Rainbow Yarnbombing takes over

Haida Gwaii Knitting Group surprise the islands

The Rainbow Yarnbombing Project struck Port Clements over the Canada Day long weekend.

The project, which was started up by the Haida Gwaii Knitting Club, put a more than colourful touch on the Port Clements museum with more than 50 afgans out on display.

“We came up with the idea of a Rainbow Yarnbombing — we would ask volunteer knitters and crocheters from all over Haida Gwaii to create afgans in the six colours of the rainbow and then we would hang them all in a surprise location on the Canada Day weekend,” Alex Rinfret, one of the organizers said.“I think we had volunteer crocheters/knitters from every community on Graham Island. People were working on their afgans all fall, winter and spring. As they were finished, we collected them in the Port library, where everyone could see them.

READ MORE: Yarn Bombing mastermind is back in town

“I really want to make a special recognition of Delores Davis from Skidegate, who is almost blind but loves crocheting and made an absolutely amazing afgan for us.”

Rinfret said that very early in the morning on June 29, a small group of volunteers met outside the museum and hung up all the afgans.

“We had around 60 [afgans] even more than we expected — were aiming for 50,” Rinfret said.

By 7:30 a.m. all the afgans were up and ready to surprise those coming to the Canada Day festivities.

READ MORE: Rainbow yarnbombers recruit knitters, crocheters for top-secret campaign

But this wasn’t the first time Port Clements got yarnbombed. In 2017, the group yarnbombed Port Clements with red and white blankets, but this year Rinfret said, they wanted to do something different.

“For us, the rainbow colour theme symbolizes joy, respect, inclusion and diversity — community values that are shared and promoted all over Haida Gwaii,” Rinfret said. “We applied for and received a Gwaii Trust grant that allowed us to buy the yarn for the blankets. Thank you Gwaii Trust!!!! We bought the yarn locally, from Made With Love in Masset, then distributed packages of yarn in all six colours to volunteers.”

The public also got involved to vote on the favourite afgan. In the end, the voters chose the work of Susan Brown of Tlell as the winner.

READ MORE: In Pictures: 2018 Canada Days in Port Clements

Rinfret said this will not be the last yarnbombing of the year. Haida Gwaii can expect to see the afgans in their next appearance at the Masset Pride Parade and the Tlell Fall Fair in early August.

After those events, Rinfret said they would be giving away the afgans to organizations and people in need, such as the Transition House in Masset, the hospital and for newborns.

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