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Castlebay Christmas Tree ProjectBorn out of a craft class for local young people on the Outer Hebridean island of Barra, the Castlebay Christmas tree project ended up reaching people across the world. Beairteas Bharraigh (which translates as ‘the Wealth of Barra’) was keen to get young people interested in knitting and crochet, so planned a secret yarnbomb in December 2018. Inspired by their success, they decided to strive for something bigger and, having seen a photograph of a crocheted Christmas tree in Italy, thought it would be the perfect project.

In early 2019, they encouraged residents, visitors and people all over the world to crochet squares to cover the tree that would become the focal point of Castlebay’s festive decorations. They also ran local crochet classes. 

“It was exciting when the squares started coming in,” says organiser Sarah MacLean. “Squares arrived from Germany, Australia, the United States and Canada along with all the local squares. People volunteered to sew them all together, and a small team designed and made the structure for the crochet to cover. Living in a windy location this aspect was vitally important!

“We received funding from Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery to buy lights and materials. Everybody loved the tree and we got such a good response locally, on social media and in the press. Castlebay Christmas Tree was then packed away ready for December 2020.”


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