By Aleksandra Bliszczyk
Mernda Community House staff were delighted to find four poles out the front of their building had been yarn-bombed last week.
Coordinator Paras Christou said they had no idea who had created the crochet crafts when they came to work after the weekend.
“We turned up to the house and I just went, ‘who did this?’ It was such a lovely surprise,” she said.
After posting photos to their Facebook page they were able to pin down the identity of the elusive artist as Kim Parslow, a crochet artist.
“I had a little think and there were some comments on the Facebook page that made me think, I know who it is,” Ms Christou said.
“She reached out to us when we were putting together our weaving community project … unbeknownst to me she was crocheting at home with the intention of surprising us with this beautiful contribution.”
Ms Christou said the knits were detailed with a variety of stitching patterns. One pole features plump sprinkled doughnuts to represent days of zero COVID-19 transmission.
“It takes time to crochet and so she was doing it during the last lockdown and then it must’ve been [installed] on a weekend because it takes time to yarn it on,” she said.
“It still, when I think about it, just gives me the most amount of joy to receive a gift like that, such amazing compassion and sharing.”
Ms Parslow told the Review she created and installed the works simply to put smiles on people’s faces.
“I love that yarn bombing magically makes people slow down, and take a moment to enjoy something as unremarkable as a pole or a tree, that we might pass by a 100 times without really noticing,” she said.
“I was so excited to see the yarn bombing at MCH earlier this year, but wasn’t able to contribute much at the time. I really wanted to do something to encourage that spirit, and also say thank you to them for what they’ve been doing to support our community over the last year.”
This was Ms Parslow’s 47th yarn-bombing project since she taught herself to crochet in 2012 and was instantly hooked.
She said she had been inspired by her grandmother who knitted jumpers, and a friend who cross-cross-stitches, adding that knitting, crocheting and creating are powerfully beneficial to mental health.
“Many older men especially have spoken to me at yarn bombing installs about how they knitted during the war and how much it helped them get through,” she said.
“It really is something most people can learn with a couple of YouTube videos and some patience, or by finding a local class.”
Ms Parslow’s art is on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MadeYouSmileArt.