Meet Hazel Hopkinson; craft shop owner by day, Chesham guerilla knitter by night…
Words: Sally Norton
From knitted cosies for trees to woolly hats for statues, the craze of yarn bombing – creating street art from wool – is popping up all over Britain. Yarn bombing, which began in America more than 10 years ago, is all about brightening up drab surroundings with colourful knitted and crocheted madness – all under cover of darkness and in total secrecy. Yarn bombers have even covered buses with their knit-one, purl-one handiwork.
Take the Buckinghamshire town of Chesham, for example. One morning, people woke to find the bollards around town were sporting custom-knitted covers in a range of patterns and colours – including those of Chesham United FC. Then some beautifully crocheted poppies sprung up around the War Memorial just in time for the WW1 commemorations. Then, days before the Tour of Britain cycled through town in September, a knitted bike appeared by the side of the road complete with knitted helmet and security chain.
It turned out that a group called the Chesham Guerrilla Knitters was responsible for this fun woollen graffiti, led by Hazel Hopkinson, owner of the local craft shop Blue Haze. ‘It’s all about spreading love – and a laugh,’ she said. ‘It’s about making the place look pretty and making people smile. I love it when children stop to hug the bollards outside my shop.’
Visit Blue Haze, 2 Church Street, Chesham HP5 1HT or shop online at blue-haze.co.uk to checkout their veritable treasure trove of knitting, sewing, craft and art supplies.