Giant cardigan marks Cardigan's 900th anniversary


A giant cardigan knitted to mark Cardigan's 900th anniversary has been unveiled.

An army of 200 knitters created the 5m wide and 2.5m long garment which depicts the town's history.

It includes a castle, shops, churches and chapels, as well as portraits of local people and school children.

Cardigan marked 900 years in 2010 and the cardigan unveiling marks the end of the celebrations.

The Cardigan was one of several anniversary projects funded by a £30,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The project was designed and co-ordinated by Lisa Hellier, assisted by Susan McComb.

"Last year The Tivy Side Advertiser put out a request for ideas to celebrate the town's 900th anniversary so I rang them up and it blossomed from there," said Ms Hellier, a community artist based in nearby Eglwyswrw.

Knitters have met to plan and work on the cardigan at St Mary's Old School Hall in the town every Sunday since March 2010.

"This allowed people to knit, discuss the project, pop in to pick up wool or drop off sections of the cardigan that people had knitted at home, or in hospital," said Ms Hellier, who ensured people of all knitting abilities could take part.

"This project has been totally inclusive and the cardigan will include work by beginners sitting next to the work of accomplished knitters," she added.

"Many pieces have been sent in from people who live far away, but who have connections to the town, either family or holiday."

One contribution was sent from a knitter in Cardigan, New Brunswick, whose family emigrated to Canada from Wales 200 years ago.


Children from Cardigan's schools have also taken part, with 50 young people stitching their portraits as part of the design.

The design incorporates all aspects of the town's culture and history.

"We've got knitted mermaids, coracles, ships, castle, shops, churches and chapels, as well as portraits of local people and the school children, who represent the town's future," added Ms Heliier.

"We have used cable stitch throughout and the many threads twisted together become strong, representing our community.

"All the pieces are in, and we are stitching it all together, which is like doing a jigsaw with no picture."

Catrin Miles of Cardigan 2010, which has organised a series of events to mark the anniversary, said the cardigan would be on display at the Guildhall during 2011.

It was unveiled at the Guildhall on Wednesday.

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