You might think knitting and crochet are a thing of the past and something our grannies done, but you would be wrong! In fact the last few years there has been a resurgence in the interest of the traditional craft with people from not just all ages ranges but both females and males taking up the craft.The reason for knitting has changed over the years from necessity back in our grandparents days where big clothing shop weren’t as readily available and if they were, items were out of most working class people s price range.
This lead to everyday items from new baby’s blankets & cardigans to socks & jumpers been hand knit. Given the modern world we live in its now easier to buy an item than knit it ourselves.
This hasn’t stopped individuals and groups from keeping the tradition alive however with many now knitting less out of necessity but rather as a hobby.
One such group which is based out of the Glebeside community Association is the ‘Glebeside Womans Group who meet several times a week as part of their ‘Knitting & Crochet Group’. One of its members is Elaine Connor.
Speaking to Elaine about the formation of the group, she told FUSE FM that,
The Group started about 4 years ago by Sandra when she was approached by Glebeside Community Association.
She asked me to help with the running of it, and at beginning it was Thursday nite , but then we added a Monday morning as requested by members. Then a Monday night was added.
We can’t get enough knitting, crochet, sewing time!!
Knitting items to give away for free or for charity isn’t a new thing either, it goes back to World War 1 and further. During times of war when many of the males in the family were sent to fight, the female’s of the family would knit items like sock, scarves & jumpers and everything in between.
This practice contines today and the Glebeside knitters are no exception.
As well as spending time working on their own knitting item, the members knit many items for new & premature babies. Items include hats, cardigans, blankets and mittens. These are taken by the members to hospitals on a regular basis.
The members also have a close relationship with a premature and vulnerable baby charity, TinyLife and items are also donated and collected by the charity four times year.
Talking about the groups strong connection to TinyLife Elaine said,
The group decided to choose a charity to knit for which was local to Northern Ireland & different from other groups in the area, so we picked TinyLife.
We also help out knitting hats for Cork Sailers Mission, various items for Smiles & Wakisi, homeless Belfast & basically if we see someone asking for help either personal (eg newborn premature baby) or to gather things for a certain appeal we all try to help.
The knitters recently saw an appeal for knitted trauma teddies for a team going to Africa, and a midwife from the Ulster asked for baby hats for newborn babies, especially caesarean births, so we all pulled together to offer help.
Recently the members have expanded their repritoir of knitted and croched items when they took the challenge of teddies. In March past the teddies were handed over to Tanya from W&J Walkers in the town. These Teddies will later this year be making their way to disadvantaged children in Africa.
As well as the benefits to charity, the knitting group and its members have their own reasons for taking up and continuing the craft.
Reasons include to destress, managing excising health conditions like depression or simply a way to get out of the house and socialise with other. That in itself can help with blood pressure and mood. Research has even suggested it has a positive effect on Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
This group means much more to us than knitting & a cuppa, it offers friendship,support and mental health help.
Relaxating,chatting,meeting people and generally getting out to meet people with the same interests locally, as well as passing on our help /skills to learn/improve on traditional crafting all helps.
There is so many positives reasons why taking up knitting can help you and others. If this sounds appealing, then the group currently meet at the Glebeside Community house several times a week.
Monday morning 10am – Noon
Monday night 7-9pm
Thursday night 7-9pm
The group is open to everyone no matter what your ability or lack of, and they will make you very welcome.
New members are always welcome, as are donations.
We use a lot of wool,buttons,etc & if anyone has any spare we can certainly use it.
For further information check out the Glebeside Community Association Facebook page or contact 028 276 67624