Knit & Natter
September 23, 2020
Town Hall , Torrington
Knit & Natter a friendly group who like to knit, crochet, and natter!
Every Wednesday at the Town Hall 10 am to 12 noon
Knit and Natter was set up in July 2019 by local lady, Rosemary Purcell (Rosie). Following her son Michael’s death in 2015 Rosie suffered from severe depression and struggled to socialise. As she slowly recovered, she wanted to set up a group to help others in similar situations to herself and to share her skills and passion for knitting. Her aim in setting up Knit & Natter was to create a friendly space where people could make new friends, share skills, and enjoy a good old natter!
The group is now firmly established in the Undercroft in Torrington’s Town Hall and runs every Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon. Attendance ranges from 20 to 35 each week and numbers are constantly growing. The people who come to Knit and Natter are a disparate group of women from all walks of life. Some of the women in the group have been ‘socially prescribed’ by their doctors and social workers and the weekly meetings are a life-line for them.
During Covid 19, Rosie set up a ‘Messenger Group’ on Facebook so the ladies could stay in contact and support each other during this challenging period. (See attached testaments that some of the ladies shared with each other). Those, without access to a computer or social media received a weekly call from the business development manager at the Town Hall to ensure they were coping with the isolation.
Since the group’s inception, Knit and Natter have involved the community of Torrington and surrounding parishes in various knitting and crocheting project.
They organised a hugely successful Poppy Project which involved over 400 individuals knitting and crocheting in excess of 10,000 poppies. The poppies were then displayed on netting and used to decorate the Torrington Town Hall which is situated in the centre of Torrington. The unveiling of the Poppy project was opened by the Mayor of the Town and attended by representatives from the British Legion and members of the public. This project involved, housebound peoples, schools, nursing homes, community groups and the age of participants ranged from 7 years to 93 years.
Knit & Natter are currently working on a knitted Christmas scene which will include a Christmas tree complete with decorations, nativity scene and a Christmas street theme. Once again, the community will be invited to pick up a pattern and get involved. For those in the area on a low income we provide free patterns and wool so each project is fully inclusive for everyone to enjoy.
Other projects have included
Twiddle Muffs for people suffering from dementia – Torrington is a Dementia Friendly Town and the Twiddle muffs have been delivered to local residential homes and to individuals in the community
Blankets and mittens for premature babies born at our local North Devon District Hospital
Great Torrington Mayfair – Mayfair is one of the Town’s most historic occasions. It is an occasion that has been uniting for over 100 years. Mayfair is the town’s proudest community celebration and includes the crowning of the May Queen and a host of activities. Unfortunately, the stunning knitted Mayfair scene with May Queen, Crowner and entourage, local dignitaries, Councillors etc was unable to be unveiled this year due to Covid 19.
Community Recognition for Knit & Natter
In May 2020, the Group were the recipients of the Mayor’s Award in recognition for the supportive and inclusive group they have created.
They were the beneficiaries in the Will of a local man who died in June 2020 and were gifted £400.
How the project is funded
The women attending the weekly group pay a £2.50 subscription. This is used towards tea/coffee and cake, wool, needles, running costs of the Town Hall and twice-yearly dinners (Easter and Christmas.) The meals are cooked by members of the group for all the women and served in the Town Hall)