Scarf initiative has charity cash wrapped up

Linda MacCallum, Jill Jeffries and Kat Sparshott of Bay Wool and Crafts with a small portion of some of the scarves that will be donated to the homeless.

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A scarf knitting fundraising initiative by Bay Wool and Crafts in Whiting Bay has raised a total of £500 for the Arran RNLI and Arran Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT) as well as delivering nearly 50  scarves for the homeless charity Seascape Ayr.

Launched with the help of Arran MP Patricia Gibson, the project started in April this year and involved visitors to the store knitting a few rows on a scarf while enjoying refreshments and the company of other knitters in return for a small donation.

The aim was to see how many scarves could be knitted before the Shop Arran week at the end of November and involved both individuals and groups. Local participants eagerly contributed to the initiative, including spinner and weaver Rory Rutherford, who spins and dyes his own wool on Arran, and who contributed to the project with the donation of a scarf of his own.

Further afield, Anne and John Stephenson from Huddersfield read about the initiative on the Arran Banner online and not only did they add a significant number of their own scarves, but they also made the trip to Arran to personally deliver them.

Co-organiser of the initiative with her husband Steve, Kat Sparshott said: ‘With the combined and hugely appreciated help of our summer visitors, local Rory Rutherford of Spin Off and the lightning needles of Anne and John Stephenson from Huddersfield, we have an amazing 47 scarves to be handed to the charity for the homeless, Seascape Ayr, in time for Christmas.

‘Over the eight months that we have been knitting, some of our enduring memories have been the Optimists Discovery Group from Kilsyth who were one of our first group of ladies to sit down and knit with us. There were six of them in total.

‘There was also a couple from Hull and their rescue dog Piper, who had followed them to their car and eventually learned how to open the windows and escape.

‘Then there was a young lady who spent three hours knitting a very attractive and intricate design, all completely from memory, while it poured down outside. She and her boyfriend were only on Arran for the day and overnight but they were quite content to while away the hours in the shop knitting.

‘We are very grateful to all the wonderful people we’ve met through this project, old and young, new knitters and those who can’t remember not being able to knit. A massive thanks to everyone who took part and donated. Extra thanks to Liz McLean and the Big Co-op for rounding up the final total.’

Kat and Steve presented the cheques to representatives of both the RNLI and AMRT who expressed their gratitude for the donations, all of which help contribute to making the services that they provide possible.

Kat and Steve Sparshott present a cheque to representatives of the Arran RNLI. No_B51scarves01

Representatives of the Arran Mountain Rescue Team receive a donation from Kat and Steve Sparshott. 01_B51scarves02

Linda MacCallum, Jill Jeffries and Kat Sparshott of Bay Wool and Crafts with a small portion of some of the scarves that will be donated to the homeless. 01_B51scarves03

John Stephenson of Huddersfield visited a number of locations on Arran during his visit to deliver some of the scarves. No_B51scarves04

Scarves galore: John Stephenson visits Lamlash with some of the scarves that he and his wife Anne donated. No_B51scarves05