Updated: Feb 17
Carshalton Ponds, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton
Honeywood Walk never looked so fluffy :) Finger-knitted tree wraps made by many hands in SamiArt workshops, ladybirds on leaves by Sandra Monks, and a large mandala by Carole Baker.
SamiArt & the Finga Ninjas Yarn Bomb for #CAOSart21 Carshalton Artists Open Streets. We worked remotely and in secret from March until 11th June when the first finger-knitted tree wraps went up to coincide with National Yarn Bomb Day - yes there is such a thing!
CAOS co-founders and artists Neal & Helena Vaughan with Rt Hon Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Trish Fivey, and finger-knitter and playful creative Samia Tossio, outside Honeywood Musuem
The gallery depicts the work of some incredibly awesome makers including:
Samantha Clair Crochet - meadow flower bunting
Elle Summers - poppies, crochet circle tree hug, and small mandalas
Sandra Monks - emoji tree hug, bees, snails, mice, hedgehogs, bunny rabbits, ducks, daffodils and snowdrops, forget-me-nots, poppies & The Tour De France bike
Carole Baker - The Furry Animal Friend bollard toppers, medium and large mandalas, large bumble bees, CAOS stripey tree hugs, post toppers
Plus all the finger knitted chains made by myself, children and young people, and many participants from my past community projects and workshops, including my very first yarn bomb in Sutton High Street - #FingaNinja2016
We were also delighted to also receive some lovingly crafted community contributions (scroll down for another gallery of those beauties!)
"LOVE LIFE, LIFE LOVES YOU"
"Thank you for making me smile!" - is an easy way to sum up the feedback from those we engaged with in person and on social media, and this particular comment really touched our hearts (and reduced us all to tears):
'I have terminal cancer, I haven’t had the strength to leave my home for over a year but when I heard about the yarnbomb from a friend who showed me the photos, I just had to make the effort to see it for myself. Thank you for the joy you are bringing, this has made my day!” - 23 June 2021
THE DAILY MIRROR included the project in their article on Yarn Bombing in Britain
SURREY LIFE MAGAZINE featured an interview with Samia in a 5-page spread in the October issue! She talks it through here (NB - the poppies were made by Elle, not Sandra! Sometimes Samia forgets what day of the week it is too!) Subscribe to this fab magazine here and read more about how this magic happened on Samia's instagram but in a nutshell, thank you, Julian Heath, your captures led to this connection!
The community were invited to contribute to the yarn bomb by creating an item and delivering it to Honeywood Museum by 14th July 2021. The Finga Ninja team included the community contributions in the playfully creative display surrounding Carshalton Ponds. QR codes linked to the easy, medium, advanced tutorials were displayed in the Yarn Bomb too, and were clicked on over 200 times! Read more about the community donations story on the SamiArt FB page here
How you got involved:
Items were delivered to Honeywood Museum, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton, SM5 3NX by 14th July 2021
These were added to the Yarn Bomb with gratitude, TLC, and will be re-used in further community - or should that be commu-knitty - yarn bombs coordinated by SamiArt in the local area (Sutton Yarn Bomb on Trinity Square, Sep 2021 here)
You maybe created something bigger like your own bunting, a mandala, a dream catcher, or a furry animal friend. You might have displayed these in your own windows on your street alongside the Open Windows signage that you downloaded on the Open Windows page on this site to participate in the CAOS and you tagged us when you shared your photos on social media #CAOSart21
ONE LAST REQUEST was asked
'Please create with a LIKE-HEARTED & PLAYFULLY CREATIVE approach to your makes - enjoy the flow of love that comes with creation, tune into that happy heart space and KNOW that your work brings SMILES to people of ALL ages and helps lift COMMUNITY spirit, one little creative knit at a time. If it helps you to feel the vibes in anyway, why not tune into Samia's motto that she’s used for every single project she’s run since she started working with the Arts in 2008, it works for her: #LoveLifeLifeLovesYou'
THANK YOU for joining the wave of creative CAOS in June/July 2021!!!
Samia, Carole Baker and the core team of makers and installers - Samantha Clair Crochet, Elle Summers, Sandra Monks, Neighbour Jenny, Gemma & Jane (Whichcraft Wools), Yumi Mashiki, Laure Denaro and Yr 6 girls from Cheam Park Farm Primary.
THANK YOU to NEAL VAUGHAN and Carshalton Artists for enabling the CAOS and Arts Network Sutton for supporting the community engagement stage of the CAOS - connect, create, collaborate, and to Jane Howard of Sutton Heritage for enabling!
The installation remained in situ until the CAOS Exhibition at Honeywood Museum ended on 25th July 2021 and we reckon it was seen by at least 14,000 people. Removing it was almost as fun as installing it and BTW everything was washed and dried and packed away ready for the next outing. There's a lovely THANK YOU facebook post on the SamiArt page here
THE YARN BOMB captured by local singer/songwriter Chloe Ray who said:
"You all created a lovely and magical space that bought so much joy to the community! Thank you so much to everyone involved! I still get the same huge smile everytime I look at this picture......
"Thank you to everyone at CAOS! It was a magical place to forget about all your worries, just for a second and smile"
Wondering where to buy yarn and accessories?:
The independent wool shop that the our local makers frequently use is Whichcraft Wools* in Cheam (who supplied many of the yarns the team used and also contributed pillar toppers in the Memorial Garden). Some High Street pound shops also stock small selections of fun yarns, as do a few charity shops. We encouraged you to #ShopLocal but if that's not an option there are some excellent online stockists. *spend £10 or more for one stamp on their discount card
We also made it easy for you to make and donate or just make for yourself by sharing our tutorials and patterns!
Let's Create: Easy Makes:
FINGER KNITTING - just need fingers and yarn!
Finger knit a rope in any colours you love for wrapping on trees or railings. Use two colours or a multi-colour yarn or a combo of solid colour with multi-colour. No longer than the length of a ball of yarn please - make sure you leave long ends so we can tie these on! Watch SamiArt’s tutorial
CROCHET a flower in any colour combo Watch the tutorial
CROCHET a poppy Watch the tutorial
POM POMS in any colour combo using just your hands and yarn - make sure you leave long ends so we can tie these on! Watch the tutorial
Let's Create: Medium Makes:
CROCHET: Wildflowers and Bunting in any colour combination or follow the colours used for Sam’s glorious CAOS bunting! Head to Samantha Clair Crochet blog for the incredible patterns she created from scratch:
We hook all individual flowers together to make garlands, but if you just can’t resist making a string of bunting to contribute then please keep it to 5 triangles only to make ONE piece of bunting. Make as much bunting as you like for displaying in your own windows for the CAOS Open Windows display
Let's Create: Advanced Makes:
Crochet Furry Animal Friends - loved by all ages, these bollard toppers have gone down a storm! Head to Creative Carole’s website for links to the patterns she used to make these well-loved and individually names furry friends! Carole also creates some incredible postbox toppers and those toppers were the catalyst for Neal connecting Carole and I, and the rest as they say is history!
BUY Samia's motto on a few products from her print on demand shop direct:
About the author
Samia Tossio is an artist, playful creative, and yarn bomber doing things with a spirit of playfulness, love, and imagination. She aims to inspire and share through creative communication and her motto is Love Life, Life Loves You!
Radio Show - Listen to the PODCASTS
Samia presented The Go With The Flow Radio Show during the Lockdowns of 2020. The show featured special guests, eclectic tunes, creative news and positively kind vibes, and was often co-hosted by her DJ/Producer husband, Paolo Tossio