WWW: Knitting in Prison, Comforts for Alzheimer’s Patients, Rowan Denim

I know so many people whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s Disease. My husband lost his beloved grandmother, and a very dear friend’s mother is in the late stages. It’s heartbreaking to see the effects on those diagnosed, and on their friends and family. I was very moved by Rachael Herron’s recent blog post about her own experiences with dementia, and telling the story of knitter Diane and Diane’s mother Alice.

Diane knitted her mother a blanket, in which she was able to find comfort in her final days – she appreciated having some “cozy and loving to hold”. Diane is kicking off an initiative to knit shawls and lap blankets to donate to Alzheimer’s patients, to provide some comfort and love to those struggling with this difficult disease. Rachael is knitting one herself, and as an encouragement, she is offering up a shawl of her own as a prize to one lucky blanket knitter.

The Washington Post profiles knitting teacher Lynn Zwerling, and the classes she offers to inmates at the Dorsey Run Correctional Facility in Jessup, Maryland. Zerling says about her classes that it “isn’t about knitting. This is resocialization.” The program has been going on for a number of years, and the success has inspired other such groups around the US.

Classic and wonderful.

Ooh! Non-wool knitters rejoice! Wool knitters who love a good cotton should rejoice! Heck, everyone rejoice! Dearly-loved Rowan Denim yarn is back, and with it, a great new book of Martin Storey designs.

If you’re not familiar with this yarn, or are wondering what the big deal is, this Knitter’s Review post by noted Denim enthusiast Kay Gardiner explains it all.

A perfect place to knit?

This made me smile: a piece about a knitting group in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia suggests that “pub is the last place you’d expect to find a knitting group”. Whoever wrote the article doesn’t spend a lot of time with knitters, I don’t think. The knitters I know love spending time in pubs… a place where you’re encouraged to sit for long periods of time, and where you can be surrounded by friends and enjoy a good chat. Even if you’re not a drinker, a pub provides just about the perfect sort of environment for a knitting group. Indeed, a member of the group says just that: “The atmosphere at The Ulster is conducive to sitting around and having a chat and doing a little bit of craft.”

A small piece in the Yorkshire Post about Swaledale Woollens, a small family-run company selling handknit garments made from local wool. It’s worth clicking through to the article to see the jaw-droppingly beautiful photograph of sheep on the Dales. Visit the Swaledale Woollens website to learn more about their work and products. In addition to finished hand-knit items, they also sell wool yarn.

Back in February, we told you about the efforts of Wildcare, a wildlife rehabilitation center in California. They collect knitted birds’ nests to care for orphaned and injured baby birds. Now that spring has arrived, the program has formally kicked off. You can learn more here.

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