Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Becky's Bridge hats ward off winter chill

If you're just beginning to feel the winter chill around your head, take a walk down to An Tearmann and check out the woolly hats there, writes Brian Byrne.

They're colourful, individual, and very very warm, and made by a Bridge Camphill house-parent, Becky Ditchburn.

Working with the Bridge community for some two years now, north of England native Becky doesn't have a background in knitting or needlework, but finds it a great way of filling in waiting hours when, for instance, she's accompanying a Camphill resident to an appointment.

"I inherited a whole lot of cones of wool from my mother in law in Cumbria, and worked out how to do a simple hat to get going," she says. "Then they just kept on coming." Her mother in law was an 'amazing' worker with needles of all kinds, it seems. "Her crochet work was particularly unusual and exquisite, and she could knit Aran jumpers without needing a pattern."

Once Becky had provided headgear for all her friends, the work got a further impetus when she used her talent to raise funds for a London Marathon sponsorship for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Now she never goes anywhere without her bag of knitting, and finds she can complete a whole hat while waiting three hours in a hospital with a resident.

The headgear is on sale in An Tearmann, and the money is used to help top up grants income to Bridge Camphill projects.

One problem, Becky has finally reached the last of the 'inherited' cones, and has had to top up her own stores with wool from places like the Cottonwood Tree shop. "Somehow, for sentimental reasons, I can't quite bring myself to start on what would effectively be the last hat on the cone."