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Knitting has always been the most popular of the crafts for obvious reasons – it’s relatively easy (with the emphasis being on the word 'relatively'!) it serves a practical purpose in that it produces clothes and wool is always readily available.

However, one would have thought that these days, with the advent of cheap clothing from the Far East, knitting would have gone out of fashion. Indeed it did for a number of years towards the end of the 20th century and the start of this one but it has now come very much back into fashion. It seems to be led by film and pop stars who want to be seen to be 'real parents' and this is spreading downwards to the rest of us.

Whatever the reasons, it’s to be welcomed because knitting is an excellent way of keeping the brain and the fingers active and getting a real sense of achievement by producing lovely things of your own.

Craft topics and links

Did you know that there is a Knitting and Stitching Show that you can visit if you want to find out more about knitting and, indeed, other crafts? In fact, there are four such shows at the Olympia, London (March), the Alexandra Palace, London (October), the RDS, Dublin (November) and the International Centre, Harrogate (November). To find out more about these shows, visit

You could also join the Knitting and Crochet Guild in order to gain access to their library and news desk, get tuition, attend workshops and visit their exhibitions and open days at their centre in Holmfirth, Yorkshire.

If you want to start from scratch, never having done any knitting before, there are any number of magazines you can buy to help you. Most shops that sell knitting wool are only too glad to help, or you could go to to find a course that appeals to you. Over the last few years the number of knitting clubs has grown enormously. Typically, people go once a week or once a fortnight to knit, chat, learn new techniques and get help and advice. A knitting club is also somewhere you can meet new friends, so give it a try. Go to your local wool shop to find out if there is one near you.

One word of caution. Don’t start knitting if your motivation is to save money – because you probably won’t. Almost anything you decide to knit can almost certainly be bought for less than the cost of the wool you will buy. But think of what you will be missing if you just buy it!


This Guide to Arts and Crafts is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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