News and Events
Picking up a pair of knitting needles and getting creative has
been shown to boost our wellbeing.
In fact, it has had such a profound benefit on one group that
they have found the confidence to experiment with their skills,
using unusual materials such as copper wire, yachting rope and even
strings of liquorice and landed their artwork a place in an art
For the members of the weekly Knit and Natter group at St
Andrew's Church in Wythenshawe, picking up a ball of two-ply and
making friends marked the start of a journey into experimental
knitting which has resulted in an exhibition of their work at the
Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall.
The group of service users with Manchester Mental Health and
Social Care Trust's Studio One service has been established for a
year and is now nine-strong. Members were encouraged to take
their knitting skills a step further when a freelance artist from
Manchester City Galleries, Sarah Marsh, joined them for 12 weeks,
inspiring them to use different materials, including spray paint,
to create items that are as far removed from the more familiar hats
and scarves as possible.
Providing technical support and guidance, Sarah encouraged the
group to use their skills in different ways, so that everyone was
able to create a unique piece. All of the artworks are now
being exhibited within the current 'Knitted Elegance' exhibition at
the Gallery of Costume. It explores creative knitwear since
the fifties and runs until 2 June 2013.
Matthew Worden, Manager of the Studio One service, says that
research shows that a spot of knit one, purl one can have a
positive impact on mood and feelings.
"It's a great craft - it can make you feel calmer and happier,
it's good for memory and helps people to think in a more organised
way as well as improving concentration," he says.
"We introduced the group alongside the other arts we practice
because knitting socially fosters a feeling of belonging, enjoyment
The experience has inspired the group to become a little more
daring with their materials and end products. Member Joy
Bennett says: "This project has really inspired me. I've
never thought about knitting with anything but wool - I want to be
more experimental in my knitting once we have finished this."