Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Your December iknitlinks newsletter should be sitting in your inbox.

Things are progressing well with specialist projects and social groups in the pipeline. I shall be over seeing a knitting group at a special needs school in Bath from January 14th onwards. it's going to be run by two volunteers who are ex teachers which is just perfect. The group will contain parents, teachers and children. We also hope to develop a knitting program with the sensory awareness teachers and have opened up an avenue of communication between experts at the local pain unit and the school - I believe there is some cross over in the 'treatments' they can offer, so that's exciting.

Christmas seems to be hurtling towards me very quickly - so much so that I was busily arranging a meeting for next Friday when someone kindly reminded me it was Christmas day!

Things on the research front are also hotting up - I have costing to do for the whole project by Monday and I'm away on Sunday - gulp.

Plus of course there is the 'normal' Christmas stuff!


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Making progress

Setting Up and Running a School-based Knitting Group is now available on your Specialist Packs page of the iknitlinks website. Thank you to those who contributed ideas and invaluable information.

I've been writing a specification / job description for a Knitting Advocate today. It is currently being reviewed by Gerard and Lorraine, so will be available soon.

Some of you may have seen the article in Take a Break magazine recently. We're happy to announce that we'll be working with them on a further article soon.

I'm also involved with setting up a knitting group at a fabulous special school here in Bath so will keep you updated on that project. We aim to get it up and running in the New Year, so if anyone is interested in setting up a similar project please get in touch. Gerard and Lorraine are developing other projects - details will be revealed when we know a little more.

If you're after materials for your group we'll be able to supply them soon. We will have basic kits containing wool, needles and pattern for £3.50 plus postage. There will also be spare needles and wool available plus group packages which give your group even better value for money, so please keep checking in!


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Schools Pack

I recently sent out our 'Setting up and Running an Schools-based Knitting Group' draft pack to teacher friends of mine and I've had a lot of great feedback. I've spent today adding their very practical comments so the pack should be available on the Specialist Packs page of the iknitlinks website very soon. You can access this page when you download our Core Pack.

We have lots of exciting projects in the planning at the moment so my mind is whirring with ideas. I just wish there were more hours in the day! Just off to my local pub-based knitting group at The Bear in Bath now. If you're ever visiting this beautiful city call in -we meet at 7pm every Wednesday evening.


PS Look out for tomorrow's (5th November) Take a Break magazine - there should be a knitting article featuring us.

Monday, 19 October 2009


Our first newsletter will reach you by the end of this week. Gerard has been battling with flu for over a week now, so our timescale has needed to shift a little.

In the meantime thank you to those who are signing up, expressing interest, downloading the Core Pack and emailing us. We have an exciting time to look forward to together.

A new specialist pack 'school-based groups' is currently being circulated to teachers and those with experience of running groups and knitting groups with children and teenagers. The feedback has been positive with some great comments added. The pack should be finalised this week and be on the specialist packs page to download early next week.

Don't forget, if you currently run a group or attend one which you'd like added to our network, please let me know and I'll add it to our website so everyone in your area can find you.


Friday, 16 October 2009

Knitting in School

Don't you wish you had knitting lessons in school? Research evidence shows that children benefit hugely from crafts. Anecdotal evidence collected by Stitchlinks suggests that people may learn more effectively when knitting. Teachers in the States use knitting in the classroom to constructively occupy kinaesthetic learners (those who tap and fidget whilst taking in information) and those with ADHD. People with dyslexia and dyspraxia say it helps them become more coordinated, improves hand/eye coordination AND helps them organise their thought processes. It's also used to manage disruptive behaviour.

But can knitting actually improve memory? A project based at Cardiff University, which is currently looking for funding, will look at whether knitting affects memory span and recall and we'll be working closely with them.

We'd like to encourage more school-based knitting groups. Whether it be a social group set up to improve communication between governors, teachers, parents and the wider community or one for pupils only. If you're interested in running one you'll find 'Setting up and Running a School-based Group' on our Specialist Pack page early next week. You'll receive a link to this page when you download our Core Pack - and it's free!


Friday, 9 October 2009

iknitlinks out and about!

Thank you to those who have responded to the last post via email and the forum.

We had a great day at Lewisham College on Wednesday - we were followed all day by a photographer from Take a Break magazine which was a bit different too! We'll keep you posted on when the article is due to appear!

Yesterday I was back up to London to spend an afternoon with Gerard at Ally Pally and there could be exciting developments afoot, but that's all I can say for now! Darn it!

Meanwhile we're looking for volunteers who would be willing to be 'roving teachers' of knitting to give group leaders an initial boost and support in teaching knitting to those new to the craft. Please email me if you're interested.

By for now


Monday, 5 October 2009

Help needed please

I'm getting together an iknitlinks specialist pack on setting up a knitting group in a school/other formal area and would like to hear from anyone not living in the UK. Do you have any special legal requirements? Here in the UK we need to have a police check or CRB - do you have an equivalent? I would like to include information for group leaders in other countries, particularly the USA and Australia. If you can help, please email me through the contacts page of the iknitlinks webiste.

Thank you


Sunday, 4 October 2009

Ally Pally

Is anyone going to Ally Pally this week? I'll be there on Thursday so please stop me to say hello if you see me. I'll be wearing my Stitchlinks t shirt so will be easily recognisable.

It's a busy week ahead for us. We have a stand and knitting group at Lewisham College on Wednesday. They're having a Mental Health Open Day - we're really looking forward to meeting the staff and students for a day of knitting! Then off to Ally Pally on Thursday!

Might see you there!


Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Our 'Setting up and Running a Health-based Knitting Group' Pack is now available to those who download a Core Pack. You will be sent a link to the appropriate page which will contain all our specialist packs.

We have two new social groups added today, plus a new pattern donated by The Arran Knitting Company, so thank you to them. A link on our links page will take you to their website which has some great information on introducing knitting into the classroom.

I'm currently working from two computers as I make the leap from PC to Mac! This transition time is very frustrating though as some days my computers can 'see' each other over the network and sometimes they can't and it seems to be completely arbitrary!

Today has been great as being my birthday I've had a complete break from my computer problems, had coffee with my eldest son this morning then off for a few hours knitting with my group at the hospital plus of course some birthday cake. When I got home, youngest son had arranged a Happy Birthday sign in candles on the kitchen table, plus some more choccie cake. A good way to spend the day!


Monday, 14 September 2009

Thank you!

Thank you to all the wonderfully enthusiastic knitters who expressed an interest in setting up a knitting group and joining our iknitlinks network. It was great to meet you all at the I Knit London Weekend. We had a great time.

I've had a lot of difficulty getting my brain back down to earth today, having attended an international conference on Applied Art in Health and then travelled straight to the I Knit Weekend. My brain just wants to get on with doing wonderfully creative, colourful things, so having to think about research proposals has been really hard today!

The reaction to iknitlinks was wonderful so thank you for your support. We're looking forward to working with you.


Saturday, 5 September 2009

Not long to go!

It's Saturday 5th September and we have less than a week before iknitlinks goes live. We'll be tweaking the website this weekend to make sure it looks good for everyone, whatever browser you use!

It's going to be a busy week ahead but we're looking forward to our launch at the I Knit London Weekend on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th. Why not come and say hello?

Look forward to seeing you there!