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Clara Sedgwick in action MRS CLARA SEDGWICK who was born in Dentdale in 1898 and died in Settle in 1987, must have been one of the last authentic Dales knitters. I feel very privileged to have known her and to have been taught by her to knit with a knitting stick in the old Dales way. Clara's father taught her to knit when she was 4. The first items were garters for stockings and the yarn used was pulled back cotton from flour bags! When Clara made the grade with garters, she graduated to stocking knitting. She remembered how the most expert knitters in the dale made gloves for the parson and the gentry. Clara was a most versatile knitter. Not only could she knit stockings on 4 needles with the aid of her knitting stick, she could also do the most exquisite lace knitting on 2 very fine needles. TODAY - both hand and domestic machine knitting seem to be in decline, but there are signs of hope. In 1996, the national Knitting and Crochet Guild formed a Dales branch called the Airedale and Wharfedale Group. For hand and machine knitters and crocheters, this group of enthusiasts meets on the first Friday of the month @ 10-30-1.00pm in the Soroptimists' Room in Otley Street, Skipton. All interested in keeping these ancient Dales crafts alive and thriving, are welcome.

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(text, © Kathleen Kinder 1997. photos, © Kathleen Kinder/Bill Mitchell 1997 k.kinder@daelnet.co.uk)

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