Well Made was a pilot project, with artist Jan Flamank working with residents at Ashbourne Court in Shirebrook over the spring and summer of 2010. Up to 12 residents in this Sheltered Housing accommodation met with Jan on Monday afternoons for friendly and lively ‘knitting and nattering’ sessions in the large communal room. People chose what they would like to knit from a large selection of books and magazines, and a fine assortment of wool and needles. Knitted scarves were very popular, as well as tea cosies, hats and pom poms. People worked at their own pace during the sessions and also in their own time if the fancy took them.Everyone contributed to a gorgeous cushion cover that included beaded sections, and stripes of different kinds of wool.
Chatting together and sharing fascinating life stories was as important as the actual process of knitting, and the inside cushion cover was covered in some of these conversations, handwritten by Jan using a black laundry marker pen. The cushion now has pride of place in their communal lounge.
“It proved to me that I hadn’t forgotten how to knit, even after all these years.” Joyce
“Knitting again after so many years, and all the laughs and everybody’s company. Nothing I didn’t like, we’re going to miss it” Phyllis
“What’s not to like? It was very happy with your musical laugh, it was really good, and we learnt something. And it’s all the stuff that goes around it, not just the knitting. I didn’t really do much of that in the end. I did a few rows for the cushion though, and it looks great” Cath
“I liked people talking and making the pom pom best of all.” Charlie
“It were very nice, a change instead of sitting and looking at nothing. Must be 20 year, more perhaps, since I did any knitting. I enjoyed it. Good of you to come” May