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Now the village

19 September 2014

WE HAVE had lamps and fences wrapped in mufflers, seven miles of pink scarf as a nuclear protest, knitted angels and knitted Easter eggs, and now we have a knitted church sitting in its own knitted village.

The good knitters of Sandridge, in St Albans diocese, seem to have outclassed the lot. A team of ten have so far produced 13 woolly replicas that include St Leonard's, the pubs, village hall, sports hall, and village houses. A tractor sits ready for use, and benches for the weary, and - in compliment to Jenny Roberts, of the Women's Institute, who had the idea in the first place - a board with WI notices on it.

"People knew it would be a big undertaking," Mrs Roberts says. She saw it as a way to help mark the church's 900th anniversary this year. "But we decided to give it a go. There's no pattern; so you just have to use your own ideas, and come up with ways to make it look like tiles or pebbledash.

"We have turned the knitting to the wrong side to make it look like the flint of the church. We have also got quite good at sticking and glueing and cutting. It is quite a strange thing when you cut your knitting up. You think: 'Oh, my goodness!' But then you slap on a bit of glue, and everything is OK."

The knitters have been helped by Ian Wood, who has been creating polystyrene models for the knitting to cover. "The hardest part", one of the knitters says, "has been getting the colours right. We have travelled all over to get the wool."

And the project keeps on growing. The latest addition has been a farm, but the project could keep going for years, Mrs Roberts says.

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