Back in February 2005 I was trying to think of a community-knitting project for people in North Devon. I came up with he idea of knitting a 25-foot high Christmas tree which would be used to raise money for charity..
Word spread by word of mouth and through coverage in the local press we quickly had knitters from across the whole of the South-West of the UK.
By the summer, with holiday makers getting involved and coverage in knitting magazines, we had knitters from across the whole of the UK.
The idea was to show that knitting should be fun, enjoyed by everyone, and that it should be seen as an art form – not ‘just knitting’.
This first project was kept very simple so that all ages could become involved and we found we had knitters ranging in age from 4 to 104 years old.
The following projects have resulted from the success of the first. As soon as the tree was finished we were asked “what will you do next ?” and this is how the Gingerbread House project was started.
Having toured it across much of the UK and Paris, and getting coverage on American TV, we have gained even more support and know have knitters scattered across the world. It has also raised much needed fund for Great Ormond Street Hospital through peoples generous donations.
Everywhere the house has toured it has made people smile and has encouraged even more people to learn to knit or to pick up their needles and start again , and that is what I was aiming for.
Our third project ‘Above & Below The Waves’ has been touring the UK over the past year and has so far raised around £15,000 for the R.N.L.I.
Our new project ‘The Big Books’ is progressing well with many items being received, please see New Projects for an update with patterns and pictures.
WATCH BBC video from our Liverpool “Above and Below the Waves” visit. Click on the image to see it.
THE “In praise of Mermaids” book, containing fish and seafood recipes, details and 23 colour pictures of the projects, knitting and crochet patterns, a few nautical anecdotes and poems, and details of the knitters involved is now available.
“ABOVE & Below The Waves” was displayed at the ICHF Creative Crafts & Hobbycrafts exhibition at Event City, Manchester