The Women’s Centre, 162 Church Street, Blackpool, Monday 2 – 4pm
The group was set up by myself and Wynne in 2009 primarily for people who have been in contact with substance misuse, homeless, domestic violence or mental health services or who support someone who has. based at the women’s Centre, we now welcome anyone who wants to come and knit in a friendly supportive group. We’ll provide needles, hooks or yarn and can help beginners get started, and jog the memories of those picking back up after many years.
We also provide tea/coffee etc.
Home From Homelessness
In 2010 the group embarked on a collective project to present a handknitted/crocheted afghan throw/blanket to people who move on from Ashley Foundation Homeless Hostels into their own accommodation as a house/flat warming gift wishing them good luck.
Afghans are made from 40 8 inch/20cm squares made from any double knit/worsted/aran machine washable yarn. Gauge swatches or smaller squares are also welcome and we pick up round the edges to make them up to 8 inches/20cm.
We have a Ravelry Group where you can see the squares we’ve received and a gallery of completed blankets.
In 2010 we completed 19 blankets and thanks to the Ravelry Community we have received squares from all over the world .
The group were so encouraged by the wonderful responses from blanket recipients that we continued this project through 2011 completing another 17 blankets.
In 2012 we donated 18 blankets and 20 in 2013. This makes the overall total 74 donated blankets. We are continuing this project through 2014.
Through the Knitting Group, we also promote members particpation in other local arts and cultural opportunities. For example;
Blood droplets for NHS Blood and Transplant 2014
NHS Blood and Transplant asked knitters to make knitted blood droplets to be used in a range of publicity and awareness raising activities. We knitted these for the North west centre activities in January:
Then Blackpool Victoria Hospital also approaches knitters to help donor recruitment locally and we knit some more:
Innocent Smoothies 2013
Blackpool Fairness Commission co-ordinated local knitting groups to knit hats for Innocent Smoothie Bottles as part of the annual fundraiser for Age UK. The group knitted 99 hats:
Sharon, on the left, represented the group for a picture in the Blackpool Gazette with other local knitters and Leader of Blackpool Council, Simon Blackburn:
Preston Guild 2012
Group members knitted diamond shaped motifs which were then sewn together and used to decorate planters in Avenham Park for the Vintage Guild weekend, part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Wedding Quilt – February – April 2011
The group has worked with North west based artist Lynn Setterington to stitch both signature and picture sections of the quilt. The quilt has its own blog on which you track progress of the project which also involved a number of other community groups in Blackpool.
We are a completely self funded group and in October were invited to take part in the Wordfair craft fair as part of the Wordpool celebrations in Blackpool. We sold hand knitted and crochet items made by group members and had a very successful day.
Christmas Raffle 2010
We also ran a Christmas Raffle this year with a wonderful hand knitted afghan made from Toft Alpaca bulky knit yarn. Group members did various squares, some textured designs and others more elaborate cable work and the picture of the finished afghan certainly does not do it justice, or capture the luxuriousness of the yarn. It was a real treat to work with, and a wonderful introduction to a new fibre for group members who’d never knit with alpaca yarn before.