Ann Kingstone claims knitwear has cast off its 'fuddy-duddy' image

Online knitting classes bring crafts to busy homes

Following on from a hugely successful Wool Week, knitting is becoming even more appealing to the younger generation.

Knitwear designer Ann Kingstone claims that the craft is now one of the fastest growing hobbies among young people, and has cast off its 'fuddy-duddy' image.

She told the Huddersfield Examiner that it was now much more of a "luxury hobby", and has moved away from the stereotypes of only appealing to an elderly audience.

This is supported by the average age on the knitting internet forum ravelry.com being 30, and at 45 Ms Kingstone admits that she is actually one of the oldest members of the knitting group in Huddersfield that she regularly attends.

She explained that today's knitters are keen to stretch their creative talents and are not averse to spending substantial amounts on speciality and luxury yarns.

The writer of Novel Knits and A Time To Knit who is about to publish a third book, revealed that one of her more popular patterns uses wool which costs £120, while others made from Yorkshire yarns will set the knitter back around £50.

"It's not about saving money anymore," she said, as unlike her parents and grandparents generations, it can often be cheaper to buy knitted garments in the shop than to make them at home.

However, while Ms Kingstone is keen to pass on her skills, she admits that she has failed to interest her eldest son. Her eight and ten-year-old boys are starting to learn though.

The confirmed hand-knitter added that it is not just women who are enjoying knitting.

"Quite a lot of men are taking it up and enjoy making things for their children," she told the newspaper, adding "even celebrities. I know the person - a man who runs a knitting shop in London - who taught Ben Fogle to knit".

She recommended that anyone looking to develop their knitting skills should look to British wool and local groups, which can help make the learning process a more social experience.

Ann Kingstone's new book specialises in Yorkshire Yarns and is entitled Born & Bred.

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