A Knit and a Knatter in tribute to Thomas Paine
MORE than 200 years ago, local legend Thomas Paine donated the profits from his most successful work to buy gloves for the rebel army in America.Common Sense sold 500,000 copies in its first year alone and the money it raised helped the US to gain its independence.
MORE than 200 years ago, local legend Thomas Paine donated the profits from his most successful work to buy gloves for the rebel army in America.
Common Sense sold 500,000 copies in its first year alone and the money it raised helped the US to gain its independence.
And now a group of ladies in Thetford are paying tribute to him in the 200th anniversary of his death by donating 560 pairs of handmade gloves to charity.
Volunteers from the Knit and Knatter knitting group, based at the Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life, spent thousands of hours making the unique gloves.
And this week they donated well over 1,000 individual mittens to Great Yarmouth's Seamen's Mission, The Salvation Army and West Suffolk Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit.
Rev Paine from Great Yarmouth Seamen's Mission collected the adult sized mittens, which will be used by fisherman out at sea, while the smallest gloves will be used by babies at the hospital.
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The Salvation Army also received a selection of the mittens for their Crisis at Christmas appeal.
Knitter Janis Ladipo from Thetford said that she kept the mammoth task interesting by setting herself challenges like weaving national flags into the back of the hands.
“A lot of traditional crafts are being lost, but it's still going strong here,” she said.
The group met twice a month to knit at the museum and originally aimed for just 200 pairs.
But they enjoyed the sessions so much that when they reached their target they just kept going.
Sue Ketchell, one of the founders of the group and an employee at the museum, said that the nattering is as important as the knitting.
“It's a beautiful building, so it's nice to invite the community in to have a bit of fun in it,” she said.
Now that the mittens are complete the group have turned their attention to other benevolent projects.
Currently they are knitting toys and Christmas decorations and have said that they will knit an enormous elephant for the Thetford Sure Start Playgroup.
For more information on the twice-monthly Knit and Knatter sessions contact Sue Ketchell on 01842 752599.