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Coronavirus crisis helps fuel speeding knitting needles as Ross-shire rises to challenge for charity


By Federica Stefani

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Shona Docherty, president of Highland branch of the Queen Mother's Clothing Guild, making hand-crafted jumpers and socks for those in need. Picture: Callum Mackay
Shona Docherty, president of Highland branch of the Queen Mother's Clothing Guild, making hand-crafted jumpers and socks for those in need. Picture: Callum Mackay

KNITTERS across Ross-shire have gone above and beyond by creating more than 1000 items to be donated for charity.

Members of the Highland branch of the Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild have knitted more than 1300 garments of all sorts, which have been distributed throughout Scotland to charities helping vulnerable people, among which are Women’s Aid, AberNecessities and Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway.

President of the Highland group is Tain resident, Shona Docherty (62), renowned for her dexterous skills.

She said: “It has been really good this year, we normally get hundreds of items, but this is the first time we collected so many, they have been amazing.

“We have had many people across Ross-shire joining our group and because of lockdown, apart from gardening, many people turned to knitting.”

The guild gathers annually in Tain’s Free Church Hall in October to meet up and admire the collection of handy work, which is then delivered to the charities, however, this year Covid restrictions have made it impossible for the event to go ahead.

“We couldn’t wait any longer as the people who will receive the donations and going through rough times were really in need of warm clothing.

“One of the charities said that they are receivingmany more requests than usual because of Covid, also because it makes it more difficult for charities to collect and gather donations.”

The Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild was formed in 1882, and links up knitters across the nation to supply homeless charities.

Mrs Docherty’s mum, Henrietta Brown, better known as Etta, was awarded the British EmpireMedal for her work withthe Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild, and had been a member then president of the group for 28 years before passing away in 2018.

Anyone wishing to join the knitters should call Mrs Docherty on 01862 892711.

Related: Tain super-stitchers' masks boost charity



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