Page last updated at 00:16 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 01:16 UK

Woolly mammoth task seeks helpers

Skye bridge
The Skye bridge will be draped with knitted items

Volunteers have been sought to help piece together and later remove 500m of knitting and needle work that will be draped over the Skye bridge.

Stitches on the Bridge will take place from 23-26 October as part of the Homecoming Scotland celebrations.

Local groups leading the project have asked for assistance in its final stages over the next few days and into next week.

Items have been sent from all over the world to be draped from the bridge.

The main span of the crossing linking the mainland with Skye runs to about 250m.

The major tasks ahead include hanging up the material and later taking it all down again.

Staying healthy

Fiona MacEwan, of textile arts group Luib na Luban, said she had been impressed by the level of interest in providing items for the effort.

She said: "This project connects the west Highlands with the rest of the world, with knitters in their 80s and children as young as five taking part.

"It's really exciting to get parcels from all over the world every week - Christmas has started early for us this year."

Marie Christie, project director at Homecoming Scotland, said Stitches on the Bridge was a "fantastic idea".

Volunteers so far have included staff at NHS Highland who learned to knit in their lunchtimes to provide knitted squares for the project and as a way of staying healthy.

There is growing evidence that knitting has health benefits such as helping to lower stress levels and reducing the risk of memory loss.

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