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Highland knitters to the fore as guild produces items to hand over to charities during Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic


By Louise Glen

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

A TEAM of knitters from the Highlands have swollen their numbers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Highland branch of The Queen Mother's Clothing Guild have been making hand crafted jumpers and socks for those in need, and hope to hand over a good number of items by the end of the year.

The Queen Mother's Clothing Guild was formed in 1882, and links up knitters across the nation to supply homeless charities as well as Women's Aid.

Shona Docherty (62) from Tain, who is the president of the Highland group said: "We have had new knitters come forward to make socks, jumpers and other things like knitted children's clothes and toys during the pandemic, and it is lovely to see new people come forward.

"We are always keen for new knitters to come and join us – so it is really good to see a positive impact from more people staying at home.

"We supply the knitters with the wool and a pattern if they need it, and they knit away over the whole of the year.

"My mum knitted, and she passed on her love of the craft to me."

Mrs Docherty's mum, Henrietta Brown, better known as Etta, was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work with the Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild. and had been a member then president of the group for 28 years when she passed away in March 2018.

Etta was affectionately known as ‘Granny Pancake’ for the quality of her baking and was fondly thought of by the late Queen Mother who she met on many occasions.

Mrs Docherty continued: "Like my mum, if I am not sewing I am knitting."

Mrs Docherty had the wool shop in Tain, until it was closed three years ago.

After the Queen Mother's Clothing Guild knitters have been working away at home all year, there is a large show of all their knitting before it is all sent off to local charities.

Mrs Docherty continued: "In October in the Free Church Hall in Tain we get together all the items that have been knitted for a coffee morning and a show of crafts.

She continued: "The items are then distributed to places such as the Women's Aid in Ross and Sutherland, and to the women in Inverness. They are also distributed to the homeless in Inverness and across the country.

"The items are good handcrafted items and people are always delighted to get them."

The Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild was set up in 1882 by Lady Wolverton who was asked by the matron of an orphanage in Dorset to provide 24 pairs of hand-knitted socks and 12 jerseys for the children.

Anyone who would like to join the knitters should contact Mrs Docherty on 01862 892711.

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