On the street where you knit

What did you do on Saturday? I spent the day on display outside a shop in Manchester encouraging passers-by to sit and knit with me. No, honestly. You see, it was World Wide Knit in Public (WWKIP) Day and I wanted to make an effort to do something very public this year, rather than simply taking my knitting out to lunch!

About six months ago, I made some new friends via Twitter, one of whom owns a craft shop. When she mentioned that she was going to run a WWKIP event this year at the shop, I commented that I would love to go, but that it’s a long way. Almost immediately, another friend who works in the shop invited me to go and stay for the weekend and very quickly arrangements were made.

IMGP9317

The Make It Shop without WWKIP

So, Friday saw me driving across to Manchester, taking one of my nieces out for lunch and then struggling through rush-hour traffic to my friends (I like to fit in a variety of activities when I go on a trip!). On Saturday morning we headed over to The Make It Shop in Chorlton* to set up. There’s a wide pavement (sidewalk) outside the shop and the weather was good, so we took a table and some chairs outside, put out a selection of yarn and needles, plus some pompom makers (for those who couldn’t knit and didn’t want to learn) and waited for the crowds…

WWKIP4

To begin with it was just me and the vaarks

And we weren’t disappointed. Some people came and spent the whole day with us, some just stayed long enough to knit a row or two. Some folks brought their own projects, whilst some contributed to our communal production of twiddlemuffs**. Two of the local councillors came – Sue Murphy who could knit and John Hacking who couldn’t. So Sue knitted and John learned… and both of them bought twiddlemuff kits to take home afterwards to knit up so that they could be donated it to a local dementia charity. We hosted a range of ages from four to over eighty. Several families came and the children made pompoms (a great addition to many knitted projects, including twiddlemuffs). In the afternoon we were joined by the lovely performer and activist Kate O’Donnell*** and her friend and costume designer Daniella Pearman. Kate knitted, although she hadn’t done so for many years it only took a quick demonstration before she was off, and Daniella made a pompom (which may appear on stage!!).

All in all we had a great day – full of community spirit. It only happens once a year, but I will certainly do my best to participate in WWKIP Day 2017!

-oOo-

* More on The Make It Shop in another post

** Twiddlemuffs are sensory sleeves made for stimulation and stress relief.
They have been found to provide comfort and pleasure for restless hands of people with advanced dementia

*** Kate has a show on at the Soho Theatre this week… too far for me to travel , unfortunately

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. Love this idea, good for you!!!

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  2. Looks like you had a great day!

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  3. I totally forgot what a nincompoop! Good for you. One of my bridesmaids Jacqueline came from Chorlton donkeys years ago! I lost touch but she was a knitter too so may well have come by!

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  4. nettyg

     /  June 20, 2016

    You made a fantastic impact with your footpath set-up! I’d loved to have been there. The closest I got was to sit on my front verandah with a friend while she knitted. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next year.

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  5. Thank you so much for joining us at the Make It Shop Jan. You were so friendly and welcoming to everyone and did a great job teaching our local councillor to knit (if only that would help keep the rate charges down!). It was fun to have a cause, the Twiddlemuffs, to knit for, and also that the knitting was passed around for unplanned visitors to have a go at. Hope you can visit again soon. We’ll have to concoct another event. Maybe hire you to teach Snailvaark crocheting…?

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  6. alison

     /  June 20, 2016

    It was wonderful to meet you. My daughter, Becky and I had a great time. We are looking forward to next year too 🙂

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  7. Well done on getting so many people involved. It does look as though an extremely good time was had by all, and I expect to hear of outbreaks of PDK (public displays of knitting) all over the UK on a regular basis. It will make a nice change from Brexit…

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  8. I totally forgot about Knit in Public day. Darn it. Not that I don’t knit in public all of the time anyway, but… Maybe next year. Y’all look like you had fun though. 🙂

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  9. If I’d known I would have come to Manchester for the weekend to visit my sister and do some knitting – looks like a fun day 🙂

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  10. This looks like such fun! I really like the community aspect and the way it draws together people who might, otherwise, not talk to each other or try something new.

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    • It was lovely – old ladies, a transgender performer, children, local politicians and lots of others all being creative together… not sure that I’ve ever been to an even like it before!

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