Opu¯nake spins a beau­ti­ful yarn

South Taranaki Star - - STARS PAST - CATHER­INE GROENESTEIN

A bomb has gone off in a coastal Taranaki town, but ev­ery­one is smil­ing.

Or­gan­is­ers of the Great Opunake Yarn Bomb spent time up lad­ders adorn­ing sev­eral blocks of the main street with colour­ful knit­ted and cro­cheted cre­ations.

Res­i­dents took to their nee­dles with gusto in May af­ter the call went out from the Opunake and Lake­side Lions Club for help in turn­ing the town into an ur­ban art space.

A pair of huge knit­ted hand­cuffs hang in the tree out­side the po­lice sta­tion, along with a bunch of slightly cheeky curly dec­o­ra­tions.

‘‘A lady at the rest home has knit­ted all these curly lit­tle pigs’ tails so we’ve put those in the po­lice sta­tion tree as well,’’ or­gan­iser Louise Knap­man said.

A seven-me­tre long vine has en­twined the rail­ing out­side the chemist shop, with mon­keys, birds, snakes and cater­pil­lars amongst its coils.

Huge felted flow­ers have sprung up along a mesh fence and many me­tres of gaudy knit­ted bunting are be­ing strung along ve­ran­dahs and across the main road.

Del­i­cately em­broi­dered cro­cheted rugs have soft­ened a stone and tim­ber bench out­side the li­brary, and the bare bronze statue of run­ning leg­end Peter Snell is get­ting a warm new look.

‘‘He’s get­ting clothes and a hat,’’ Knap­man said.

There’s a knit­ted dog in a cosy bed, a knit­ting-cov­ered su­per­mar­ket trol­ley, a bike and a man­nequin sport­ing a knit­ted en­sem­ble straight of out of a 1950s women’s weekly, in 1980s flu­oro colours. The colour­ful col­lec­tion has ar­rived in bags and boxes from around the town, Taranaki and even abroad.

‘‘A cou­ple of peo­ple who used to live here rang to say they were send­ing some­thing, then we started get­ting mail from Aus­tralia,’’ she said.

Some of the items would be moved in­doors at night to keep them safe, but the com­mit­tee was hope­ful the dis­play would be re­spected, Monique Sin­clair, maker of more than 1000 pom poms, said.

‘‘We’re hop­ing the com­mu­nity takes own­er­ship of it and watches over it.’’

The main street and the area around the Sand­ford Events Cen­tre were be­ing dec­o­rated, with the dis­play set for the open­ing of the gar­den fes­ti­vals and the Taranaki Na­tional Art Awards at the Sand­ford Event Cen­tre un­til Novem­ber 4.

GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Yarn bomb or­gan­is­ers Monique Sin­clair, Tr­ish An­der­son and Louise Knap­man from Opunake Lake­side Lions Club are dec­o­rat­ing Opunake’s main street.

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