With winter fast approaching and the air turning colder, some of us are already pulling out our long lost coats, scarves and hats. Perhaps you’re better at keeping up with trends than I am, and have recently acquired Top Shop’s finest.
Or, better still, perhaps you’re not only stylishly up to date, but also money conscious, and have knitted yourself the perfect accessory to keep you warm this winter. Either way, we’re all more than likely looking forward to freezing cold evenings being whiled away by the company of our friends and a good old cuppa.
Sadly though, this won’t be the story for an estimated 3.7 million people in the UK aged 65 and over, many of whom have expressed feelings of loneliness and isolation during the winter months. One way you can help tackle this would be to go to your granny’s house and give her a hug; another way would be to join forces with Innocent Smoothies and Age UK as they bring you The Big Knit 2010.
…you’ll also be giving 25p to Age UK…
During your trips to Boots or Sainsbury’s throughout November, you may notice a slight change in those delightful little bottles. Not only will they bring you yummy, fruity goodness, but they’ll also be sporting some rather dashing headwear. When you buy a bottle of Innocent Smoothies complete with a unique (and rather cute) woolly hat, you’ll also be giving 25p to Age UK.
This year they’re aiming to raise £200,000 to keep older people warm and happy this winter by providing electric blankets, warm clothing and food, and by bringing them together in their communities with social activities.
…a great opportunity to meet fellow knitters across London…
I was fortunate enough to go to their Big Knit event this year at the Innocent Smoothies Fruit Towers near Shepherds Bush. Not only were their offices quite possibly the coolest I’ve ever seen, with grass-like carpet under your feet and wicker chairs hanging from the ceiling, it was also a great opportunity to meet fellow knitters across London who ranged from their twenties to well into their sixties. We spent the evening of the 27th September knitting little hats, eating free cake and drinking free smoothies whilst competing to see who could make the best hat, and who could make the most hats.
Naturally I won neither. I am happy to report, however, that I did miss out on the prize for worst hat, much to everyone’s amazement. Many mums would like to say ‘it’s the taking part that counts’, and in this case they would be right.
…get involved this year by purchasing your favourite smoothie…
Now, unfortunately the deadline to submit hats has passed. You can still, however, get involved this year by purchasing your favourite smoothie, along with its woolly accessory (and why stop at one?), and if you really want to make a difference, dig out your needles and come along to the Big Knit 2011 when it comes around.
For now, if you’re an avid knitter, you can find the pattern online and get practising. As you will see, the creative possibilities are endless. If you’ve never picked up a pair of needles before that’s fine. For me it was a great way to learn the craft and make my contribution to a good cause. Sign up to Stitch London’s newsletter and come along to an event, where they’ll teach you for free. There might even be some cake.
To find out more, visit www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/bigknit
To get involved with London’s hardcore knitters, or to learn how to, sign up to Stitch London’s newsletter at www.stitchldn.com