Join a new generation of Rugby knitters

Very social Catherine Hanby, left, and Steph Gibson holding her baby son James
Very social Catherine Hanby, left, and Steph Gibson holding her baby son James

A knitting group about to celebrate its first anniversary is inviting more local people of all ages and both sexes to take up the craft.

Rugby-based Ball of Yarn, which meets regularly at different venues around the town, says it wants to dispel the myth that knitting is just for women of a certain age.

“Not all knitters are nannies and old age pensioners,” said Catherine Hanby, one of the co-founders of the group.

“The craft still has this outdated stereotypical image and as a result many people feel awkward about knitting in public.

“There are a lot of secret knitters out there, women and men, and we want more of them to come out of ‘the knitting closet’ and join us.

“We are a friendly group and have been up and running a year now since this September. Our members are a variety of ages. The youngest is a 12-year-old boy who comes along with his mum.”

Ball of Yarn, which is free to join, is made up of knitters and crocheters of different skills levels, from beginners to life-long devotees.

As well as social activities, members participate in a number of projects to support charities and good causes.

Earlier this year they knitted more than 1,300 baby hats and other items of clothing for premature baby units around the country. The items were made using acrylic yarn to avoid the risk of a baby suffering an allergic reaction.

On Saturday September 20, the group will be hosting a craft sale at Hillmorton Paddox Methodist Church to raise funds for the Friends of St Cross Hospital.

Catherine, who works as an IT consultant for the British Medical Association, added: “We all started to knit for different reasons. My great-aunt taught me when I was five to keep me occupied while she watched Countdown.

“Knitting is a very social activity. On a good night we can have as many as 25 people at some of our meetings. It’s a lifeline for some because it gets them out of the house.

“Studies have shown that knitting is also very therapeutic and a good way to relive stress.”

Ball of Yarn members meet on Tuesdays from 6.30pm at Table Table, Clifton Road, on Thursdays from 10.30am at Peggotty’s Cafe, and on the second Saturday of the month at Rustic Pumpkin Sewing Cafe.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page at