Colourful celebration by Women's Institutes

Colourful installations were presented by Ely City WI on Palace Green and St Mary’s Green in Ely.

Colourful installations were presented by Ely City WI on Palace Green and St Mary’s Green in Ely. - Credit: Ely City WI: Sheila Willson

A women's organisation in Cambridgeshire has come together despite both lockdown and a continuing pandemic to celebrate their 100th anniversary in an ‘amazing’ way. 

Over 125 feet of knitted lengths, spiral daisies, knitted bacon and eggs, yarn flowers and more were just some of those included in what was ‘a colourful celebration’ made to mark the Isle of Ely Federation of Women's Institutes 100th anniversary. 

Starting back in March, the seventeen Yarnbombing team members, including nearly two thirds of their WI, began working on the project. 

They encouraged members who did not know how to knit to make pom pom and tassle garlands, meaning they could still join in on the production ahead of the official anniversary on June 11. 

As the creation grew, more individuals took part, with their newest member only joining a month before the installations. 


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Sheila Willson,  yarnbomb co-ordinator said: “We emailed regularly, we shared photos of what we had created to inspire each other, everything WI is about. 

“We didn’t rely on a theme, instead, we all contributed according to our strengths [and] creative discussions were had. 

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“We got to know each other through a communal love of knitting, the project bought us together despite lockdown and the continuing pandemic. 

“The positivity of the project was just amazing.” 

The colourful celebrations were installed last month (June) in Ely, on Palace Green and St Mary’s Green. 

Other yarnbomb creations included knitted bunting and banners, a cannon ball, fish, jellyfish, bees and hearts. 

Colourful installations were presented by Ely City WI on Palace Green and St Mary’s Green in Ely.

Colourful installations were presented by Ely City WI on Palace Green and St Mary’s Green in Ely. - Credit: Ely City WI: Sheila Willson

Sheila said their members really enjoyed putting the project together and they have received some ‘fantastic’ comments on social media.  

Ms Willson said: “It has bought many smiles to our faces when we have seen visitors and residents viewing and photographing the installations.” 

The organisation has thanked City of Ely Council, East Cambs District Council, Ely Cathedral, King’s School Ely, and Cambrigeshire Highways for permissions to allow Ely City W1 to Yarnbomb Palace Green and St Mary’s Green. 

If you would like to join Ely City WI: 





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