Woollen Woods 2015

Pink knitted flower with five pink petals, a yellow centre and two green leaves made for a workshop at Woollen Woods

If you go down to the Woollen Woods …

If you go down to the woods at Rushcliffe Country Park between 15–24 May you won’t see teddy bears, unless you take one with you. However, in the wooded sensory garden, you will see knitted, crocheted or felted woodland-themed woollen artworks in support of The Campaign for Wool.

Poster for Woollen Woods 2016 at Rushcliffe Country Park

Each Woollen Wood has a theme and a signature flower. The theme for Rushcliffe is the birds and the trees, in particular the oak tree (part of the emblem of Nottinghamshire) and swans (resident in the park). The signature flower is the cherry blossom reflecting the native cherry trees in the park.

Free knitting and crochet workshops!

I’m leading free drop-in workshops in the Education Centre at Rushcliffe Country Park. These will take place between 10 am–3 pm on Sunday 17 and Sunday 24 May. Turn up any time and stay as long as you like. I’m providing patterns, yarn and equipment, although you’re welcome to bring your own.

If you’ve never tried knitting or crochet you can have a go at French knitting (no needles or hooks) and help produce the longest twig.

Clear plastic French knitting bobbin with a brown cord

For those who can already knit or crochet, there’ll be patterns for woolly woodland leaves and flowers suitable for different levels of experience.

Pink knitted flower with five pink petals, a yellow centre and two green leaves made for a workshop at Woollen Woods

Volunteers from the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington will be at the park with their Griswold circular knitting machines. These are small machines that were used in Victorian times to knit socks. If you have a go on one you’ll be helping to knit a giant swan’s neck!

What if I can’t come to a workshop?

Small, medium and large leaves knitted in rib

You can take part by making woolly flora and fauna, inspired by the themes of the park. Take or send these to the Rangers’ Office at Rushcliffe Country Park or the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington.

You can use any technique to create your woollen artwork. We’d like to encourage you to use yarn with a high wool content where possible. Wool, like sheep, is remarkably hardy and can withstand the elements. And wool is natural, biodegradable and sustainable.

What if I’m not in Nottinghamshire?

Small, medium and large leaves knitted in stocking stitch

Woollen Woods is a nationwide community craft project. It is coordinated by Voluntary Arts and partners as part of Voluntary Arts Week, which takes place from 15–24 May 2015.

As well as the Woollen Wood at Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, there will be five other Woollen Woods in 2015:

How did Woollen Woods start?

Woollen Woods was launched in 2013 by Eden Arts. The aim is to bring crafters together to create a wood full of woollen woodland artworks. The first Woollen Woods was at Acorn Bank in 2013 and the second one, last year, was at Sizergh Castle.