The Appletree Cafe Knitting Group

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/53324522 w=500&h=281] <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/53324522″>The Appletree Cafe – Knitting Group</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user11511171″>Christiane Berghoff</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

On Thursday the 08 November I visited the Knitting Group at the Appletree Cafe in Sennen (Penwith, Cornwall). http://www.theappletreecafe.co.uk/

One of my previous students Susan Thomas (she is a retired occupational therapist) had told me about this group;

Susan likes this group because the members, to her mind, are more inventive, creating their own designs and  are more concerned about the material (quality of wool etc.) they are using.

I received a warm welcome and when I introduced myself and my intend to film them, while they were getting on with whatever they were doing, they were happy to let me get on with what I wanted to do.

It is an interesting group, some younger women, who were just beginning to learn to knit under the emphatic tuition of some of the more experienced knitters. It was a general, very animated, lively atmosphere, lots of laughter and friendly banter. 

In the middle of the table was a stack of books, some had brought along to share

At the end I talked with  the two women, who is organizing this group, Pat Furley and Jenny Strickland. 

Their business name “the unravelled sleave” is taken from a Shakespearquote: 

the raveled sleave’– a woven or threaded skein of yarn
Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2: ‘Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep” – The innocent sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care…….’

As it happens they had only recently thought about that it would be interesting to research  old knitting songs can be found.

It is known, that in a time when people, not only women would get together to spin, weave, embroider, sew and later knit that there were songs sung.

This is another thread to follow up for me!

Women like these, revive the tradition of women getting together, to be sociable, meet friends exchange knowledge, help each other out and teach the younger ones. 

There is something, where I can’t quite can put my finger on, why it makes such a difference when being in a group of women and making something with my hands, then rather sitting in a group of friends and chatting away. I am aware the the attention and mostly understated competitiveness in the groups is intriguing. To  receive praise for what is on the needles or around the shoulders is very encouraging and does makes one feel good about oneself.

But also the sympathetic support on receives when things goes inevitably wrong and some kind hand helps you to unravel the bit where one has gone wrong and helps you to pick up the stitches again. Just as we need it in life. 

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