The curious case of the Yuletide yarn-bomber

Something strange has happened to the oak trees on Rathdowne Street. It started on Sunday: we were eating lunch in a cafe after the Color Run and noticed a woman who seemed to be winding a giant red scarf around a tree. Soon, the scarf looked more like a sweater. By the following day, six trees in a row proudly wore six scarlet sweaters like six warm cuddles. It didn't stop there. On Wednesday when I returned to Rathdowne Street, gorgeous yarn baubles hung from the branches; and sweet crocheted snow-flakes, Santas and Christmas trees proudly perched in rows around the red trunks.

This here folks is a yarn bomb of magnificent proportions and, if you live anywhere near Melbourne, you've got to come out to Carlton North and take a look. It is stunning. I took some photographs for you this morning, before the heat drove me back indoors (it's forecast to reach 38 degrees today. Blech!).

The yarn bomb is the handiwork of Yarn Corner, a Melbourne-based collective of 'yarn artists' who make up one of the biggest yarn-bombing groups in the world.

I contacted Yarn Corner's founder and director Bali this morning to ask her a bit more about this beautiful Christmas installation. She told me it involved 30 people and they had spent the past three months working on the hanging decorations for the trees, as well as similar Christmas yarn-bombs that are planned for nearby Richmond and Fitzroy.

But the wraps for the trees weren't made ahead of time, they were all created on site. "We had lots of lovely feedback from the Carlton residents when we were doing the trees there," Bali told me. "We even saw one girl riding her bike with her dad, but she was so in awe of what we were doing that she almost crashed into a parked car."

You know what else is kind of nice? This entire 'bomb' was actually commissioned by the local Council. Yay for bureaucrats supporting and celebrating the arts! They wanted something a little different and a little more artistic than the usual Christmas decorations you see around town at this time of year, so they turned to Yarn Corner with a brief and said "go for it." Mission accomplished, I say. Deck the halls with balls of yarn!