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Woolsack Project

Come on Bedfordshire, let’s get stuffed!

 

Bedfordshire’s crafters are being called on to get busy making personal gifts for the Olympians and Paralympians coming to Bedford this summer. Over 200 athletes from 14 countries will be hosted here leading up to the Games. Under the Woolsack project every athlete participating in the Games is being offered a cushion hand made and stuffed with British wool. Local hand spinner Janet Ellison is leading the project for Bedfordshire and is busy making cushions along with other crafters like Heather Webb from the Bedfordshire based British Nude Ewe wool company.

 

The Woolsack Project is a national campaign to provide each and every Olympian and Paralympian with the personal welcome gift of a hand crafted cushion made and stuffed with British wool. Altogether this means making over 14,000 cushions! Part of Cultural Olympiad, Woolsack provides an opportunity for knitters, spinners, weavers, embroiderers, felters and other crafters to get involved in the spirit of the Olympics while promoting British wool and traditional crafts.

 

Janet is hoping that each of the Bedford-based athletes can be presented with a cushion made here in this area. So far ‘Bedford Woolsack HQ’ has collected 32 cushions but the target is to gather 220 by 31st July. Cushions will be presented to the Olympians before they leave Bedford for the Olympics this August. Each cushion will be presented with a personal message with the makers ‘wish’ for the athlete.

 

“It takes me a day and a half to complete one cushion so in order to meet our target we need other crafters to get on board. It is such a wonderful way for people to get involved directly with the 2012 Olympic games that we hope that others might like to take part” Says Janet. While the cushions can be any style or colour there are a few rules: each cushion must be 16 inches square, made entirely from British wool and stuffed only with stuffing provided by Woolsack. Full information, including pattern ideas and wool suppliers can be found at www.woolsack.org. There will be a Woolsack Stuffing Station at the upcoming Fibre-East, where cushion makers can come stuff and finish their cushions.

 

Further information:

Fibre East, festival of natural fibre taking place at Scald End Farm, Thurleigh 14-15 July www.fibre-east.co.uk, or call Janet Ellison on 07751 813681

 

Wool from Bedfordshire and surrounding area: The Nude Ewe www.nude-ewe.co.uk