Learn to knit and crochet in Potton

Knitting and crocheting may not strike you as the coolest way to spend your evenings – but you’d be wrong!

By Ellen Frampton
Tuesday, 14th May 2013, 4:24 pm
Tracey Wye (left) and reporter Ellen Frampton
Tracey Wye (left) and reporter Ellen Frampton

The wool based projects are enjoying a revival and now they are not just the preserve of elderly women. Now younger people are learning these skills; admittedly their is a female bias but the trends are gaining momentum.

I visited Tracey Wye, a keen knitter and crocheter in Potton, to find out more.

The granny image is long gone, Tracey explained. “Women, and men, of all ages are picking up knitting and crochet again, and magazines and papers go mad for photos of Hollywood A-listers stitching away between shooting their latest blockbuster, she said.”

“The current trend for make do and mend has seen a huge resurgence of hand-made skills; look at the popularity of The Great British Sewing Bee.

“I think the days of fairly hideous wools and patterns, when people had to make their own things, has passed into a new era of gorgeous yarns with texture and colour, and a range of gorgeous tools to play with.

“Gone are the days of drab grey needles; they now come in rainbow colours, or shiny metal, bamboo, wood, sparkly plastic, and they add an element of glamour and fun.”

Tracey is hoping to inspire other people to take up these hobbies by giving lessons. She gave me a short sample of a beginners’ crochet class.

She supplied me with a ball of green wool and my own crochet hook before proceeding to demonstrate how to hook the first row. After several attempts I managed to achieve this and Tracey then showed me how to create rows of double and triple crochet.

When running the full length classes she hopes that participants will be able to go away with a completed granny square after one or two sessions.

The basic technique was fairly straightforward after a little practice, although I’m sure the impressive soft toys she has made require a lot more skill and dedication!

Tracey said: “It might be clichéd but I really did learn to knit at my grandmother’s knee when I was about five years old.

“I still have the first thing I made; a peculiar waistcoat for a toy humpty dumpty, which she knitted beautifully for me!

“I picked up my needles again about seven years ago while my husband went off to the World Cup in Germany. I knitted him a scarf, and you can see one or two mistakes where I was watching England score on TV.

“Since then I have worked on something every day, and made everything from socks, to hats, jumpers and toys.

“About four years ago I fell in love with Japanese-inspired amigurumi toys and taught myself to crochet. It was struggling with books that made me realise that it is far easier and more fun to learn to knit and crochet in a small class.”

Tracey started her knitting and crocheting classes last month. She is holding them every few weeks in Potton on Saturday mornings.

And once you have got to grips with the basics you can join her evening craft group, A Crafty Drink, which meets once a fortnight in the town’s George and Dragon pub.

It is great for meeting people, Tracey added. “Believe it or not, knitting and crocheting can lead to a whole new social life,” she said. “Through it I’ve met some fantastic new friends and I love it when crafty people come and join our group.

“Knitting and crochet are incredibly satisfying and will naturally lend themselves to different projects, so it is worth mastering both techniques. And once finished, you can stand back and admire the beautiful, unique item you made with your own hands.”

To find out more about Tracey’s knitting and crocheting classes visit makethatkc.wordpress.com

You can also see her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/makethatkc or follow her on Twitter at @MakeThatKC

To enquire about knitting and crocheting classes email [email protected] or call Tracey on 07754 515640.