You know what they say: better late than never? Well, a month after the exhibition ended I’m finally getting around to sharing my pictures of Briswool, the fuzzy re-creation of Bristol, my adopted city, in yarn.
Briswool is the brainchild of Vicky Harrison, the owner of Paper Village in Bedminster. Groups of knitters (and happy hookers) have beavered for the last 18 months away making houses, roads, rivers and whatnot. There were also lots of workshops but I managed to miss every single. I did, however, manage to post off a few squares of grass and a loopy bush, so hopefully they’re in there somewhere…
So, Dear Reader, sit back, relax and let me take you on a whistle-stop tour of Bristol’s most beloved landmarks and points of interest.
Here we have St Mary Redcliffe complete with one of the Shauns, Willow, from the recent Shaun in the City art trail, with the Mud Dock and Thekla in the background. This church captivated me for ages. I’m very much a pattern knitter, so I can’t begin to imagine where you would even begin with such an intricate building! Well, casting on obviously, but creating a pattern like that? Wow.
The iconic Suspension Bridge looms over the Pump House pub on the harbourside at this end of Briswool. They’ve even faithfully knitted the Clifton Observatory on the hill behind it, with the tall walls of the Zoo behind it. Slight liberties have been taken with the geography, but that’s all part of the fun!
Further along the harbourside, just look at these cranes outside the M Shed–aren’t they amazing?! This is my favourite part of the whole project, showing our usual walk around through Queen Square, across Pero’s Bridge, past the Watershed, into Millennium Square (with the Planetarium) and the Lloyds Amphitheatre. The level of detail is astounding! If you look closely, you can see the mini-Gromit on board the yellow commuter ferry in the harbour. There is the cutest little traffic jam brewing on the far side, too! (This may be the only time anyone has ever been affectionate about Bristol traffic…)
This is almost a balloon’s eye view of the city. Bristol is famous for its Balloon Fiesta–coming up in a week or so!–and if the wind is right there are often balloons lazily drifting over the centre of town. Briswool captures all the favourites, from the ‘Up’ balloon, to the FA Cup, the Minion, and the Smurf as they travel over the squidgy and cuddly colourful houses of Cliftonwood and the Wills Memorial Building (aka the University law library).
Another view across the Harbourside to a very woolly Brandon Hill, topped off with a bright and cheerful Cabot Tower. I love how hilly it is, a true reflection of Bristol, running downhill to the Children’s Hospital complete with a Shaun the Sheep reflecting The Grand Appeal that raises funds for the hospital. A cheeky Cheo graffiti bee even made it into the final exhibit, proof that Bristol isn’t all about Banksy!
I spotted Chris, the Bristol Crocodile, in the Avon Gorge with a few of his friends who seem to have escaped from the reptile house at the zoo. His moment of fame immortalised forever!
There was also a cosy little Sit and Knit area, which was well-stocked with yarn, needles and hooks. I held an impromptu knitting workshop and helped Lucas (and Dave!) cast on and knit a few rows. A few children joined us and it was lovely to see everyone joining in the fun!!
I’m so pleased that I finally got a chance to visit Briswool, even though it was on the very last day of the exhibition. It was lovely to see so many people there, all excitedly pointing out little details. Unlike other exhibitions I’ve been to, it seemed that everyone unanimously loved Briswool. Well done to Vicki and all the crafters!