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Huge pants go on display at Giant's Causeway

By Charlotte Birch

Published 17/04/2015

More than 150 knitters helped create pants with a 170-inch waist for display at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland
More than 150 knitters helped create pants with a 170-inch waist for display at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland

A large pair of woolly underpants is giving people an extra reason to visit Northern Ireland's only World Heritage Site, the Giant's Causeway.

Put together as part of #LovetoKNIT month, the undergarment is said to belong to mythical giant Finn McCool, the famed hunter-warrior portrayed in folklore for getting into brawls with Scottish giant Benandonner.

#LovetoKNIT, run by Voluntary Arts, is the latest part of a rolling campaign that each month chooses a different art form and invites the public to share their creations.

More than 150 knitters from across Northern Ireland helped create the 170in (4.3m) waist garment, with the Salvation Army in Ballymena then putting all the pieces together - and now the National Trust is inviting people to see the craftwork for themselves.

Alastair Walker, site manager for the Giant's Causeway, National Trust, said: "The knitters have put in an amazing effort, painstakingly piecing this magnificent mythical garment back together, and it's fantastic that we've ended up with what might be the world's biggest hand-knitted underpants.

"We hope people will come along to the Giant's Causeway and see these huge undies."

Kevin Murphy, chief officer of Voluntary Arts Ireland and leader of the campaign, said: "It's not every day you're asked to help repair the underpants of a mythical giant so we were thrilled to get involved.

"We have great connections with Northern Ireland's knitters and crocheters and the fact that it's currently #LovetoKNIT month meant we were able to get a team of over 150 knitters from right across the country to help by sending in pieces of the pants.

"We needed a huge amount of wool to put it together, with the underpants tipping the scales at over 30kg (66lb) and, if taken apart, would reach over 26 miles (42km) from one end of the wool to the other, which is almost the distance from the Giant's Causeway to Scotland."

Doreen Armstrong, from the Salvation Army in Ballymena, who led the team and put the final touches on the pants, added: "This is definitely one of the most unusual items we've ever knitted but it was great fun and we hope people will come along and check them out for themselves."

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