What, have you never seen a cosy signpost?

IT'S A godsend for students too drunk to avoid a signpost.

That could be one of the reasons why a thick woolly jumper is currently adorning a signpost in Edinburgh's Bristo Square.

The entire pole has been wrapped in multi-coloured knitted squares, creating a bright "signpost cosy" that's stopping passers-by in their tracks.

The jumper first appeared last Wednesday, and while no-one has yet taken responsibility,

Anna MacQuarrie, President of Edinburgh University's Knitting Society, bumped into its creators.

"I was on my way to our weekly KnitSoc meeting when I saw them," she said. "It was part of a project they were working on and having filmed. There are lots of things like this going on in the knitting world at the moment."

An Edinburgh University security guard working in Bristo Square said: "It's been there for a while now, I don't really understand it. It looks like a tea cosy. Maybe people were just trying to keep the signpost warm."

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The decoration is an example of "guerrilla knitting", or "yarnbombing", a phenomenon which has been cropping up in public spaces globally in recent years.

This unique art form sees knitting being attached to large landmarks, such as bridges and statues, as well as more mundane objects commonly found around towns and cities.

In October 2009 the Skye Bridge became the canvas for the largest guerrilla knitting project Scotland had ever seen.

The Stitches on the Bridge project was launched to celebrate Homecoming and attracted contributions from as far afield as China, the United States and Australia. The final piece was stretched along the entire length of the bridge, reaching 500m.

Edinburgh College of Art staff said they were unaware of any of their students planning a guerrilla knitting project in the Capital.

Katharine Walker, owner of the K1 Yarns Knitting Boutique in Edinburgh, said: "I think it's a lovely idea. Seeing the brightly coloured patterns would cheer anyone up on a rainy day."

Texas-born Magda Sayeg is the founder of one guerrilla knitting group, Knitta Please, which was responsible for the intricate designs that appeared on trees and statues in London in February.

"It's about making people smile and bringing art out of the galleries so everyone can appreciate it," she said. "I love it when a postman, who has driven past the same stop sign every day, suddenly sees it tagged with knitting and e-mails me to say how awesome it is."

AITCHISON WANTS TO SAVE LAMP POSTERS

THE chief executive of the city council has urged councillors not to ban political posters.

The council is investigating whether to ban election posters on street lighting due to concerns over tidiness.

It is estimated that the cost of investigating complaints about such posters is 6,000 every election period.

But Tom Aitchison said: "It can be argued that the Westminster Parliament elections in 2010 and the Scottish Parliament election in 2011 will be extensively reported, perhaps reducing the importance of election posters in raising awareness. However, it is much less clear what will happen when council elections take place in 2012."

"I would be concerned about any action which might reduce public awareness of elections."

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