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Exhibition of Hope - New Year Update!

Kate Evans, 6 January 2021

The National Wool Museum’s Exhibition of Hope was launched in April 2020, at the beginning of the nation’s lockdown. The aim of the project is to create 20cm or 8” rainbow coloured squares in any way participants would like whether that be, knitted, felted, woven or crocheted. The squares will then be joined together by Wool Museum volunteers and created into a giant rainbow blanket which will be displayed at the National Wool Museum and then at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. Following the Exhibition smaller blankets will be created from the giant blanket and donated to various charities.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the project so far, the response has been fantastic, we have received over 670 squares from people up and down the country! Each square is gratefully received and thank you for your kind notes and best wishes. It is lovely to hear how many of you have found that creating the squares has helped during these unprecedented and challenging times. Although we cannot always be physically together, we are in spirit, hope and community.

Aeres Ingram is our most prolific contributor at present, having knitted 70 squares for the blanket. Speaking about the project, she said,

"knitting the squares for the rainbow blanket helped me a lot during lockdown and it gave me a sense of belonging and achievement, knowing I was involved with something important and also helping those in need. I look forward to seeing the pieces sewn together and the finished piece."

The Exhibition of Hope was featured in Adult Learners’ Week and two videos were released of Craftsperson Non Mitchell giving a demonstration on how to create a felted and woven square, so if you've yet to make a square, but would like to, please take a look below.


Crisis charity (South Wales), which supports homeless people, shared the Exhibition of Hope information on their Facebook pages and created physical packs including wool and instructions to send to services users to support them to take part.

The squares have been created so beautifully in various, colours, styles, stitches, and designs. Here are few which have been made and the stories behind them…

A rainbow coloured knitted square made with wool coloured with natural dyes.

This square has been made by Garden Volunteer, Susan Martin. Susan created the natural dyed yarn which she spun herself. The rainbow colours are from woad, weld and madder blended with white to give a lighter and tweedy effect, all these plants can be found in the National Wool Museum’s Dye Garden. The Natural Dye Garden was recently awarded the prestigious Green Flag Community Award which is fantastic news! For more information, please click here.

A knitted rainbow square for the blanket of hope

Craft Volunteer Cristina created this square using the first yarn made by Museum Assistant, Stephen Williams and Trainee Craftspersons Richard Collins and James Whittall when they were learning to spin. Visitors also contributed to the creation of the yarn, including a lady who had not spun for twenty years, a profoundly deaf child as well as a staff member’s mother.


A knitted square with the National Waterfront Logo on it, for our blanket of hope

This beautiful square complete with the National Waterfront Museum logo was created by National Waterfront Museum Gallery Assistant, Ruth Melton.

We look forward to welcoming the Craft Volunteers back to the Museum at some point this year and then work can begin on creating the blanket. Keep an eye out on our website link and social media pages to find out the latest information.

Thank you to The Ashley Family Foundation and Community Foundation Wales for support with this project.

The current closing date for contributions is 31/03/2021. Please click here for more information on how to get involved.

Thanks again for all your support.



Marie Carson
10 January 2021, 17:09
Lovely to see the squares. Well done to the lady who knitted over 70. I did quite a lot, I hope you received them. I hope that things will improve and we will be able to see them all joined up I due course.
Marie Carson in Aberdare South Wales.
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