Cramlington knitters 'banned from library' by council

Yarn bombers weave woolly magic in Northern Ireland

Knitting groups are often seen as a key feature of a community, meeting in public spaces to encourage socialising and the spread of crafty pursuits.

But one club in Cramlington, Northumberland has found that, despite three years of charitable work, they are being banned from holding their weekly meeting at the local library.

The Knit ‘n’ Natter group have been prohibited from meeting at the new library building by Northumberland County Council, they claim.

According to the council the new venue is too small to accommodate the group of between 20 and 30 members, however people in the club believe this is not the real reason.

One of the group’s founding members, Margaret Derrick, told the BBC: “We’ve been told different stories and different complaints and I don’t now know what to believe.

"We've been told knitting needles are dangerous instruments and against health and safety policy. We've also been told that it's because we are too noisy.”

She went on to say that the group began meeting at the library after a request from the council, but now that the building has moved they cannot afford to hire a room to use.

Tory councillor for Cramlington North, Wayne Daley has described the decision as “barmy” and said it was “unbelievable” that the council were throwing the group, which has done important charity work for the NHS, out of a community library.

He told the BBC that he had heard the reasons for the decision were down to health and safety.

Knit ‘n’ Natter has been meeting once a week since 2010 and concentrate their efforts on knitting items for the local community.

They have so far made thousands of garments for ill and premature babies in nearby hospitals and also used their impressive woolwork skills to knit around 1,500 pairs of breasts and knitted wombs to help local midwives in training sessions.

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