Woolly Gran's Origin Story

The original concept of Woolly Gran comes from my own Gran, Margaret. Gran is an avid knitter, teacher and inspiration to me. In her younger days, Gran sold her knitted designs at local craft markets and in pop-up shops. Since entering her older years, due to mobility problems, she is unable to exhibit and sell in person. About 2014, Gran's mood and motivation to keep creating was dwindling and she seemed sad.

Rather than see Gran give up her hobby completely or slowly be engulfed by knitted items in her home, I set up our online shop, Woolly Gran, as an outlet for her creativity. Profits from the shop are filtered directly back into her wool stash and other creative materials which keep her hands and brain actively knitting.

Since setting up our online shop, I have noticed a number of positive changes in Gran; her mood is lifted, her motivation is improved, her sociability levels have risen and her passion for knitting is stronger than ever. Gran has complete freedom to create whatever she wants and sometimes that's led to exciting projects! We have receiving large custom orders of knitted toys designed by Gran, which she has tackled with fierce determination and excitement.

Woolly Gran is now my creative name. It encompasses my passion for textile based crafting and my firm belief in the importance of preserving personal histories and family stories.

However, The Woolly Gran Project is inspired by Woolly Gran’s origins and is the inter-generational, skill-sharing social branch of my work. The Woolly Gran Project uses traditional crafts, such as knitting, as a platform for social interaction and to champion good mental health. My aim is to help provide a sense of creative purpose and ensure that elderly artists keep their brains and hands actively crafting.

Part of Woolly Gran’s vision is to, wherever possible, work with re-purposed craft materials in order to preserve our worldly resources and reduce waste. I’m also developing methods for elderly artists to confidently use the technology available to them in order to allow for further creative collaboration.  

I believe there is a network of older artists who could enormously benefit from being a part of The Woolly Gran Project. If you are one of these artists or know anyone who might like to get involved, please get in touch.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please visit our contact page or email woollygran@gmail.com.