Shetland knitters young and old are being asked to contribute to an attempt to beat the world record for the largest hand-knitted blanket.
The challenge was started by Alzheimer Scotland (Argyll and Clyde), which is hoping the blanket will be made up of 71,000 squares – this was the number of people thought to have dementia in Scotland (diagnosed or undiagnosed) when the project was conceived a couple of years ago. Each square will, therefore, represent a person with dementia.
Shetland dementia adviser Ann Williamson thought the isles, with its tradition of knitting, would be well placed to help with this attempt, which can even be undertaken by people with dementia. She also thought it would be an excellent way to highlight the prevalence of the condition – since the project’s inception the number of diagnosed sufferers in Scotland has risen to 84,000, with figures set to double in the next 25 years.
Mrs Williamson said of the knitting project: “In addition to awareness raising, it is an opportunity for people to regain a lost skill or learn a new one. It is an activity in which individuals with dementia can participate.”
Hazel Hughson from Shetland Arts is working alongside Mrs Williamson on this and will act as a point of contact for collection for squares, which should be finished by the end of May.
Mrs Hughson has placed a basket with wool and knitting needles in Bonhoga Gallery for anyone wishing to take part.