SLIDESHOW: Crafty knitters produce a ‘purl’ of a show

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GIANT knitted teapots, sea creatures and Wellington boots are some of the items on display at a crafty new exhibition.

Knitting group The Materialistics have combined their beloved craft with surrealism to create Home Is Where The Heart Is.

CREATIVE ... South Shields knitters at South Shields Museum.

CREATIVE ... South Shields knitters at South Shields Museum.

The exhibition is on display at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, in Ocean Road.

The story began for Materialistics back in 2009 when the Coat for a Boat project was commissioned by the Customs House, South Shields.

The participants enjoyed themselves so much that they formed their own group, which now meets twice a week to knit, stitch, crochet and quilt with recycled textiles.

Member Kate Wild, originally from Horsley Hill, South Shields, said: “About three years ago, we were involved in an exhibition at the Customs House called Home Sweet Home.

“We decided to expand on it and add more items and we came up with this idea of the boat that we made a coat for going off on this imaginary journey, and while it’s away, the people on board are dreaming of home – but because they’re dreaming, everything is a little surreal.

“We’ve had a lot of fun making everything and lots of different people have got involved, whether to make something little or go off and make something a lot bigger.

“We’re really pleased with it. There are some really exquisite pieces of knitting and some more unusual pieces like pom poms made out of dusters and cleaning cloths.”

The mum-of-three, a retired primary school teacher, added: “We love getting together to knit and crochet all of these different things.

“I was never a knitter of jumpers or scarves, but I have a lot of fun making things like this.

“Not all, but most of us are retired ladies and it’s great for us to get together and do something we can enjoy.

“It’s also about showing off what we have here in South Tyneside. We took this exhibition to Harrogate in November, and some people down south think it’s not very nice up here and we want to show them that there are a lot of interesting things to see and do.

“This all started with the coat for a boat project at the Customs House, and if it wasn’t for the venue, Esen Kaya and Ray Spencer, we would never have been able to evolve like we have.”

Museum manager, Geoff Woodward, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back this hugely talented South Tyneside group to South Shields Museum.

“It’s a stunning exhibition, creating a really vibrant, fantastical experience.”

Craft activities will also be running at the museum during the exhibition, from 11am to 1pm each day.

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 4pm.

Anyone interested in joining the Materialistics, can join them at the Customs House, in Mill Dam, on Saturday from 10.30am to 12.30pm or at Cleadon Park Library, in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, from 1pm to 3pm on Wednesdays.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki