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“The first train to Allwood [now Hurstbridge] arrived on June 25th 1912 and we’re going to yarnbomb a fence to celebrate”. 

So say the organisers of this community arts project (The First Train to Allwood), local artists Margaret Summerton and Robina Summers. They’re not afraid of a challenge. With the aid of 30 knitters and crocheters, kilometers of venetian blind cord, a bzillion zip tags and the combined energy of a small train, a transformation is taking place along two ‘blocks worth’ of cyclone fence in the main drag of Hurstbridge. This is possibly one of the biggest, most ambitious yarnbombing projects ever.

It simply makes me happy to see these pics of enormous crocheted doilies for the wheels and big knit one purl one carriages.  Margaret and Robina tell me that each time they add another piece to the fence, passersby toot and register their approval with comments.

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The First Train to Allwood team meet every second Saturday morning at the Wattle Cafe in Hurstbridge.

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The quirky design for the train has been ‘stylised’ from the original photos of the original train.

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Each knitter and crocheter is given a paper pattern of a small part of the train and some balls of venetian blind cord. They are encouraged to recreate the pattern in whatever way they like, using whatever stitches and techniques they think appropriate.  

The project is an enormous undertaking, with logistics, administration and coordination being just as important as the knitting and crochet itself.

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It’s hoped that the train will be complete for the Wattle Festival on August 26th, but you can watch the progress up until then on the cyclone fence in the main drag of Hurstbridge. If you don’t live locally but would like to be kept in the loop, follow it on Facebook.

The First Train to Allwood team is still looking for creative knitters to join them. Contact them via their website if you would like to be part of a truly joyous, (more fun than should be allowed) community project.

All photographs in this post are courtesy of and ©Tony and Robina Summers Upfront Pictures.