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Knit and Natter

PUBLISHED: 13:15 09 September 2011 | UPDATED: 21:37 20 February 2013



Miranda McPherson from the Craft Centre at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre has created the Knit and Natter Club. Members make everything from socks and baby blankets to jumpers for former battery hens who have lost their feathers

Miranda McPherson from the Craft Centre at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre has created the Knit and Natter Club. Members make everything from socks and baby blankets to jumpers for former battery hens who have lost their feathers

What is the appeal of knitting?
Its so relaxing. With knitting, youre getting back to basics. Its portable and all you need is a pair of needles and some wool. Our knit club is held after work, so you can see everyone gradually de-stress and relax while they knit.

Is it gaining in popularity once more?
Its so exciting that it is now being taught again in schools, with a national scheme called Knit 1 Pass It On. Its passing from one generation to another again and we can help here at the craft centre.

Did most members knit before they joined?
Many have come back to knitting and find the knit club helps them to look afresh at the latest trends. We have new learners from time-to-time and they tend to progress very quickly. Its a knit clinic, so if anyone has a problem, one of us can help solve it.

Could most people have a go?
Anyone can have a go and knit a scarf, which I can usually teach in half an hour. Then its just a case of practice makes perfect. After a short time, it becomes automatic and thats when you start feeling relaxed.

What things do the members create?
Many of us seem to knit for young family members, but it goes in trends. You get a month where everyone is into hats, then it is exotic socks. This summer there has been a lot of knitting with cotton, but from now on well be thinking about Christmas presents.

Why did you start making hen jumpers?
Wed heard of the charity Little Hen Rescue and one of us knitted a jacket for fun. We didnt think much more about it, until by chance a customer told us about her rescue hen Dorothy. Dorothy is quite a famous hen now, having been on The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
Suddenly it went way beyond the knit club and we were getting hen jumpers from all across the globe. We sent them all to the Little Hen Rescue.

Weve knitted for the Teddies for Tragedy charity but really the point of the knit club is to come along and use the time to do your own thing.

What can customers find at the Craft Centre at Monkton Elm?
We have crochet yarns, all the latest card-making products, patchwork, fabric, felting wool, beads, buttons, haberdashery, books and more. Our regular craft classes are popular.

If people wanted to join the knitting club, how would they get in touch?
Knit and Natter Club runs from 4.30pm until 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of every month. It costs 3 and includes tea, coffee and biscuits. The Craft Centre is just off the A38 at Monkton Heathfield between Bridgwater and Taunton. Call 01823 412381 or visit

On 17 September, visitors to the Pet and Reptile Centre at Monkton Elm cn get up close to some of its resident reptiles from 11pm to 4pm


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