Keeping the old handicrafts alive and sending them worldwide

PEARL ONE....Dale Wright, pictured along with members of the Ullans Knitting & Crochet Club on Friday.INBM4-15 007SC.

PEARL ONE....Dale Wright, pictured along with members of the Ullans Knitting & Crochet Club on Friday.INBM4-15 007SC.

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Blankets for AIDS babies in Malawi, cotton squares for bathing Ugandan babies and hats for sailors all over the world.

Those are just some of the items being created by the Ullans Knitting and Crochet Club in Ballymoney.

The group has been meeting every Friday morning from 10am to noon in the Ullans Centre in Ballymoney’s Main Street for the last 18 months.

Attracting members ranging in age from early 20s to “more mature ladies”, the group is open to any women - and men - who would like to knit or crochet in a relaxed atmosphere or learn to do so.

Dale Wright from the group told the Times: “We decided to set up the group for woman - and men - who want to get together to keep this old craft of knitting and crocheting alive.

“We have some members who have been knitting for over 40 years and we have some others who have never picked up a needle.

“We just meet together, have a cup of coffee and a bun and knit and crochet together. If someone wants to learn a new style or learn from scratch, then some of the other members will help them.

“If one can’t do it, another one will. We just muddle through together!

“It’s great to just have a bit of time out as well because life can get in the way sometimes and you don’t have time to do these things.

“If we hear of any church or community groups who need items, then we can step in and help out.

“Just recently we heard of someone going to Uganda and they needed cotton squares for bathing the babies, so we knitted 120 squares to donate to them.

“We have also knitted blankets for other church groups who were going to Africa for the wee babies who are born with nothing.

“We knit hats for sailors and they are sent down south to be sent on wherever they are needed.

“And we also knitted blankets for a church group that was going to work with AIDS babies in Malawi.

“It’s also a great way to get to know people in the community. For example we have a Latvian girl who comes to the Club and it helps her meet new people.

“One lady goes into her local primary school and teaches the children so it keeps the craft alive,” concluded Dale.