Many may have thought Shropshire woman Suzanne Thomas was spinning a yarn when she suggested knitting a 1,749ft scarf to stretch across a county beauty spot.
But that’s exactly what she did – with a little help from her friends.
It was definitely not a case of knit one, purl one when more than 60 women took up the challenge in honour of the women who have lived and worked on the Titterstone Clee, near Ludlow.
Their aim was to knit a 1,749ft scarf – the same length as Titterstone Clee Hill’s height – made up of individual one foot squares and use it to bridge the chasm which splits the hill in two.
And on Saturday, the Knitterstone Clee 1749 project became a reality after 18 months of planning. Eight segments of the mammoth scarf were taken up the hill, joined together and draped across.
It is the first time the gap made from quarrying of the hill has been filled in for more than 150 years.
The project was the idea of 40-year-old Mrs Thomas from Coreley, between Clee Hill and Cleobury Mortimer.
Friends, family and knitting groups from across the UK contributed. To mark the occasion, The Crooked Steeple Morris Dancers, from Cleobury
Mortimer, performed traditional dances as the first few squares were rolled out.
Mrs Thomas said the massive scarf had been created to honour all the women who had worked on the hill from the 1850s during the peak of the area’s use for mining and quarrying – when they were carrying sacks of coals on their back as well as running farm houses – to the present day.
She added: “It is just what I envisaged and more. It is so special. It has incorporated a lot of different communities together for the same purpose.”
Hilda Trow, 76, of Clee Hill, knitted an astonishing 224 squares.
She often knits for Ludlow Hospital’s baby unit and the Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal and said it was just something else she wanted to help with.
“I love doing it and making things and if we can help charity then I want to.”
Enid Morris, 72, of Ludlow, made 35 squares to add to the scarf. She said: “I really enjoyed doing it. I used most of my stash up and it didn’t take me too long.”
Mary-Jane Millard, 55 of Bitterley, made three squares. She used the project to teach her 19-year-old niece how to knit.
And Gail Price-Hasler, 40, also decided to share the skill with the family.
“My daughter Victoria is eight and I thought this was a good way to teach her to knit,” she said. “My son William, who is five, also helped out. My gran, 91 made about 20 squares and my mum made some too.”
Ludlow College pupil Erin Thomas, 16, made multi-coloured striped squares. Jenny Vallack, 61, of Norbury, made one square and sponsored others. She said: “It is massive, I hadn’t realised how big it is when it was all rolled up.”
The scarf will go on display in Ludlow Library on November 1 before being made into blankets to be sold in aid of homeless shelters, hospices and women’s shelters.
Dog walkers stopped to look and the spectacle caught the imagination of people in the village. Patricia Perkins, 68, of Bayston Hill, near Shrewsbury, had gone to Titterstone Clee to walk her dog Molly with her fiancé Graham Charles, 68, for the first time. She said it was a brilliant surprise.
“It is fantastic and incredible,” she said.
“For a little village to do something like this for charity is great.”
Meg, 75, and Keith Pybus, 64, from Craven Arms, had read about the project in the Shropshire Star and wanted to see it for themselves.
Mrs Pybus said: “When you look at it, it seems that anything is possible.”