The ‘Woolinale’ International Yarn Bombing Festival…

Two weeks ago I flew out to Cologne in Germany for the very first ‘Woolinale’ International Yarn Bombing Festival which I was invited to take part in. 🥰🧶

Butterfly crocheted by The. Yarn. Gang

An international yarnbombing festival where over 60 artists from all over the world contributed a piece of knitted or crocheted art. It was truly inspiring to be a part of it and so many of the artists also flew into Cologne to be at the festival in person. It was quite something! 😃

Many of the artists came in person from all over Germany but also further afield including from Mexico, New York, Australia, Finland and Italy!
The organisers: Elke Hahn, Heike Unger and David Wasser

Elke Hahn, Heike Unger and David Wasser are the three organisers who brought this festival to life and made it happen. Enormous thanks must go to them… without their vision and enthusiasm this wonderful occasion would simply never have happened! 🥰

Elke Hahn, Heike Unger and David Wasser

There were even yarn bombed people at the festival! 😃 These are the brilliant Arachnes Faden who brought a huge smile to everyone’s faces as they made appearances around the festival throughout the weekend!

Arachnes Faden

In this blog post I’ll share my experience of the weekend and share some of the artworks I saw from the festival. I’ll mention the artists whenever possible but please do look at the full list of all the artists who participated here:

I went along with my husband and two of my teenage big children in tow… it’s always really special when I can share my crochet adventures with them. It was very soon after loosing our sweet little Salty🐾😢 and we had contemplated cancelling the trip but we’re glad we went ahead because it was a good distraction. Crochet yet again showed itself as a healer… ❤️‍🩹

The festival coincided with the h+h Cologne international trade fair – one of the world’s largest trade fairs for textile handicrafts and hobbies.

So there was plenty for me to see! 😍

Arriving in Cologne we went straight to the festival from the airport… it’s always nice to be greeted by crochet! And as we approached the huge exhibition centre, yarn bombs appeared…

‘A Rose to Hug’
by Gaby Schreyer Yarn Vandalette

There was a Community Peace Wall at the entrance which was created with contributions from members of the public from all over the world…

A positive message sent through crochet… ☮️ 🕊️

Inside the exhibition centre on the lower floor the art pieces were all arranged with the feel of an international art gallery. They were really beautifully displayed with many pieces also mounted onto railings brought in from outside which gave it that street art, yarn bombing vibe!

I felt it was a perfect way to display the wide range of art pieces…

Amazing mob of kangaroos by The GLADRappers and Annette Fitton
‘Enjoy the Little Things’
by Karin Klinger Fiddly Minis
‘The World in our Hands’
by Denise Karg Fraeulein Wollwunder
The pieces hung like in an art gallery… with some against metal railings! 😃
Feel the Freedom
By Saramin Häkeldesign
The GLADRappers
The GLADRappers

This one below by Minna Lehtonnen Vihiriä was one of my favourites… I absolutely adore it! 😍 I found the colours used and the image created through crochet simply mesmerising…

‘Peace of Mind’
By Minna Lehtonnen Vihiriä

It wasn’t long before I came across mine…

‘A Coastal Chorus

From the sea to the beach and the sky up above, this is a celebration of a day by the coast

I’ll share more about the details in my own piece in a separate blog post soon. For now it was simply a lovely moment to be reunited!

I had sent it ahead in the post a month or so before because I wasn’t able to arrive any earlier to help get it up on display. There were a few worrying weeks for me as my piece got stuck in customs but thankfully it got through eventually, just in time. A team of volunteers worked really hard to organise the many pieces sent in and get them up on display. There are so many people behind the scenes to be grateful for to bring these events to us.

My piece was beautifully presented next to another landscape piece created by Otulanie Włóczką Mol and Wool – a group from Poland. Their Woolinale artwork is called “Lublin Landscape with the Magician” and is meant to pay homage to artists and landmarks of their region.

I thought they made such a nice pair next to each other!

And here are just some of the other wonderful pieces of incredible yarn art I saw. I love them all so much… there was such creativity, skill and talent on display!

By Narelle Mercer Thread a little Light
By Carmen Paulino
by the Cambridge Yarn Collective
‘Wind of Change’
By Une Tarlabasi Asesuune
‘The Godfather’
By Elena Langé Filiepensieri
by Ednitalandia
‘Cryptic Cryptid’
by Piss and Vinegar Art
Mucha Lucha
By Tragos y Tejido Jaja
by Letizia Agnoloni la.leti__
‘Roses against Violence’
by Claudia Green
‘An Australian Outback Landscape’
By the Benalla Yarnbombers
‘Woman of the Sea’
By Helen Wand Welsh Wand
‘Good News’
By Heike Unger
‘Gira-sols florits’
By Les guerrilleres del ganxet Banyoles
‘Walk with Purpose’
By Alisha Soto from Little Nugget Workshop

And this one by Alisha from Little Nugget Workshop was amazing! It was cleverly 3D with the palm tree coming out of the piece. There were so many gorgeously textured stitches and yarns used to create a stunning beach scene complete with messages in a bottle!

We went back to our hotel to check in and managed to see a little of Cologne en route…

…before returning to the exhibition centre early evening for a gathering of all the artists!

It was so nice to meet people in person face to face and be able to chat about each other’s work and inspirations. Google Translate on our phones helped a lot but just being together and sharing appreciation transcends any language barriers! 😃

An amazing piece by Prudence Mapstone called ‘50 Years of Flower Power’ provided a perfect backdrop for photos and gatherings throughout the weekend. Just look at how much work has gone into this…

‘50 Years of Flower Power’
By Prudence Mapstone Freeform Prudence

The next morning was a wet one but we managed to do a Parkrun

Rowan is an outdoor enthusiast and when he heard that Cologne had a Parkrun he was keen to come along. You can always walk at these wonderful Saturday morning gatherings (its not only running!) and they are always so welcoming and friendly. It was a brilliant way to kickstart our day and get to see another part of the beautiful city!

We then had the most wonderful golden moment meeting Amanda Bloom from Cosy Life Boxes for a coffee. We both knew that the other was in town so we just had to arrange a meet up. How lovely it was to catch up and chat…

Amanda and I go back quite some years as she used to own the fabulous Little Box of Crochet which was such a big part of my crochet journey in the beginning. We had lots to talk about and it was simply perfect…

Not sure what I’m saying here! 🤣🥰

We then headed back to the exhibition centre walking across the River Rhine over the famous Hohenzollern Bridge…

There were some talks going on back at the festival and it was nice to see one of my photos pop up on the screen in the background…😄

It was good to get more opportunities to mingle and spend time with the other artists…

There are the yarnbombed people again! 😁Minna Lehtonnen Vihiriä with Arachnes Faden

Arachnes Faden also created this wonderful piece…

Arachnes Faden

There was a competition running during the festival to choose a winning yarnbomb – how to even begin choosing just one winner from all the wonderful creations is a challenge. But the winner was announced and it actually really was an obvious winner…

‘Housing First’

by Elena Biancardi

A crocheted and knitted piece called ‘Housing First’ which was thought provoking and powerful created by Elena Biancardi from Switzerland.

‘Housing first’
By Elena Biancardi

It was absolutely brilliant – it was a piece that stopped you in your tracks and made you really look and think about the tiny details. Seeing a homeless person under blankets with a dear little dog at their side. Crochet art that isn’t just about being pretty but a very powerful message too… 🙌😍

We went round the festival again and enjoyed some of the more interactive pieces…

‘Auntie Terry’s Free Hugs’
by Katia Mochi
‘Der Innere Schweinehund’
By Ina Werner
by Gaby Schreyer Yarn Vandalette

We made sure to go around the h+h trade fair. King Cole had a stand there and it was great to catch up with the team and see some of my work on display!

When I crocheted my original ‘Postcards with Love’ blanket I never imagined that we’d be reunited in Cologne!! 😃

It was also great to meet other crochet designers who were there for the trade show…

Susy from Knot so Square

And Juf Sas from Haken met Juf Sas

Before heading back to the hotel I said farewell to my yarnbomb. All the pieces will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the International Red Cross. That’s such a good thing…

What an amazing event! 😄

So much to see, so many wonderful people to meet and so many conversations to enjoy!

‘Fairy Penguins’
by Annette Fitton

The following day we made time for some sightseeing before flying home. I’ll leave you with some photos of a very beautiful city…

Happy Crocheting Everyone! 😍

The Chocolate Museum


  1. Thank you so much for bringing us along on such a wonderful event. I’m going back to take another look at the amazing pictures you posted of the pieces; wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your “chatty” blog. Always a joy. It looked like a lovely family trip. 👍

  2. Thank you for putting together a virtual trip to Cologne and the exhibition for us. Inspiring exhibits.

  3. Thank you for sharing that is so inspiring. How heartwarming to see that people came from so many countries to be together.

  4. Thank you very much for making my day! Me and my granddaughter were all “wow” ! We felt like walking there , loved all the work and even felt the hug by auntie. You are master of words also along with your crochet. Thanks a lot. May God keep you blessed 🙏😊

  5. Thank you so much for the lovely pictures. You have a beautiful family too! Wish I was there.

  6. Lovely to see your pictures this morning and read about your adventures in Cologne. Your children are so good to pose for you, lovely family. I do enjoy making your designs. Xx

  7. Loved reading this! Thank you for walking us through this marvelous event and beautiful city!

  8. Amazing amount of creativity. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Was amused to see the photo of your daughter at the chocolate museum. When we were in Cologne., my daughter opted for a visit to the chocolate museum too.

  9. Wonferful pictires from a wonderful event! I wish i could be thete! Is there going to be another Festivsl in next year?

  10. What a fab trip! I have to say well done both for being part of the exhibition and for sharing it so well with us. Some amazing work. I am going through a creative fog and just seeing all those colourful photos may have awakened a bit of interest to at least think about my stash even if not quite to dive back in. I’ve also just got to say your fab dungarees with the patchwork print – I love them. I’m also well impressed that your teenagers and hubby will accompany you on such a trip – it would be like pulling teeth in my house – to be avoided if at all possible!

    1. Hi Tinaor! Thanks so much for your message… I hope that awakening to your stash has continued!! Sometimes a gentle easing back in can get those creative juices flowing again. The dungarees are from one of my favourite clothing retailers Lucy and Yak! And I’m so grateful the family are happy to come along! They do get a bonus trip out of it… 😆🤣😂

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful time in Cologne, I absolutely loved oohing and ahing at all the beautiful crochet creations!

  12. Thank you for sharing all these great pictures of the displays. It looks like an awesome event to attend!

  13. Eleonora, thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely going to attend the next event. It looks like so much fun and the creativity is so inspiring.

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