Stitch & Knit Group
Nearly every Thursday, in term time, from 2-4pm a group of ladies meet in Petham Village Hall to stitch and knit as well as socialise and relax.
I started the group with my friend Anne Farlie in January 2010. I had just given up work and wanted to join a knitting group but there was none in Canterbury so we decided to start one. Anne lived in Petham, a small village outside Canterbury, which has a marvellous modern and light village hall. Many groups and classes meet at the hall so she suggested we did too.
We told people about the group, went around local villages putting up a notice about it and advertised in village and parish newsletters. We started with six attending for the first session and it has continued to grow. Some people come every week and others when they can. Although numbers vary from week to week we average between 14 and 22 each session.
Membership isvaried and spans the ages and everyone is working on their own projects. Some members knit for charity and others for themselves and family.
Everyone looks forward to half-way through the session when Anne spoils us with tea or coffee and homemade cakes or biscuits.
There is plenty of help for beginners and experienced members are generous with their talents and ideas.
The group is incredibly friendly and new members are always very welcome and although there is a small charge of £5 per session, it is only payable if you attend.
The best things about the group are the enthusiasm of the members, the laughter, and being with people who share a passion. People have found their way to us from different villages and Canterbury itself so it’s a great way of making new friends. There are also the therapeutic benefits too. Knitting is being talked about in terms of reducing stress – the new yoga! - and you certainly can’t be thinking about your worries when you’re concentrating on a complicated pattern.
Comments from some members of Stitch and Knit at Petham, near Canterbury
“I have been attending Petham Stitch and Knit since January 2011. I am a housewife, mother and grandmother so I am very busy with the family. When I walk into the village hall for Stitch and Knit I really feel ‘me’. I do this for me and only me – probably the only thing which is really for me in my life. I love it. I am a beginner as far as knitting is concerned and I have learned so much over the past few months, may it all continue.”
“Before joining our group I couldn’t follow a knitting pattern and could only just about manage to make a scarf! Since discovering our lovely group of ladies I now have the benefit of being able to draw from what seems to be a bottomless pool of knowledge – freely and generously given, with the added bonus of many new like-minded friends! Although still very much a beginner I now have the confidence to follow and understand basic patterns and have produced several passable items although still on a steep learning curve!”
“Lovely atmosphere; friendly and supportive and there are always people to help you if you have problems. It was a brilliant idea to start it and I thoroughly support Rowan and Anne in their initiative.”
“I came to improve my knitting skills and to enjoy some ‘me’ time during a very busy week. Great atmosphere, friendly, no pressure and plenty of help on offer. I have learnt to follow a pattern and have been introduced to new yarns and needles.
The lace scarf workshop was excellent, well organised, good value for money and I loved the way all the materials were presented in a bag. I really look forward to coming as often as I can.”
Audrey C Bibb
“I joined the Petham group in February 2010. I had never learnt to knit before. I was in the group until March 2010 when I went into hospital to have my knee replaced. Several of the group visited me at home and I longed to go back. One of the organisers, Rowan, visited me and brought wool, needles and a pattern for a child’s top. She had also typed out the patterns for me so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. Since then I have done two waistcoats – one in single moss stitch and one in double moss stitch. I am doing a lace scarf using the shale pattern at the present. I have used Debbie Bliss wool and am now using Artesano alpaca. I have made many mistakes but everyone is helpful. I have been to two workshops (tips for beginners and learn to crochet) and hope to learn cable soon. Anything I have asked has been answered with patience and clear explanations. I always look forward to the meetings. Although a beginner, I should say I am 77 years old!”
“I come because it is an enjoyable social gathering and an excuse to do something creative during daylight - I am usually too busy to sit down in the daytime. It is very friendly and interesting to see what other people are making. I thought I knew all about knitting but found there is still plenty to learn. I have tried new things and discovered new yarns. Rowan and Anne are always willing to help and go out of their way to find answers if they don’t know instantly. I have been to several workshops and found them excellent.”
“Although I have been knitting for years I have learnt a lot and enjoy seeing other people’s work. It is a lovely way to spend a few hours in the company of like-minded people.”
“My reason for coming is to spend a pleasant and relaxing afternoon with like-minded people. I have tried new things and used new yarns. Always a welcome cup of tea and delicious cakes.”
Elizabeth, Agnes and Eileen
“Good company and good food. Relaxed atmosphere. Helpful tutors. New yarns to try and interesting patterns to see. The two hours goes too quickly.”
“Very enjoyable 2 hours. Lots of interesting ideas and good company. Workshop attended was excellent – learnt loads. Trying new yarns and techniques knowing there is always somebody on hand to advise.”
“I come to the group to meet other knitters, make new friends, try new yarns and share ideas. I enjoy the friendly atmosphere.”