Thoughts from category: the big knit 2014

Meet the Knitters: Karen and the Chesterfield Knitting Group

Last week, we heard that a knitting group in Chesterfield had managed to tally up a whopping 4000 (yes there are three zeroes after that 4) hats and (after counting those zeroes a few more times) we tracked them down to find out how they’d managed to achieve such an incredible total.


It turns out that in 2013 a lady called Karen set up StraightCurves, an arts and crafts group which teaches all sorts of crafty bits and bobs to people of all ages in the local community. Alongside teaching, Karen also set up ‘social crafting’ sessions so that people with a passion for all things crafty could get together each week and have a bit of a laugh and a cuppa over their current projects. She called one of these sessions ‘Woolly Wednesday’ and, last year, some of the ladies of Woolly Wednesday decided to have a go at making some hats for the Big Knit.


They managed to knit themselves a grand total of 100 hats (which is a more than brilliant total), but Karen decided that they needed a slightly more ambitious target for 2014 and they thought 1000 hats would be all they could manage. 


 However, the hats just kept rolling in and they managed to reach that target by 12th July. So, they decided to keep going. They soon ran out of space in their studio for all those hats so Sue, who owns their local wool shop, The Knitting and Sewing Bee, kindly set up a drop off point so that they had somewhere to put them all.


There are currently 53 members of their group on Facebook (with a few more offline members too) made up of people of all different ages and knitting expertise – some only started to knit or crochet 2 weeks ago, and others have been knitting one, pearling one for over 65 years. They like to set each other little hat challenges – one of which was to recreate the Crooked Spire (a local Chesterfield landmark) in hat form (which, they're proud to say, they did manage). As they've enjoyed the Big Knit so much this year, and managed to collect and make so many little hats, they’ve now set up a year-round charity knitting group which will focus on knitting for different causes close to their hearts.

Their story really inspired us, and we want to say a massive thank you to Karen and all of the Chesterfield knitters. You’ve really got stuck in and used your crafting expertise to make a huge difference, and raise lots and lots of money for Age UK. So, thanks knitters of Chesterfield – you’re all brilliant.

Meet the Knitters: Ella

Last week, a lovely lady called Lesley got in touch to champion her friend Ella, who has been tirelessly knitting hats for the Big Knit all year.


Ella is 78 years old and, when she’s not knitting (or pom pom making), she's working at her local community centre cooking lunches with Age UK.

Ella has managed to tally up a stonking 1000 hats this year (to add to the 500 she made for us last year) and, after sending them in, is now helping her friend bulk up her donation too.


Thank you for the absolutely amazing effort Ella – you’re a true knitting champion and your hard work will make a massive difference to this year's campaign. We couldn't do it without you.

the Big Knit crochet patterns



We've been asking you lovely lot to get your knitting needles clacking for the Big Knit 2014, but we'd also really love it if you got your crochet hook...hooking...too. Lots of you have been asking us for crochet patterns this year so we though we'd compile a list of our favourites below:

Types of hat

Animal patterns

Not animal patterns

You can also find all of our knitted hat patterns here and more on the lovely Jo's site here

Thanks very much to everyone who is knitting/crocheting for us this year - we couldn't do it without you. 

the big knit 2014

It's big. It's woolly. It's back. 

It's the Big Knit 2014

Knit a hat, send it to us, we'll put it on a smoothie, someone will buy the smoothie and 25p from every bottle will go straight to Age UK to help keep older people warm in winter. Bingo*.

Everything you need to know about it (how to get involved, patterns and other lovely stuff) is on our very special Big Knit page here or watch our ad below:

So, if you fancy getting involved by knitting us a hat (or two, or three, or 5000 maybe, just a suggestion) then pop them in an envelope along with a note clearly stating:

  • how many you've knitted
  • the date, your name and address

Then send them all through by 12th December 2014 to:

The Big Knit 2014
innocent drinks
342 Ladbroke Grove
W10 5BU

And, if you can't knit, never fear – you can get involved by texting ‘Knit’ to 70004 to donate £3 towards the campaign.

Happy knitting (/texting).

* sometimes while they're playing Bingo.