A self-confessed Acorn 'superfan' has spent most of the year knitting baby clothes for the charity to sell in its ‘Reuse’ shop to support the “great work” they do.
Taxi driver Garda Knowles hasn’t worked since 25 March, but has filled her hours by “knitting away”.
“I have knitted all my life, I learned when I was eight and I am over 70 now,” she said. “I have knitted clothes for my children and grandchildren.”
When lockdown struck earlier this year, she had just finished making an outfit for her grandson in different colours. She suddenly had the idea of knitting baby outfits to be sold in the Acorn Reuse shop for Christmas.
In total, Garda made 75 items, which she then matched with babygro’s and other clothes - some of which she purchased brand new. The clothes are available in ‘premie’ sizes and all the way to 18 months.
Garda still hasn’t put her needles away and has already created a few new outfits which will be at the shop in the coming weeks.
“I still have lots of wool left,” she said, admitting she is addicted to the material.
“Every time I go near a wool shop I think ‘I don’t have that colour’. The other day I went to town to buy some buttons and I couldn’t help buying some peach colours I didn’t have.
“I don’t think I will ever run out of wool!”
Pictured: Garda says she only buy plants from Acorn.
This is not the first time Garda has donated items to Acorn to help raise funds: last year, she created jewellery boxes.
“I have a got a passion for Acorn ever since the first time I went there to get plants,” Garda said.
“There was a young lad with Down’s syndrome who asked me, ‘Are you going to buy that?’ and when I said yes, he said he had grown the plant since it was a baby. He had actually planted the seed!
“From that day onwards, I have just loved it. They do such wonderful work with people with special needs.”
Pictured: “I am absolutely in love with Acorn," Garda said.
Garda says she gets her plants and books from Acorn and is “quite happy to do whatever I can to help them”. She is even considering volunteering for them when she gives up taxi driving - even though that would mean less knitting.
“It’s my way of giving something back to wonderful people that do such great work,” she said. “I am absolutely in love with Acorn.
“I would encourage everyone to keep supporting Acorn. I have never come across someone that is not respectful or helpful, they will always try and find the answer if you ask anything.
“They are lovely, lovely people.”
Islanders wishing to support the charity can take part in its Advent Calendar.
The initiative invites people to pick a number between 1 and 24, which relates to items on their Amazon Wish List. These will directly help people who have a disability or long-term health condition who attend Acorn’s training and development projects, which include upcycling, sewing, making Christmas gifts, and working on the allotment.
People will then be asked to buy the item that goes with the number. Prices range from £5.99 for sanding bits to £58.99 for a drill, with the average price per item of just £16.
“We need this support because it’s been such a tough year, with Acorn closing its doors for 15 weeks,” Fundraising & Relationships Manager Caroline Spencer explained. “This will help our projects continue running into 2021 and will mean we can continue with our upcycling and textiles projects, which in turn generates an income.
“We are asking people to help us bring some joy to our elves who work year-round to upcycle and create magical items for our loyal customers. This year, more than ever, they are in need of some new equipment, paint and tools.”
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