Knitted characters spreading cheer

October 29 2020
Knitted characters spreading cheer

CRAFTER Helene Buttifant has been catching the eye with the colourful knitted characters she has been creating.

Helene turned to knitting to help with her osteoarthritis and her mental health.

She has gained an appreciative audience after putting some of the finished articles on display in the windows of her South Horrington home, and on social media.

“I originally started the knitted window displays at the beginning of the lockdown as a way to cheer up the local children and acknowledge the great sacrifice our NHS and key workers were making on our behalf,” said Helene.

“At first the displays were random but colourful items. I have recently created The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts collection.

“I am currently working on my Halloween display ensuring it is colourful, fun and not too scary for children to enjoy.”

The larger items can take two days or more to complete. For some, Helene follows a pattern, and others she designs herself.

She comes from a creative craft family. Her mother had always crafted (“Her embroidery is stunning, she knits, sews and pretty much turns her hand to anything,” said Helene), and grandparents and aunts were artists.

“As a crafter myself I dabble in several activities,” Helene said.

“I knit, sew, make cards, fuse glass jewellery in my kiln, wire work jewellery and basic sculptures, cross-stitch, latch hook rug making and make button pictures.”

While Helene’s crafting is primarily a hobby, she is happy to take commissions from friends and acquaintances for gifts.

Before Covid she volunteered at Heads Up, and has made several items for the charity to sell to raise money.

“Since my osteoarthritis progressively worsened I have turned to my crafting as an escape from boredom and to better enable my mental health,” she said.

“I knit every day to keep my hands moving as they get so stiff and painful if not used. I suffer from anxiety and depression due to the various constraints on my body now, whilst engaging in craft activities my mood is lifted significantly.”