DUNCAN BARKES: Knit and natter – it’s what the cool kids do

Duncan Barkes
Duncan Barkes

IS knitting the solution to better educated and better behaved schoolchildren?

Once the domain of elderly ladies, the type who would not look out of place in an episode of Miss Marple, it seems the activity could achieve far more than just a nice jumper.

A Kent school has introduced knitting to the curriculum with some extraordinary results.

Having started a lunchtime knitting club, Worth Primary, near Deal, discovered that it improved pupil’s behaviour.

Instead of noisy computer games, conversation, accompanied by the click-clack of needles, flourished.

Teachers claim that the knitting project was so successful that they were soon able to use it in other lessons such as maths (pupils had to calculate how many stitches they would need), and history (an opportunity to look at clothing from various periods).

Who would have thought that knitting could be so beneficial?

It now appears that it may well find itself reinstated in schools across the land after an absence of nearly three decades.

The view is that it should be mandatory for all boys and girls up to the age of 14 and covered in design and technology courses.

Some educationalists are dismissing the idea, claiming school time could be better used. I believe they are being short-sighted.

Knitting in schools would be the perfect antidote to our “throwaway” society and our need for instant gratification. The sense of accomplishment that is the reward of creating something from scratch would help foster self-esteem.

It is not just schoolchildren who appear to benefit from knitting.

A pub in Chichester, The Park Tavern, holds a weekly “bitch and stitch” evening where people turn up to moan and knit.

It is a brilliant idea.

In this age of fast-moving technology and convenience, I find it quite heartening that knitting could once again be considered cool.

Who would have thought that to be seen with a ball of wool and some needles would be considered trendy in the 21st century?

Radio station is a lifeline

COOL jazz, swing and crooners feature in my new programme on Angel Radio.

If Marconi was still around I think he would be chuffed with how his invention is being used.

The station is a lifeline for the older population and is a registered charity.

My programme airs tonight at 8pm and Saturday at 6pm.

Hear it online or on digital – check www.angelradio.co.uk for details of how.