is a self taught knitting designer living in the Kirklees area and loves conjuring up new knitting stitches and patterns. She used her skills to develop a series of knitting patterns for illusionary and checkerboard 2 coloured 6 inch squares using a variety of techniques such as slip stitch/mosaic and Fair Isle patterns.
She encouraged the Big Rainbow Knitters via a Facebook Group (over 900 members) to challenge themselves with these new patterns, helping them with any problems and generally motivating them to give them a go. She also assisted local communities to design and create their own Rainbow Rays that they could use to Yarn Bomb their own community.

The Rainbow Rays panels that were attached to the side of the planters & bus shelter on St Georges squares were created by bringing together a series of plain knitted squares and the 2 coloured squares that can be worked from Sandra’s patterns. The panel layouts are documented in the eBook with suggestions as to how you can use the same design principles for items for your home such as throws and cushions.
Sandra also designed a number of bigger pieces, a kaleidoscopic fair isle pattern, a slip stitch striped rainbow triangle pattern and a pattern for modular metered squares.

A number of community yarn bombings took place throughout Kirklees as well with some groups designing and creating their own 2 coloured squares panels. Some of these will be included in the e-book along with the process used so you can design your own.
The T’rainbow at Batley station will be included too.

For the Big Rainbow Knitters this would make a lovely memento of your time contributing to this yarn bomb installation.

For anyone else, some great unique square patterns with some fantastic ways of combining them together for the creation of cushion covers and throws.