A town knitting shop is holding boys only knitting sessions after an upsurge in male interest in the passtime.
Mary and Alan Clements, who run Clicketty Clack, The Wool Shop in Princes Risborough already host free social sessions for local knitters to raise money for charity.
But after a host of male celebrities including film stars David Arquette, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling picked up their needles and wool, the pair have decided to host men’s only sessions to encourge local men to take up the theraputic passtime.
Mary, who started the business from home before opening up the Oxford Street shop four years ago is abily assisted by Alan, who is very knowledgeable about the hobby. She said: “The men only knitting classes we’ve launched in Oxford Street were done so to meet unprecedented demand.
“This hobby has become trendy for all genders but in particular to the male gender mainly thanks to endorsements from celebrities.”
She added: “Men of all ages are ttaking up knitting.
“ The want to make bespoke and custom-made clothes is definitely among one of the main reasons as well as the many wellbeing related benefits spoken about in the press and within the NHS. These key benefits of knitting are.”
Indeed, NHS studies have found that a couple of hours spent knitting something wooly can help with stress, combat depression, soothe mental health problems, can aid addiction recovery, boost self esteem and aid mindfulness.
And Mary feels that the men’s classes help less confident beginners who might feel uncomfortable among more experienced knitters.
She said: “I have to be honest, the ladies can be a little bit intimidating, we have some very strong women here and it’s not really a learning situation.
“The mens classes are quite a new idea, because there are a lot of potential male knitters out there who want to learn, and that is something that we can offer.”
Of course men are welcome at the regular social sessions, which run on the first and third Sunday of every month.
But a tutorial group has been set up to teach people the basics and see if they like it before taking the plunge with the pros.
Mary said: “The lessons are two hours long and we have very small groups.
“They cost £25 and you get all of your equipment.
“We find that people with a background in engineering or design often really enjoy knitting because the thought p rocesses behind it come quite easily. There are only two stitches, knitting and purling.
“I have never had anyone go away from a session not knowing how to knit.”
And speaking about why she loves knitting Mary added: “It’s that feeling of creativity.
“If you sit down in the evening you can be watching TV =, but with this you are also creating something.
“Sometimes it not even about what you make, it’s about the process of being creative and making it.”
To find out more about Clicketty Clack, and the men’s knitting classes go to www. clickettyclack.co.uk
You can also contact the store directly on 01844 273739.