For Greysteel woman, Deirdre McFadden, knitting is more than just a pastime.
Whenever she gets a spare minute, the mum-of-three has her needles at the ready, rustling up another of her quirky creations. Whether it’s waiting on the potatoes to boil, or during a television show, she’s knitting. “I am addicted,” she says, laughing. “I just love to knit. I suppose I like it so much because it’s very relaxing and it takes your mind off the day.”
Surprisingly, Deirdre, known as Dee to her friends, only took up knitting about a year ago, when her sister announced she was pregnant. “I thought I would try a few baby cardigans, so that’s how it started,” she says. Teaching herself, with a bit of help from online sites, Deirdre’s talent for knitting soon became apparent and news of her crafty creations have spun into a triumph, with requests flooding in from relatives and friends for all sorts of items as gifts. Among the quirkier items she has knitted is a roughly foot-high pair of palm trees for Faughanvale PS’s jungle themed library; a beanstalk; a miniature knitted bride - complete with knitted diamanté veil - for a friend; and countless teddies and elephants for charity raffles. And it’s all free of charge.
“It’s the satisfaction you get from finishing something and then getting the compliments and seeing people appreciate it and, once I start something, I like to see it through.”
So what does her family think of it?
“My husband, Michael slags me off about it, and he’ll look at something and say ‘very good’! I did try a few jumpers, but no Christmas jumpers for Michael yet!”
Daughter Shannon, aged 9, has caught the bug and, although just starting out, she’s managed to complete several bags.
“I think my mum’s knitting is really cool. I like knitting. It’s easy and relaxing,” she says, working her way through a row of stitches.
Deirdre’s skill has resulted in the local school inviting her to instruct an after-school knitting club, starting in September. “I’m a bit nervous about it, but I’m delighted to be asked,” she says.
Faughanvale PS principal, Ann McGroarty, said it’s a great opportunity to pass the craft to future generations.
“Deirdre is so unassuming about her talent,” said Ms McGroarty. “She has been great for the school and so generous. It’s another string to our bow having the after-school club and nurturing that skill.”
Deirdre, who calls her knitted creations, ‘Craftdee’, says she has been asked several times if she’d sell her items. She may take up a table at a local fair but, in the meantime, is happy to use her talent giving joy to others. “My mother always knitted, and says my grandmother would be very proud of me now! For the moment, I’ll open the knitting book and see where it takes me.” To see more of Deirdre’s creations visit her Facebook pages at Deirdre McFadden or ‘’Craftdee’.