Rear-ly Big Find at the Giant’s Causeway
In a unique historical find, historians at the Giants Causeway have happened on a huge pair of wooly underpants which they believe once belonged to infamous Ulster Giant Finn McCool, proving once and for all that he was, in fact, very big. Now the Giant’s Causeway are opening their doors to any who would like to see, or even take a step inside, the giant’s 170 inch-waist
Finn was famous for getting into brawls, including a long-running rivalry with Scottish giant Benandonner, so it was no surprise that the pants were found in a state of heavy disrepair.
Fortunately, the National Trust, who own and manage the Giant’s Causeway, were aware of the fact that April is #LovetoKNIT month and called in the assistance of a crack-team of knitters from all over Northern Ireland, contributing to restore the monumental undies to top condition.
Historian Winston Longbottom, credited with having found the shorts, said: “Based on the size of the pants, we have theorised that they would have been worn by Finn at some point in his early teenage years, placing him at over six metres tall at the time, a far cry from the fifteen metres he would grow up to be but still means that the huge pants are thought to be the world’s biggest hand-knitted pair of undies ever found. “
Kevin Murphy, Chief Officer of Voluntary Arts Ireland and leader of the #LovetoKNIT campaign “It’s not everyday you’re asked to help repair the underpants of a mythical giant so we were thrilled to get involved. We have great connections with NI’s knitters and crocheters already and that 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 in its repair by sending in pieces of the pants with the Salvation Army in Ballymena then putting it all together – a really remarkable
Our initial tests on the pants showed they were made using the finest Donegal Aran wool so with the help of some friends over at Donegal Yarns we made sure to use the same wool when restoring the garment. We needed a huge amount of wool to put it together with the underpants tipping the scales at over 30kgs and, if taken apart, would reach over 26 miles from one end of the wool to the other, which is almost the distance from the Giants Causeway to Scotland.”
Doreen Armstrong from the Salvation Army in Ballymena, led the team and put the final touches on the pants, recreating exactly what Finn might’ve worn in his youth.
“It was a hard job putting the underpants back together. Finn got into a lot of scrapes so naturally he’s not going to keep his undies in great knick. In fact, he got them so ripped up, we’re sure he got a telling off from his ma about it. This is definitely one of the most unusual items we’ve ever knitted but was great fun and we hope people will come along and check them
Alastair Walker, Site Manager for the Giant’s Causeway, National Trust said: “We’re thrilled to be witness to such an amazing historical find of Giant proportions! 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 here at Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site! We hope people will come along to the Giant’s Causeway and step inside these huge undies!”
Of course, there are those more skeptical to the discovery, saying that the giant pants were created as part of the celebrations of #LovetoKNIT month, but Kevin Murphy of the #Loveto campaign has assured us this is “a load of old pants”.
To find out more about the underpants and to see a 3D mockup of how Finn might have looked in them, visit www.voluntaryarts.org/giantpants
#LovetoKNIT is the latest creative callout from #Loveto – a rolling campaign that each month chooses a different artform and invites the public to get involved and share their creative passions with the world. Coming up in May is #LovetoFILM so keep an eye on the #Loveto social media pages to find out how you can get involved.
You can follow all the #LovetoKNIT action as it happens via Facebook –
www.instagram.com/LovetoHQ. Or search for the hashtag and see what comes up!