Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting BOREHAMWOOD to 80360, or email us
Knitting together Borehamwood
A club is trying to knit together Borehamwood one stitch at a time, reporter Ruth Halkon arms herself with knitting needles and heads to the Waggon and Horses to find out how.
Every Monday the corner table in the Waggon and Horses in Elstree resounds to the gentle click, click of knitting needles and children’s laughter mingles with local gossip.
Up to ten people, the youngest eight, the oldest in her sixties, meet every week to share skills and talk about what is happening in the town.
Set up by Borehamwood resident Beata Benedek, 29, the group has been going since May.
She said: “I set up the group to bring people together.
“We want to build a community by helping people get to know those living a few streets away.
"Knitting's taken over my life."
As a very small child I learnt how to knit at my grandmother’s knee, making little jumpers for my dolls.
But as I grew older I gradually forgot the skill, so all I could do was stare blankly at the needles and wool when they were presented to me.
Thankfully eight-year-old Bethany Butler was there to show me what to do.
She started me on the Hungarian method, which she had learned from Beata, deftly holding the yarn in her left hand, and simply scooping it with the right needle.
Apparently it’s meant to be much quicker then the more traditional English method, but requires more dexterity.
This was a dexterity I lacked.
After I had tried and failed a couple of times to form my first stitch, Bethany decided the English method would be best for me after all.
The pupil at Parkside Primary School said: “The English way is much easier, you’ll get the hang of it really quickly, though I prefer the Hungarian method because it’s much faster and smoother.
“I really enjoy knitting, it’s great to be able to make things. I took my knitting into show and tell at school and they were really impressed.”
Under Bethany’s tuition, I remembered how to use the needles and began to start forming a purple square that rapidly grew in size – despite having to be rescued by Beata when I dropped stitches.
Jenny Stilwel and Donna Grossman, who are both experienced knitters, said knitting was in their DNA – so much so their husbands complained they were being neglected.
Donna added: “I like the fact everyone is at different levels here and there’s no pressure.
“It’s a very fun evening with a lovely atmosphere, it’s great getting together over a shared interest.”
As the knitters worked together and chatted, we did our best to triumph in the Waggon and Horses’ pub quiz.
Landlord Rob Hutchings said he greatly enjoyed hosting the knitting group.
“I love having community groups here, they help make the pub a lively and interesting place.”
Kenilworth Councillor Richard Butler has been attending the group for a couple of months, doing his best to knit a long, pink scarf.
He said: “I’ve always been into arts and crafts and doing things with my hands, so I find knitting fantastic.
“What’s best about the group is the great range of ages. My niece Bethany really enjoys going. She’s already much better than I am. She can cast off and everything.
”The key thing is they support the local pub, they have a couple of drinks there, take part in the quiz and generate business.”
As we left, Beata examined the small rectangle I’d managed to produce: “Well done, you’ve picked it up quickly.”
She send me away with needles and instructions to keep practicing. Maybe one day I too will be able to produce a scarf.
Comments are closed on this article.