Friday, April 1st 2005

The FULL Story...


By Kay Cooper

KNIT-WITS of Hexham, take up your needles – a weekly knitting bee among the cosy sofas of the Forum Cinema coffee bar is about to cast off.

The crafty brain behind the purl-and-plain club is Kate Jackson, of Langley. A lapsed knitter, she was keen to get back into the habit.

“Knitting means you can be busy and creative, but relaxed at the same time,” said Kate, (49), who works as an educational midwife attached to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

“It’s something you can do while you chat, or watch TV, and it is lovely to make things for people.”

Kate’s hobby – once the province of white-haired grannies – now has some glamorous supporters.

Catherine Zeta Jones reportedly made personalised ponchos for her family last Christmas, and her fellow movie stars Cameron Diaz, Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts have been snapped getting out their knitting needles between takes. Model Kate Moss also chills with a few rows while awaiting her turn on the catwalk.

Now Hexham is getting into the knitting swing, courtesy of Kate who learned the skill as a little girl of eight.

“It doesn’t have to be fuddy duddy. My daughter Martha, who’s 19, knits covers for mobile phones and iPods,” she said.

“Whenever I’m out I take a piece of knitting with me and people are always interested. It’s a great way of meeting people, and that gave me the idea of starting a club somewhere in Hexham.”

Kate selected the Forum coffee bar because of its space, comfortable seating, and peace during a market-day matinee.

Manager of the Forum Cinema Robbie Newton, said: “It’s a good idea. I’m pleased to do something for the community. And the knitters can get the best coffee in Hexham while they’re here!”

Several of Kate’s friends are knitting wannabes who can’t wait for their first meeting at 1pm on Tuesday, April 12.

“There’s Mary who has four children to make things for, and Vick who aims to finish the half-knitted sweater under the bed. Another friend hopes knitting will help her give up smoking,” said Kate.

“Anyone is welcome who wants to have a go. I’ll bring some spare needles just in case.”

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