Those who are a dab hand at knitting are being asked to contribute to a colourful art installation set to be unveiled at Dumfries House.

The installation will take the form of a patchwork mosaic and will feature thousands of hand-knitted squares draped over the estate’s historic Adam Bridge, which dates back to 1760 and was initially designed by John Adam to give travellers an early sight of Dumfries House on their approach.

The piece will celebrate knitting as a traditional craft form, as well as the associated benefits to the mind and body that practicing the skill can bring.

Ashleigh Douglas, future textiles manager for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House, said: “Knitting is a very relaxing craft form that is known to have multiple benefits such as reducing depression and anxiety, and increasing a sense of usefulness and inclusion.”

Once the installation is dismantled, the patchwork will be cut into smaller blankets and distributed to charities in need.

The project is part of the Knitwise initiative, in partnership with the Joseph Ettedgui Foundation, which began earlier this year to train and develop a team of local hand-knitters to future proof the industry.

Participants visit Dumfries House on a fortnightly basis to practice the craft and share their expertise while socialising, although this is paused at the moment to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Ms Douglas said: “The Knitwise group features participants of all skill levels and it has been heartening to see them all working together towards the goal of creating this wonderful art installation.

“We would like to invite beginners and experienced knitters from all over the UK to contribute to our art installation project from home in a sustainable way by using up ends of yarn or unravelling unworn knitted garments to make a 20cm square to be included in the patchwork mosaic.

“To help inspire creativity, we’ve created an easy-to-follow video tutorial which is suitable for beginners and can be found on the Dumfries House social media channels.”

Contributions should be marked “Knitwise” and posted to Dumfries House, Cumnock, KA18 2NJ.


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