‘Knit-Stitch’ is a new inter-generational pilot project launched on Tuesday last (May 4), by Meath eco education business ‘Wool in School’. The project focuses on creating awareness of sustainability and environmental issues, with an emphasis on Irish wool.

The ‘Wool in School’ education initiative, run by fibre artist Lorna McCormack, teaches children how to develop sustainable practices, with workshops hosted in schools and libraries in pre-Covid times.

“We also had a ‘stop, drop and go’ facility where we would leave an airline trolly with the school, packed with wool and goodies to explore by the children. We have now gone online,” Lorna said.

‘Knit-Stitch’ aims to promote inter-generational learning by creating new possibilities and connections with children and older adults through the tradition of knitting, by facilitating interaction between schools, nursing homes and older relatives in the community.

“We are delighted to be using an Irish organic wool for this project, with origins from an organic sheep farm in Co. Kildare.

“‘We introduce teachers and children to wool from farm to fabric, looking at its properties and benefits, including why it is an eco fibre of the future. In this way, we encourage children to understand the heritage of wool while exploring its uses today,” said Lorna.

Young and Old

Encouraging inter-generational learning is more important now due to the impact of Covid-19 on communities, she contended.

“Wool in School aims to bring a learning opportunity which will enrich all involved – encouraging understanding and respect between generations.”

Benefits, Lorna said, include: Increased community connection; reduced isolation; knowledge sharing and transfer of skills; social interaction; building positive relationships; equal participation; breaking down barriers; improved wellbeing and mental health; supporting the school community; linking in with nursing homes and reinforcing community connection; and sustainability.

“Designed with sustainability in mind, our groundbreaking inter-generational ‘Knit-Stitch’ project provides kits which include organic wool, needles and a beautifully illustrated pattern by renowned knitwear designer Lucinda Guy, illustrated by Francois Hall,” Linda added.

“Our Irish organic yarn is produced and supplied by Donegal Yarns and Yarn Vibes Organic.”

Wool in school

The cotton bag kits come with packed wool and needles for children and a separate Covid-friendly bag for the older participants.

“All contact is by Facetime, WhatsApp, photos and Zoom calls because of the Covid restrictions we have at present,” said Lorna.

“We hope by September that children will be allowed back into nursing homes and face-to-face contact can be achieved.

“One of the children is doing this project with a grandparent in Co. Mayo, who they haven’t seen throughout the pandemic. We are also sending kits to a local school and nursing home next week,” Lorna concluded.