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Mareel is delighted to welcome young knitters from the Whalsay Heritage & Community Centre (WHACC) 'Tak de sock' Knitters Group to Mareel this Saturday (12 October) from 12.15 - 4pm as part of Wool Week 2013. The young knitters will be special guests hosting an open knitting session in the Upstairs Cafe Bar, and would like to invite knitters of all ages and abilities to join them throughout the day. Members of the public are encouraged to drop in with their own knitting, join in the session, and have a yarn.

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Last winter members of Whalsay Heritage and Community Centre (WHACC) decided to run a knitting group for two hours on a Friday afternoon. This was both to promote the Heritage Centre and to encourage knitting in the community. It was named ‘Tak de sock’ and it was open to anyone who wished to come with their knitting. This proved to be very successful so it will be running again this winter.

The age range is from 7 to 81 years old, with quite a few bairns who also attend the school knitting club run by Amanda Pottinger and Anne Anderson. The group gives them a chance to work on their projects as they really don’t have a lot of time during Monday lunch break when they meet in school.

Since ‘Tak de sock’ began everyone’s knitting has really improved. Some of the bairns started off knitting plain items such as scarves and bags; now they have moved onto more complex knitting such as Fair Isle beanie hats, head warmers and a few are trying their hand at putting in a yoke. The bairns have a fresh outlook about their projects and use colours in a vibrant way. Most of the adults regard the group as a social experience; it’s a chance to get out for the afternoon, compare knitting and have a yarn. Numbers vary from 12 – 21 people per week. The Heritage Centre also offers self service refreshments.

It is vital to pass on the knowledge established knitters have onto the younger generation. Traditional skills from our heritage must be kept up, if not they will be lost forever.

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