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News / Knitting project raises stakes

A CROWDFUNDING campaign that aims to re-energise hand knitting in the isles by providing free tuition to youths has already reached its target of nearly £5,000.

Shetland PeerieMakkers launched on 12 October to gauge interest in a one-year pilot project that would see volunteers give free knitting tuition to young people.

The campaign was launched by the Fetlar-based Brough Lodge Trust amid concerns over the future of hand knitting in Shetland after it was removed from the school curriculum.

The organisers now say that the fundraising total of £4,500 has been reached in just 16 days, with donations flying in from across the globe.

In response, the campaign has updated its target to £9,000, which – if achieved – would allow lessons to run for a second spell between October 2016 and June 2017.

Brough Lodge Trust chairman Pierre Cambillard praised the “generosity” of donors as the project revs up for its second phase of fundraising.

“People across the world have backed the idea,” he said. “As well as contributions from Shetland, we’ve had huge support from Scotland, England, the United States and Canada and there have also been donations from Wales, Northern Ireland, Japan, France, Norway and elsewhere.

“The support has been about more than money, too.  We’ve had dozens of messages from folk who obviously care very deeply about Shetland’s knitting culture and want to see it thrive.”

The crowdfunding system sees donors receive a reward depending on the amount they pledge to the project.

A donation of £50 will see the donor receive two signed copies of the DVD The Fine Art of Fair Isle Knitting with Shetland’s Hazel Tindall, while the top pledge of £200 will bag a weekend stay for two people at Lerwick’s Brentham House.

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