FAST LEARNERS: Rico Lescot and Jordan Ellis learn to knit from Gwynne Hodges.
FAST LEARNERS: Rico Lescot and Jordan Ellis learn to knit from Gwynne Hodges. Veda Dante

Purls of knowledge

THE knitting needles are clicking away in Brunswick Heads - and they are being wielded by a most unexpected group.

The Year 6 students from Brunswick Heads Public School are rediscovering the lost art of homecraft, thanks to the local branch of the Country Women's Association.

Each morning, separate groups of 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls spend nearly an hour learning how to cast off and catch-stitch.

"We've been running the program for three years and it's proving to be a real success," said CWA secretary Robin Baker, who came up with the idea with Joyce Rankin and Gwynne Hodges.

"There aren't many mothers who knit any more, mainly because the women are working.

"But the grannies and aunts do."

Despite taking years to learn how to knit "with tears pouring down my face", Robin said the children were picking up the skills "in about eight minutes".

"I remember having to knit navy and khaki wool socks and scarves for the soldiers and I had no idea what I was doing," she said. "These kids are quick learners and, interestingly, the boys this year have a lot more finesse than the girls."

Cooking is next on the agenda, with the CWA ladies keen to get involved in the Kitchen Garden Foundation school program, a sustainable food initiative of celebrity chef Stephanie Alexander.



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