A Co Meath-based eco-education business has launched a new intergenerational knitting pilot project with the aim of highlighting the environmental benefits of wool as a natural fibre and reconnecting generations as society reopens.

Lorna McCormack, founder of the Wool in School company, began planning for the project last year after talks with organic wool supplier Donegal Yarns.

The project allows children and older people to learn from each other

McCormack developed the ‘Knit-Stitch’ project kit to supply dyed wool, needles and a colourful bunting pattern to a child and their older knitting partner.

“The bunting pattern chosen is colourful but the joining of the kids’ knitting with the older adult has a symbolic element. It represents connection.

“We are all about organic, natural wool. We could have used cheaper, synthetic wool alternatives but that is not what we are about. Sustainability is important to us,” McCormack said. A class at Andrew’s national school, Curragha, has partnered with Kilbrew nursing home, Ashbourne, for one part of the pilot. The second element of the initiative is community-based, with individual children completing the project alongside older adult friends and family.

The pilot began in early May with Zoom calls providing a route for the two groups to talk while knitting.

“The project allows children and older people to learn from each other. It is helping to bring communities together again and bring life to Irish wool,” McCormack explained.

Building on the pilot project, the business plans to expand Knit-Stitch to more communities by September 2021.