Fashion designers recruit Dutch grannies to create knitwear

Fashion designers recruit Dutch grannies to create knitwear

It seems that you just can't beat grannies when it comes to knitting prowess, as two Dutch entrepreneurs have recently discovered.

Combining the fashion sense of young designers with the skills cultivated among a group of elderly women in their local community, Jip Pulles and Niek van Hengel have decided to create a range of original knitwear, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Willy Mollanaar and Loes Wijnbergen are just two of the grandma knitters recruited by the designers and now pick up their yarn in the back of a retirement home in the suburbs of Rotterdam to create some high fashion pieces.

However, this isn't work for the crafters and is part of a knitting club for women aged between 58 and 85, according to the newspaper.

What's more, the women love it, with Willy explaining that it acts as an avenue for her to channel her passion.

“My grandchildren don’t like to wear what I knit and I didn’t have anyone to knit for anymore,” she said. “I learned to knit at school and it’s really fun to do, it’s relaxing, but it’s really sad when no one wears or uses what you knit.”

The fruits of the grandmothers' labour are then sold in Granny's Finest, a small shop in Rotterdam run by Pulles and van Hengel.

However, the knitters won't accept payment, but instead seek photos of customers wearing their woollen wonders.

It is this satisfaction and the social side of the club that drives on these women. Knitting is a brilliant way to meet new people and learn or develop a useful skill in the process.

Niza Rauws, 80, told the Saudi Gazette: "I come here just as much for the new designs and for knitting material as for the social contact. It’s not always obvious how to stay busy and meet new people when you're old and retired."

Nonetheless, it isn't just people of advanced age picking up their needles and getting into knitting either.

Scouts in Scotland have been raising funds for an international expedition camp in Denmark by knitting a car coat, the Ross-shire Journal reported.

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