This Friday we created a promenade of pom-poms in our local park! Prompted by the discovery of a bag of wool and some pom-pom makers in the last of the Middle Street resources, I decided to amuse myself for a few hours one rainy afternoon at the start of July. I whipped up half a dozen in no time with those modern plastic contraptions, once I had mastered how to use them – having always used a cardboard template in the past. I was inspired by an article I read about how Leicestershire Police Force attached hundreds of knitted ‘pom-poms’ to trees and lamp posts to help reduce fear of crime in an area of the city. As a wise friend once said ‘it’s hard not to smile at a pom-pom.’

It seemed she was not alone in her beliefs, and my pom-pom snaps were well received on the group page. In fact I was reminded by long-time member Helen of the mammoth pom-pom sessions we had a while back when making rugs from them. I never finished mine but they were mindful to make and featured in a few Monday night sessions after that, as cute woodland animals mostly. Now I can’t claim to have been the most focused this year, however I somehow managed to pull together enough willing volunteers to make pom-poms for a public display and actually make a decent amount myself. I think it helped that I went on a little holiday in between, both to empty my head and relax and make woolly balls! There’s a strange sort of parallel there…

As always I am both encouraged and humbled by the offers of support to help me to realise my creative ideas – some of them a little crazy! I love a bit of guerilla art and knew that trees full of pom-poms would be appreciated in our local community but I thought I had better get permission from the council for this one, remembering the Beeston Art Trail saga when the yarn bombing along the High Road was ‘disposed of’ in error. Thanks to Jeanie who we have to thank for the Beeston Street Art and who was quick to provide me with a contact at the council, our request was accepted. There were over one hundred pom-poms made in total and we managed to hang all of them this weekend! I hope you all get to see them in situ.

The team of four split up along the line of trees, after a good old chinwag on the bench and rustling up a few more pom-poms of course, then we artfully strung up the collection of coloured woollen balls in the twelve trees on the Humber Road side of the park. It was really great to be actually collaborating on a project again and working together, it was so easy to pick up from where we had left off. I have really missed getting together with the group, our little community is special and at its core is pure gold. We had a lot of fun stringing pom-poms to trees in a park on Friday afternoon – and that’s what life is all about.

DU