No Knit & Natter Today

I just had a call from Tony, the Practice Manager at Alnwick Medical Group to let me know that this afternoon’s group is cancelled. He asked me to put something on the blog.

As they haven’t received full guidelines on how the surgery should respond to latest Coronavirus guidelines it was decided to err on the side of caution and try to let everyone know not to turn up.

I did wonder if this would happen. It seems sensible to play safe. In the meantime it is up to all of us to follow the guidelines to protect ourselves and others.

It’s also important to keep a sense of perspective. There’s a lot of misinformation on social media so let’s stick to reliable sources like the NHS…and keep calm!

Hopefully normality will return before long. I’ll be staying at home practising my brioche knitting instead this afternoon.

Has the Coronavirus outbreak made you change your plans today?

Knit and Natter Friday: 6th March – Knitting is Good For You!

We loved looking at this big colourful haul of gorgeous knits from the Knit and Natter Group, who meet at Alnwick Medical Group on Friday afternoons. At the top of the picture are baby jackets, mostly premature size. I love the contrasting edges on the ones at the top right. We also have some beautiful blankets and premature baby clothes from a lady who loves knitting but doesn’t come to the group. The multicoloured blankets left and front are knitted in beautifully soft chenille yarn. The pink/purple baby clothes and blanket were all made out of one big ball of ombre wool. The blanket is knitted in a design of alternating stocking stitch and moss stitch with a moss stitch edge. Isn’t it effective?

We were joined by a couple of members of staff from the practice today. Of course, we can’t let anyone visit us without doing any knitting so we found them some wool and needles and got them started. One had knitted before and soon picked it up again. The other was a complete beginner and after a bit of tuition she was doing brilliantly.

They were there to gather information for Social Prescribing Day (next Thursday, 12th March. Our knitting group was set up as part of the medical practice’s social prescribing work. At the end of the session we took part in a video interview and answered questions about the knit and natter group and what we get out of it. It was interesting to reflect on why we enjoy doing what we do. From my point of view……

  • It’s good to interact with a friendly, supportive group of people with a shared interest. We enjoy each other’s company.
  • We can share skills and learn from each other. There must be several centuries of knitting experience in the group!
  • There’s a shared sense of achievement in completing a project or learning a new skill.
  • Knitting for charity is a worthwhile use of our knitting skills to help others.
  • Communal knitting is fun!

One question that really made me think was about the importance of holding a knitting group in a doctors surgery. I think it legitimises knitting as a worthwhile activity that’s good for physical and mental wellbeing. I know that those of us that knit have known this for years, but there are still people out there that consider it to be a boring solitary hobby, primarily for elderly women! Nonsense!

There are real benefits to mental and physical wellbeing

  • The repetitive action of knitting has a calming effect, lowering heart rate and blood pressure (like stroking a pet or doodling)
  • It’s a mindful activity. By concentrating on the activity of knitting you can slow down, focus on what you are doing and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • It keeps your hands moving, good for the blood supply and muscle tone in the fingers.
  • There’s always something new to learn. Learning new skills encourages the development of new neural pathways, great for maintaining a healthy brain and improving memory.
  • Knitting groups are a great way of combatting social isolation and its effects of mental and physical health.

Now that this is being endorsed by healthcare professionals maybe more people will take up knitting!

What do you think are the benefits of knitting?

Knit and Natter Friday: 21 February (Part Two)

This afternoon was the weekly meeting of The Knit and Natter Group at Alnwick Medical Group, which is held every Friday from 2.30-4pm in the Lower Building Meeting Room.

This week’s completed charity knits include a hat, and some baby clothes, along with my twiddle mitts. We’ve also been working on some of our own projects, including socks, a baby cardigan for a group member’s first grandchild, due in May. One of the practice staff popped in for some advice on a top-down baby jacket they are about to start, also for an eagerly awaited first grandchild. There’s always some advice available and the little pink and turquoise top in the picture is a top-down construction too, so we had an example to show her!

I’d love to hear about any knit and natter or craft groups you are involved with.

Knit and Natter Friday 8th Feb

Here are some of the beautiful clothes for premature babies that some of our group members have knitted this week.

We have collected quite a haul recently and one of the members has kindly agreed to take them down to the Royal Victoria Infirmary Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Newcastle. A batch has already been sent to to the Special Baby Care Unit at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, Cramlington

The group, which was set up as part of a social prescribing initiative, meets at Alnwick Medical Group Lower Building every Friday afternoon from 2.30-4pm. Tea/coffee and biscuits are provided. Group members work on either charity knits or their own projects. Support and tuition is also available for novice knitters.

Knit and Natter Friday #10

It’s been another productive week for the Knit and Natter Group, who brought along these items for the charities we support. We meet every Friday from 2.30-4pm at Alnwick Medical Group’s Lower Building. Work in progress today included a jumper, a baby cardigan, a colourful bag, socks, and a hat to match the lovely purple and white premature baby coat in the picture.

We were talking about a tv programme that some of us saw the other night (about health). Apparently knitting is good for you! Of course we all knew that. If you learn new skills, then you lay down new neural pathways and that’s really good for your memory. Even experienced knitters are always learning new techniques. Reading patterns is a skill in itself, like learning a new language. Also, that gentle repetitive action of knitting has a calming effect (like doodling, or stroking a pet). Then there’s the social value of communal knitting and nattering and donating knitted items to charity. Basically its all great!

How do think knitting benefits you?

Knit and Natter Friday #9

Friday’s Knit and Natter at Alnwick Medical Group brought more lovely charity knits (including those pictured here). There are two “fish and chip baby” tops here (in peach and orange/brown/white), each with matching hats. These were among the first items the group started to knit, following news from one of the practice GPs, who had been doing voluntary work in a clinic in Africa – there was nothing to keep newborns warm in the maternity unit and they ended up being wrapped in newspaper (like fish and chips) – hence the name. These simple tshirt tops have been a great solution.

Also pictured are a couple of premature baby outfits, destined for the unit at the RVI, Newcastle. Both are very pretty and that lilac/white/pink one is a really lovely colour combination.

We also have a couple of fabulous hats here. The red and green one with the bobble was made by the husband of one of our members, using a knitting loom – she reports that he really likes using the loom. He’s one of the contributors who make charity knits but don’t actually attend the group – we have several ladies who make beautiful charity knits that are either dropped off at the surgery or send them with friends who do come along.

The Knit and Natter Group is held every Friday at The Lower Building on Infirmary Drive from 2.30 to 4pm. We make a voluntary contribution of £1 towards posting the charity knits to where they are needed and tea/coffee and biscuits are provided. Some members make the charity items, others work on their own projects. Some knit, others crochet. There’s always a lot of expertise and experience in the room to help out beginners or assist with problems.

Knit and Natter Friday #8.2

This afternoon it was our weekly Knit and Natter Group at Alnwick Medical Group, which runs from 2.30pm to 4pm on Fridays, in the Lower Building.

Once again, the members have made a beautiful selection of charity knits , but today we were focussing on some of the blankets made by our group. All of those in the picture are made of small squares sewn together. Whether these are knitted or crocheted (like the pretty pink and white one) , it’s a great way to get started if you are learning for the first time, with help on hand if you need some support

A lady recently brought a partly completed blanket into the surgery. She can no longer knit so couldn’t finish it. One of our members has now completed it (the lovely leaf design at the bottom of this picture). Haven’t they both done a great job?

Have you ever given someone else a project to finish, or completed one for someone else?

Knit and Natter Friday #7

This afternoon I was at the first Knit and Natter Group of 2020 at Alnwick Medical Group. As you can see, there was a magnificent haul of charity knits from group members who still found time to knit on top everything else they were doing over the Festive Season. Between us we handed in hats and angel tops for premature babies, “fish and chip” baby tops, and a twiddle mitt.

The room we use is now complete following refurbishment. This has included new table and chairs and a large interactive TV. We will be able to use this to share project photos and technique videos.

One of the lovely staff who support our knit and natter sessions was with us for the last time today as she is leaving to take up a post elsewhere. She has looked after us and kept us entertained over many Fridays. During this time she improved her own knitting , beginning with a scarf for her dog! She was the one who made us the amazing gingerbread house for our Christmas meeting. We will miss her very much but wish her every success in her new job.

Are you joining any new groups or activities in 2020?