Following the carnage of World War 1 many of the survivors of that conflict hoped to preserve the unique spirit of friendship forged during the years of privation and danger. In themonths that followed the Armistice, Comrades Clubs began to be established throughout the Nation by British Servicemen.
Here on North Tyneside the Whitley Bay and Monkseaton Comrades of the Great War Club was formed and its doors were first opened in 1920 when the first members entered what was a converted private dwelling house at 14 The Links, Whitley Bay on the seafront.
But like many community groups, they sometimes struggle financially and so welcome other groups to use their facilities and pay some rent.
We still knit these little hats for Age UK. A company that makes fruit smoothie drinks called Innocence Smoothies has a thing (I'm not sure if it's advertising or fund-raising; I'll let you decide) where one month of the year in Sainsbury's (a national supermarket chain) all their bottles have little hats on them. Each year our group is contacted to let us know our 'quota', that is how many little hats the company will pay us to knit.
For each hat we give them they give something like 25p to Age UK. It works out to a ridiculous hourly 'wage' but that matters nought as we enjoy keeping our hands busy and I particularly love using up tiny bits of yarn. There is probably a mental diagnosis for my obsession with small bits of textiles and yarn, but never mind.
I set myself the goal of knitting 100 hats, a good, finite number. It helps a lot to know when I can stop! Otherwise it could go on forever, so 100 it was. We always meet our quota (something like 2500 this year) with several hundred left over, so I'm happy with only making a small contribution to the effort.
Only I miscounted. I thought I had 100, but then when I put them into rows and columns to photograph there were only 99. So I sat down and knitted another.
|And the pink one makes 100!|
And you know what happened.
|The lost hat, now 101|
I found that 100th hat hiding in another bag...so I had 101 hats. I also made extra pom poms as many of the little old ladies in the group aren't fond of making them (and many don't like the sewing up process either; neither do I but I crochet them together which makes it a bit easier). I sat down and made 100 pom poms while we were on holiday as well. I'm pretty good at pom poms these days, if I do say so myself.
And then you know what happened? When we got home and sat down in front of the telly after dinner to catch up on various history programmes, I found 8 more hats sitting on the bookcase next to my chair...so I'll be turning in 109 hats.
I'm not even going to count those pom poms again.