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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

The Afternoon Show Knitters - The Silver Stitchers

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Silver Stitchers:-

Ann Farrell - Founder of Silver Stitchers

Why did you decide to set up silver stitchers? And when?
I set up the Silver Stitchers about 7 years ago. I had previously run a group (not very big) were we cooked but I kind of got fed up of that and decided to do something with crafts.

Did you have a big response in the beginning? How many members do you have now?
I had 4 members in the beginning and now we have 21 with 10 more waiting to join.

Where do you have your meetings and how often?
We meet Monday in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Building and Tuesday Night in the same building and Wednesday afternoon we meet in Scoil Mhuire Primary School in Shankill. So we meet 3 times a week.

How long have you been knitting and who taught you?
When I decided to set up a crafts group I had to teach myself how to knit. It was hard at the start as reading patterns can be quite difficult, but a lot of the older members of group taught me a few things and as a group we all learn from each other. So I have been knitting for about 7 or 8 years and I love it.

Have you seen a change in any of the members since they have joined the group?
It is great to see the group grow together and everyone has become friends. They seem to be more outgoing and they look forward to the group each week because they have all become friends. I set up the group because I wanted an outlet for the elderly in the area to meet up as a lot of them would be home alone and to see them interact together is great.

Why do you think that knitting is getting popular again?
It is a great thing for people to do at home to keep them busy and that is why my group loves it as it gives them something to do.

Are there any Men in the group?
No but they would be welcome if they were interested.

What kind of things does your group make?
When we started we knitted squares that we would sew together to make blankets but now we make all kinds of things. Scarf's, christening blankets, baby clothes. We also do crafts so we make Cards, garden gnomes, wishing wells out of lolly pop sticks and mini arm chairs from broken clothes pegs.

I know the group is totally voluntary so how do you fund yourselves for wool etc?
We sell the items we knit between ourselves and some times we might hold a little sale in the local school to raise the funds to but more wool etc.

Member of Silver Stitchers:- Vera O'Reilly

I joined the group about 7 years ago. I was one of the first members. I used to do the cooking group with Ann and when she changed to crafts I followed her. The funny thing is I HATED knitting in school, could not stand it, I refused to knit, but now I just take my time and I have made some lovely things. Scarf's, dolls, bags and I'm knitting a little blanket at the moment.

I love being part of the group and we have all become great friends over the years. I would be one of the youngest members so I would help out the older ladies who might be on walkers etc getting in and out, plus we try to socialize together a couple of times a year. Actually tonight is our Christmas do!!! It's a great hobby to have and I really enjoy it now.

Member of Silver Stitchers Sheila O'Toole:-

I have been a member for about 5yrs. I used to knit a long time ago when my family where very young but then I started working and did not have the time. After I retired I wanted to take it up again.

I knew Ann from the around the area and she mentioned to me about the knitting group that she was running so I decided to join. I love being a part of it as it gets me out of the house 3 times a week, this would be my only social outlet (Sheila lives with her Son and daughter-in-law and their 2 kids). We have a great laugh all together and a few cups of tea and Ann is a great baker so she might bring a few cakes along. I have met some great people. When I bump into people in Bray and tell them about the group they always say they wished they had something like that.

I have crocheted blankets, knitted baby cardigans and I even made a tapestry that I had never done before. I love the whole experience.

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