Esk is the latest town to feel the yarn bombing craze.
Esk is the latest town to feel the yarn bombing craze. Jenny Rains

CWA group warms up Esk

THE 'yarn bombing' winter craze taking over trendy suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney has found a new locale in the chilly streets of Esk.

Yarn-bombers knit jumpers and colourful craft to decorate street trees, bike racks and park benches as a way of livening up public spaces and celebrating art.

Somerset Regional Council recently endorsed a proposal to cloak 15 trees on Esk's main street in knitted and crocheted designs, to the joy of local crafters.

Volunteers with the Esk Country Women's Association first decorated street trees in this manner two years ago. They quickly became a talking point, says Esk CWA's unofficial master of crafts, Patti Jaenke, who runs a monthly craft group.

"After going with the dear old girls a few years, we had the idea of covering the trees as jumpers in winter,” she said.

"We're now going to go around the trunk of the trees like a barber's pole.”

In a town as cold as Esk, the jumpers made people smile and stop to admire, take photos and talk to each other, Mrs Jaenke said.

The CWA yarn bombers have already finished their knitting for this year's installation and on March 1 plan to start "dressing” trees on Esk's main street with woolly jumpers, Mrs Jaenke said.

The decorations will be up from May 1 to July 31, taking in the popular Esk Garden and Lifestyle Fair on June 15.

Avid crocheter Jenny Rains volunteers at the garden and lifestyle fair, which followed the CWA's lead two years ago and now decorates trees inside the fair grounds for the event.

"It is eye catching,” Mrs Rains said. "We stuck to garden themes - it's all roses and sunflowers and mandalas -anything that's eye catching and bright.”

The decorations "totally change” the atmosphere of the fair, she said.

"We only did it last year as a trial...I asked the garden club who knits and who wants to be a part of this. We do it every fortnight, we just spend the whole day on the deck.”

Interested members of the public are welcome to join the CWA craft group, which is held 9am-12pm on the first Thursday of the month at the CWA Hall in Esk.