THE Covid era has changed us all in one way or another.

But Carol Bowden had no idea the pandemic would see her go from being a care worker to a ‘yarn bomber’.

The Moore resident has two care jobs – including one where she helps people with dementia – which stopped when the first lockdown came into effect.

To pass the time, stay creative and help with her mental health, Carol decided to completely transform a rusty old bike she had intended to decorate but forgot about.

Inspired by a book called Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, she used wool and yarn from her job working with the elderly and nine months later the bike has become a work of art and her own symbol of hope during the crisis.

Carol said: “All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer. Suddenly my two care jobs stopped and I had time, lots of it, like never before.

“It felt good not having to work, but scary wondering what the future would hold. I looked at the old rusty bike I had intended to decorate in 2019 but never got round to it.

“The weather was getting a bit warmer so I decided that was to be my project for 2020.

“My husband cut off one handlebar and pedal and I stripped the brakes, cables and chain from the bike and it was ready to yarn bomb.”

Yarn bombing is a worldwide phenomenon, combining traditional craft with guerilla art.

The result is colourful knitting and crocheting projects that pop up when you least expect them.

Carol Bowden hard at work

Carol Bowden hard at work

For example, a mystery yarn bomber in Warrington recently decorated the area’s post boxes with Easter bonnets.

For Carol, it was more of a personal project to give her something to focus on during the challenges of lockdown.

Each day she would get out her needles, sit out on the decking and knit away.

It was a painstaking process with wrapping yarn round each spoke the hardest bit.

The 60-year-old added: “I felt like I was really living, doing something that I was enjoying so much and it was great for my mental health. I knitted through spring, summer and autumn, always sat outside in the garden by my rusty bike to help me size the pieces.

“Bending over the bike and stitching on the pieces was a challenge, but wrapping yarn round each spoke had to be just the hardest and boring part.

“I thought I would never get all those spokes done – struggling with this, I asked my husband to lift the bike on the kitchen table to make the job easier – and just before the end of 2020 my yarn bombed bike was finished.

“I loved every minute of doing it.”

The yarn bombed bike now cheers Carol up every day and has been a hit with her grandchildren Felicity, 10, and Elle, 17, during video chats.

She said: “It’s so colourful, I remember my happy hours just sat knitting, and wonder what can I yarn bomb next as I cant wait for nicer weather to sit out and knit.”

In fact, Carol already has a small second project on the go.

“I have a very old rusty garden spade which I saved from the rubbish pile,” she added.

“So far I have done the handle and I’m looking out for an old garden fork now to go with it...”