Women grow club one stitch at a time

Alida King, left, and Frances van der Walt.

The Brooklyn library is running a knitting club for the community’s women.

The club was launched during South African Library Week last month. So far it has eight members, but senior librarian Jacinta Avontuur hopes the woolly circle will grow to at least 20 members.

Ms Avontuur got the idea for the club from Observatory library.

“The idea is to get something happening for the ladies. I want to get women who are not working to learn a skill so they can become self-sustainable,” she said.

When Tabletalk visited, the women were cosily settled in a nook at the library. Henrietta Rass was knitting with baby pink wool on a chair in a corner. The housewife from Brooklyn said she had used “food money” to buy wool. She is knitting 30 baby beanies she plans to donate to a maternity ward.

She laughed as she said her love for knitting ran so deep she’ was willing to do it in the dark.

“My husband scolds when the light is on and he’s trying to sleep, so I end up knitting in the dark trying to use the TV’s light to see.”

Ms Avontuur said everything the group knitted would be donated to people and places in the area such as the Brooklyn Chest Hospital, Huis Ysterplaat and Huis Zonnekus.

“It’s a community project, so we want to keep it in the community,” she said.

At the moment, the women are busy knitting a blanket for Mandela Day, on Tuesday July 18.

Trudy du Plessis packed out several different coloured squares she had knitted for the blanket. Some of the women took out squares they had knitted at home and handed them over to Ms Du Plessis.

Beverly-Anne Gorton, of Albow Gardens, sat with an array of different coloured wools piled at her feet.

“Crochet is quicker, but it doesn’t keep you as warm as a knitted blanket,” she said matter-of-factly.

Titi Ibiodla didn’t know how to knit before joining the group, and she was paying close attention to each stitch added on to her needle.

“I knew how to crochet but didn’t know how to knit. I’m so proud of myself. I want to knit a jersey.” The knitting club meets at the Brooklyn library every Friday, at 10am. Email Kerisha.Chanderdeo@capetown.gov.za or call 021 444 5989 to donate wool or for more information