Think trendy, think traffic and think trees. Filled with fashion-forward thinking, soul crushing congestion and picturesque parks there’s only one British city we can be touching down in this February.
You guessed it, London of course! This month we’re featuring a group from the heart of Britain. The city is known for variety; whether it be in craft, culture or clothes, you’ll find the big smoke is the ideal place to be diverse and express yourself. So it’s no wonder across the capital there’s an array of crafters from sewers who stitch along the South Bank to knitters in Knightsbridge to crocheters in Clapham, but we’re stepping out of central and heading to the South of London, to the suburb that is Brixton. Renowned for its cool and creative scene; with the famous market and the O2 Academy, Brixton’s an area that’s filled with energy and soul. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the London life the parks, pubs and people create a friendly feel to the industrialised suburb.
Welcome the Knit Wits, who have been stitching together for the past four and a half years. It was the summer of 2012 when Holly, founder of Knit Wits text her friends and enticed them to meet in the pub garden to begin a knitting group. The group has been running fortnightly on a Tuesday ever since and what a success it has been. After all at the end of a day in the city what’s more pleasing than sitting in the sun, sipping and stitching? The group sees six regular attendees, with others often joining for a couple of sessions here and there. Welcoming knitters of all calibres, the Knit Wits teach complete beginners and love meeting more experienced knitters who can show them new tricks too!
We asked Holly what inspires the group to knit…
“It’s the sense of community, being creative, helping each other out, and meeting new people. A lot of the people that come have just moved to the area and it’s a great space to hang out!”
Having a creative outlet is so important and it’s apparent together the Knit Wits use knitting to escape the office and unwind. From architects, academics, office managers and designers in the day, to knitters in the night, this bunch of creatives enjoy meeting and socialising with other like-minded crafters. Over the past 4 and a half years the group has seen knitters of all ages join, from 18 to 83 year olds. Not only does age within the group vary, but gender and nationality too. The diverse city is home to many Londoners from as far afield as Australia, bringing members from across the globe to the group. Speaking to Holly about Knit Wits it’s clear the social side of meeting up with each other is very important and together the group members and their characters are the magic ingredient in keeping the club running.
The knitting group flow hasn’t always been the same, originally the group started off testing out stitches; which they all learnt together and each session they created knits with the new stitches. After time the Knits Wits began having too many creations at home, so decided to knit for charity, along with hosting a market stall selling the unique creations they made. After three years of running the market stall the Knit Wits decided to focus on projects for themselves and now have a variety of knits on their needles. The club is still very much alive and they continue to knit for Knit For Peace, Knit Aid and Age UK with the Innocent Smoothie campaign.
Together Knit Wits have participated in many group projects and one of their biggest achievements is creating a dressing gown from a selection of knitted squares. The group patched each square together and once the dressing gown was complete donated it to an elderly person at Knit For Peace. A great project that each member was able to get involved in and help keep a person in need cosy. Knit Wits aren’t shy when it comes to yarn bombing either and showered Loughborough junction with colourful yarn as part of their big community lunch – a fantastic site to see we’re sure. Together Knit Wits aim to keep learning, improving and get more people knitting, a powerful ambition we think many of us aim to succeed in too.
Holly herself has always been creative, studying textiles at university and specialising in weaving, however it wasn’t until 2009 when her Nan taught her the tricks of the trade, whilst reminiscing upon fascinating war stories that she began knitting. Holly’s Nan was even kind enough to donate all her knitting needles and yarn to Holly, making the new craft adventure that little bit easier. Working for an ethical fashion consultancy, Holly was keen to find a creative outlet outside of work and beginning the knitting group was the perfect answer. For Holly knitting is a way to relax and relieve stress and she loves having the ability to create something out of nothing. A favourite yarn of Holly’s and the fibre she would choose to knit with for the entirety of her life if she could only choose one would be wool, simply because she loves the versatility of it.
To finish off, we’ll leave you with Holly’s wonderful words of wisdom…
“Keep knitting, keep creating, keep sharing.”A friendly and fun group, we’ll certainly be joining the Knit Wits if ever in London and don’t forget if you fancy joining in the fun too you’ll find them in the Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton from 7:30pm every other Tuesday. With their very own Facebook page you can get in touch with the group here or keep up to date with their stitching journey and follow them on Instagram here. Next month we’re going a little farther afield and across the Indian Ocean to meet our sixth knitting group (virtually, of course), so keep your eyes peeled and prepare to find out all about this inspiring group! If you’d like the chance to win £100 worth of yarn and get your knitting or crochet group featured, then simply drop us an email at [email protected], telling us all about your crafty circle, for more information click here.