Ballyfin knitters break record

three ladies from Ballyfin packed up their wool and needles and headed off to Roscommon for a day out with a difference recently.

three ladies from Ballyfin packed up their wool and needles and headed off to Roscommon for a day out with a difference recently.

Fionnuala McDermott and Margaret Wren from Barnashrone and Sheila Bennett from Campclone are friends who share a love of craftwork. Fionnuala, an avid crochet maker, was browsing online when she spotted the plea for 1,000 knitters to come to the annual Roscommon Lamb Festival on Saturday April 30 to try and break a Guinness world record. The record is for the most number of people to knit constantly for 15 minutes at the same time in the same place, and was last created in Portland, Oregon when 957 knitters gathered together.

Fionnuala suggested the trip to her friends who teach knitting at Derrylamogue National School where their grandchildren attend, and they agreed to go.

“I thought it would be a nice day out. We registered online and went up on the train, we went to Dr Hyde Park and joined in with 1,160 knitters to break the record. There were people there aged from seven to 100 years old. Sitting in front of us was a boy aged nine or ten knitting away, it was lovely to see. People came from Germany and the UK to join in,” she said.

The participants could either carry on knitting an existing piece or create squares, to be later joined together and made into blankets for the Irish Wheelchair Association, which is exactly what the ladies opted to do.

After the successful attempt, the friends left their completed squares with stewards, and visited the festival marquee in the town, where they enjoyed sights such as roasting lambs, and wool-spinning demonstrations, before heading back home delighted with their day.

“It was a great atmosphere. Very good and very well organised,” praised Fionnuala.