The Bristol Knittivity
The Bristol knittivity has become a familiar sight in shopping centres around Bristol just before Christmas. However I thought you might be interested in the story behind its creation. A few years ago a group of friends who worked at St. Teresa’s catholic school in Horfield, Bristol started a knitting group called the knutty knitters. When Christine, one of the group became ill with cancer and sadly died her friends decided to do something to raise funds for St. Peter’s hospice where she had spent her last weeks. St. Peter’s hospice is the only adult hospice in Bristol and each year they care for about 2,500 patients. Care is provided free of charge but the hospice costs about £20,000 a day to run. About £15,000 of this comes from legacies, donations and shop purchases.
The ladies decided to use their hobby to raise funds and the Bristol knittivity was the result. Eventually the seven knutty knitters made 13 figures, 3 kings, 2 shepherds, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, an angel, a donkey, a sheep, a lamb and a camel. Each figure used up to 7 lbs of wool and took about 9 months to knit. The talented ladies even made their own patterns.
Each year St. Peter’s hospice choose the figures for one of their charity Christmas cards and photograph them against a famous Bristol landmark like the Clifton suspension bridge or the Cabot tower.
The knutty knitters have raised over £150,000 from the knitivity but unfortunately this will be the last year it will be on display as it is getting old and worn. In my photo taken in a local supermarket the poor donkey and camel are showing the effects of too many children trying to ride them. The knutty knitters have knitted a smaller version of the nativity for display at St. Peter’s hospice and I have heard that there may be knitted penguins on tour next year.
For those people who are old enough to remember the two Ronnies sketch, my favourite card from St. Peter’s hospice this year has to be Four candles
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