Yarn bomb unravelled to help Vancouver homeless

Yarn bomb unravelled to help Vancouver homeless (Thinkstock)

Yarn bombing may be a controversial practice in some areas, but as well as brightening up the environment or bustling cities, it can also be recycled for other purposes.

In North Vancouver, multi-coloured knitted patterns were wrapped around tree trunks and branches in parks along Lonsdale Avenue, North Shore Outlook reports.

But after impressing onlookers, they have found a new use and were taken down by volunteers, washed and then stitched into scarves for homeless people in the local area.

The North Van Arts Council is preparing to donate around 30 scarves to the North Shore Lookout Shelter to help keep its residents a little warmer this winter, while also treating them to a colourful new item of clothing.

Volunteer and guerrilla knitter Teresa James told the newspaper: "The wild colours will cheer people up while keeping them from getting cold too.

"We all have a different colour sense, so all the scarves are different. There should be something that everyone would want to wear."

This year, around 130 yarn bombing knits containing wool, needles and instructions were handed out to volunteers across North Vancouver, who later decorated trees, poles and even statues.

However, the temporary art form was met with confusion by the North Van Arts Council, who initially voted against funding the project.

Yet, since revoking this decision the volunteers have begun engaging with the community by teaching new knitting skills and ensuring that the projects each have permanent benefits.

Ms James is responsible for teaching primary school children in the local area how to knit their very own scarves and yarn bombing wraps.

"I'm trying to pass the excitement about texture and colour onto kids… Knitting is often considered a lost art. I want to keep it going," she said.

Meanwhile, David Newbury, community liaison worker at the North Shore Lookout Shelter, expects the scarves to be picked up very quickly from the "warm clothes readily available in the lobby" this winter.

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