THE work of 2,000 knitters from around the world provided a special feature of this year s Appledore Arts Festival. In keeping with the festival theme Coastlines, the amazing work Above and Below The Waves, inspired and led by Bideford knitter Alison Murr

THE work of 2,000 knitters from around the world provided a special feature of this year's Appledore Arts Festival.

In keeping with the festival theme Coastlines, the amazing work Above and Below The Waves, inspired and led by Bideford knitter Alison Murray and her mother Ann, completely filled the church hall.

It takes the form of an undersea tunnel, through which people can walk and be surrounded by sea creatures of all kinds. On the outside is depicted a seaside world of sandcastles, ice creams, lighthouses, lifeboats, a life-sized fisherman and mythical mermaid and sea monster.

The huge creation - which is raising funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - is the culmination of two years of work, during which Alison, Ann and a dedicated group of local knitters have incorporated contributions by fellow knitters from across the UK and as far afield as Paris, Rhode Island and Hong Kong.

It will next year go on tour to Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow and in 2012 is destined to travel to Paris.

This is the Murrays' third mammoth knitting project, following the creation of a 30-foot Christmas tree and a life-sized gingerbread house.

The Gingerbread house - and an entourage of knitted gingerbread men - travelled not only nationwide, but even had a royal welcome in Thailand as the centrepiece of a charity campaign there.