Story: Saleema Imam
The Messenger was invited to the 2nd birthday bash of the ‘Friday Knit and Natter’ group at the New Roots café on Friday 7th May 2010. Knit, natter and nosh were the order of the day as knitting fought with biscuits and other goodies for a place on the table and a continuous supply of cuppas was served by New Roots’ volunteers.
Val Ellis – activity support worker for Pitsmoor Primary Mental Health Care Project – told me that up to a dozen knitters come each week, though over the 2 years, many more than that have taken part. Skills are shared and everyone supports novice knitters and new arrivals, teaching the basic skills and loaning patterns.
Most members are already good knitters but some have never lifted a knitting needle before such as Darren who is now knitting a ‘Mrs’ for the designer teddy bear he has already completed. Darren joined the group after spying them through the window when passing the Ashram. “Being nosy,” he said, “I went in to see what was happening and I’m still coming. I got lots of support and I’d encourage other men to come along.”
Many remarkable colourful garments, blankets and toys have been created by Georgina, Diz, Pat, Darren, Cynthia, Christine, Linda, Carol, Val and others, including lots of matinee jackets, hats and blankets for premature babies at Jessop Hospital special care unit.
Currently under way is a giant blanket made from knitted squares, which will be raffled at Rainbow’s End charity shop when finished. Check it out if you can.
The group is community based and user run, with minimum support – donations of materials such as wool, needles and patterns are gratefully received.
The core group are now all firm friends, “It’s a break from our problems, we enjoy the afternoon and we are creating something useful as well,” one said.
Everyone is welcome, whatever their knitting ability, on Fridays between 1pm and 3pm. For more information or to donate materials ring Val on 114 276 2644.