Sustain-Able 余 : ♥

….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….

England: iVenture with The Four Seasons’ Needle Workers

Who says Knitting are better for Grannies?

Russell Crowe Needle Worker

Oh Russell Crowe!

Introducing Carol Wigley, from the Four Seasons’ Needle Workers, in their own words, they describe themselves in this way:

“We are a relaxed friendly group which meets fortnightly in the West Yorkshire Playhouse Cafe to chat and use our needles…. we knit, crochet, and cross stitch for charity or for fun.


We have had several outings-in 2012 we visited Cusworth Hall, the Needlework Exhibition in Harrogate, and had our Christmas lunch at Nash’s Fish Restaurant.


Last year we donated items to the LGI, St George’s crypt, NFA Clinic, Harrogate Lodge Home and Smoothie bottle hats to Age UK.

(Cecilia’s reaction when Carol told her about Age UK: “What a coincidence, I dated the guy who ran Age Concern once…we went to Comic Relief  Event together but there was no way we’d be compatible, he went to Oxford Law, eek. ” Carol just laughed and said,”We also do Homeless shelters!” Its a JOKE! I love Age UK, just not the guy who ran it for a bit.)


How Much?

Membership is free although a donation of £1 at meetings to buy wool is always appreciated.



1.30-3pm Alternate Mondays



The West Yorkshire Playhouse Cafe



Email: 1stcarolwigley (a)


From Cecilia: The Four Seasons’ Needle Workers will be working with Iprotest to create something special and interesting in the near future!

Please honour these  pearl wearing wild ladies, who worked relentlessly to give to charity making things with love, care and genuine skills gleaned from over 30+ years of skilled handicraft work. I stumbled on their gatherings when I was meeting a friend there and noticed the nearly military precision of their needle works! 

At the same time they always emphasized: “All are welcome-no experience needed and help is given.”


I really liked that so I had a chat with Carol and we discussed the possibility of creating a little iVenture for iProtest with the Four Seaons’ ladies, so the world, some of whom did not  meet their own grannies, can get a taste of what that is like.


Ladies, I thank you for not laughing at my puerile attempt to “do something” of an Art Samples of knitting for you to look at. We all know you can execute all this so much better than I can given my total lack of patience and the fact that it takes skills and careful attention to details to actually knit something worth selling!


There is nothing wrong with being discerning about the standards of the product while welcoming those who are learning. The problem in many of the truly hideous products I see in the market seem to be a situation of “low standard, arrogant beginners” and that coupled with some low-brow attempts to get attention by knitting penis and lumps of turds for shock tactic… is just being disrespectful to the Artisan nature of Craft by passing off sloppy low standard work while individuals like these ladies are doing their best to reach a certain standards in excellence by continuously learning and helping one another without gathering in the name of any “isms”.


Like the Japanese ceramics artisans in the royal court of the Emperor, who smashed the first 1000 plates they made to understand the discipline, diligence and hard work needed to perfect a craft….the ladies often made small practice pieces .

Wild knitting

But unlike the artisans, instead of discarding the practice pieces, they are able to put it to good use as blankets for charities. Woolen blankets  are apparently  needed for charities working with poverty stricken individuals.


There is a very vibrant and energetic atmosphere to the meeting, even though I’m personally one of those people that really don’t have the discipline to join their Veteran League in their very focussed way of following extremely intricate designs. I can’t even read a knitting pattern, let alone make something from it.


But what I really liked was the way they were willing to go “OFF PISTE”  when I asked them if they had any design patterns they’d like to show me and their reactions were,” We don’t have any, it is all in our heads!”


With a simple request, Carol was able to start the ladies on figuring out some new ways to execute my “sample” and I am sure there will be a much better way of doing it.

ashley-smith Hippie top Ostrich feathered bottom

That is the beauty of working with people who are not rank amateurs in their mastery of a craft and they remind me of the times when I could just talk to the expert technicians at Edinburgh Printmaker who were there to help artists execute our visions no matter how wild the request is.


The entire room burst out laughing when I asked,

“Is it okay to take your photos so that we can get you on the internet?”

and one of the ladies responded,

“Of course, but only if you air-brush and lift my boobs back up and make me look like I’m 20 again!”

1950s shrug

Ladies, this is the beginning of a beautiful Artistic friendship. 

Don’t be shocked by what I will ask you to “needle craft”, trust me,

it will NEVER BE BORING! 🙂



P.S I am sure the models wearing it will blush when they find out it could be their grannies who knitted it especially the Asian ones! Top secret, no blabbing! 🙂 It is “ART” when we do it! (in-joke)

Hot Cowl

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