Monday, 24 March 2014

Yarn Bombing - The Close Knit Community Tree - Wales and South Africa



This coming Sunday - Mothers Day in the UK - a tree in Abergavenny is being yarn bombed! The tree, whose exact location is currently a closely guarded secret, will be dressed with crocheted and knitted squares that have been made by people in both Wales and South Africa. 

Readers of my recent blog posts will know I'm making a charity patchwork quilt for the Only Kids Aloud choir from Wales who are going to South Africa next month to help celebrate 20 years after the end of apartheid.

This week's blog tells the story of another Wales and South Africa crafty connection - The Close Knit Community Tree - a place to celebrate people: friends, family or those we admire, whether they are still with us or not.  

Zimele is a South African based charity that works in the remote region of KwaZulu-Natal in the eastern part of South Africa. Zimale's founder, Rosetta Stander, realised that despite the promise of a newly democratic South Africa in 1994, a strong legacy of apartheid remained throughout the country, and there was still much work to be done.  

Zimele gives women the opportunity to work in small groups to make positive changes in their communities.  Programmes include agriculture, social and welfare projects, enterprise development and of course, crafting.  


Many of the women in KwaZulu-Natal have high crafting skills and Zimele gives them further training to be able to make and sell hand crafted stationery, bags, decorations, home ware and jewellery at fair prices.

500 of the crocheted squares that will decorate Abergavenny's special tree have been made by women who are part of Zimele’s Fairtrade craft project.  

 









Hundreds more crocheted and knitted squares have been made by supporters of Zimele in the UK, organised through The Wool Croft, Abergavenny and Arts Alive Wales. 

As well as knitting and crocheting, a small army of volunteers in Abergavenny have been sewing the squares together into large pieces - ready to be dress the tree on Sunday morning!     

So, if you are in near Abergavenny this weekend, why not take a look for yourself - the Mayor of Abergavenny will be ‘opening’ The Close-Knit Community Tree at 11am - but you'll need to find it first....... OK, you can follow the trail from Abergavenny town square at 10.30.

To find out more about the Close-Knit Community Tree - pop over to Close Knit - Wales and South Africa Facebook page. 

If you would like to dedicate a square to a loved one, or find out more about Zimale, follow this link to the Zimele website.   

Zimele UK is a registered charity.

Thank you to Zimale UK and Close Knit - Wales and South Africa for letting me use their lovely photographs.  

UPDATE - here is a photographs of some of the trees in all their glory