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For this year’s Alzheimer Awareness Week from 3rd - 9th June 2013, Shetland Arts and Alzheimer Scotland are launching a new knitting challenge for knitters of all ages in Shetland: Knitting for Alzheimer Awareness.

We aim to make at least 171 special knitted patchwork pieces, stitched from sets of knitted squares of any size, or completed blankets. The 171 objects will be installed during Alzheimer Awareness Week in surprising or obvious places in and around the Foyer and Café in Mareel. The total of 171 represents the number of people in the Shetland community who have a diagnosis of dementia.

Ann Williamson, Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Advisor, said : “The number of people with dementia is set to double in a generation. It is important that communities are dementia aware and talking about the illness in order to be well informed. Knitting for Alzheimer Awareness will hopefully get everyone knitting and thinking about Dementia.”

Last summer the Shetland community responded to our first knitting challenge and generously donated enough squares and finished blankets to make a total of around twenty six knitted patchwork blankets, in only six weeks.

knitting hands

A member of the public knitting as part of last year's project.

Squares and blanket pieces were knitted by people of all ages and delivered to Shetland Arts from all parts of Shetland. The completed blankets were sent from Shetland to Glasgow to contribute to Alzheimer Scotland’s successful attempt at breaking the world record for the biggest knitted blanket of 91,400 squares or 914 blankets measuring 1metre square. The individual blankets were donated to various charities.

For anyone wanting to join us in knitting squares, Shetland Arts and Alzheimer Scotland hold informal knitting afternoons on the last Thursday of each month in the Upper Café in Mareel, from 2- 4.30pm. Some knitters take their own knitting along or knit squares for the challenge.

Craft Development Officer at Shetland Arts, Hazel Hughson said: “Anyone can join us to knit, or to stitch squares together and for the challenge, Bonhoga Gallery Café will have yarn and needles available for anyone wanting to knit squares there. The knitting challenge is part of the various arts projects Shetland Arts are involved with or help facilitate for Alzheimer Scotland.”

Alzheimer Scotland and Shetland Arts welcome donations now of knitted squares of any size, in any type of yarn or colour, stitched together in strips or in bundles of loose squares. The collection points are Mareel Reception and Bonhoga Gallery.

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