How knitting army of teddy bears helped Ruth, 92, in lockdown

Ruth Holliday who has knitted over 100 bears and rabbits throughout lockdown to keep her occupied an

Ruth Holliday who has knitted over 100 bears and rabbits throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help cope with her arthritis. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

A 92-year-old knitter who took up the craft once again after the death of her husband has used the project to help good causes by making more than 100 teddy bears and bunnies.

Ruth Holliday, from Norwich, was encouraged by her daughter Pauline Woodbridge, to return to the hobby following Ken's death last January as it would give her something to do, especially using her hands, due to her arthritis. 

The couple had been married for 68 years and to give herself a challenge the keen crafter dug out a teddy bear pattern and started her project last February. 

She has not stopped, amassing a "teddy bear army" with many being raffled off for good causes

Ruth Holliday who has knitted over 100 bears and rabbits throughout lockdown to keep her occupied an

Ruth Holliday who has knitted over 100 bears and rabbits throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help cope with her arthritis. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mrs Holliday said; "I haven't knitted for several years, I used to do a lot of craftwork. I said I could have a go but I am not sitting and making squares. I might be 92, but I'm not doing that.


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"It has given me a project and given me something to do and help charities, I do not mind which charities. I think it helps me a lot, with Ken dying, Pauline started me off which I needed and it helps me a lot mentally."

The bears stand at around four inches tall and have been crafted wearing Norwich City scarves, face masks and even for Welsh rugby fans. Mrs Holliday said the bear's wearing facemasks were among the most popular.

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She has also made mini Santas and has turned to making Easter bunnies.

Some of the bears that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help c

Some of the bears that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help cope with her arthritis. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Some of the rabbits that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help

Some of the rabbits that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help cope with her arthritis. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Some of the bears that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help c

Some of the bears that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help cope with her arthritis. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mrs Holliday said; "I'm into it now. It takes about one-and-a-half to two days to do. I do get up and do something else and come back to the knitting. I have around 60 to 70 here now and have made over 100. 

"I put the rabbits on the window. The children across the road like to look in the window and wave at me."

Mrs Holliday has always done craftwork, from making clothes, patchwork and as a member of the WI helped create a canvas depicting the history of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which is on display at the hospital.

The bears, Santa's and rabbits that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupi

The bears, Santa's and rabbits that Ruth Holliday has knitted throughout lockdown to keep her occupied and help cope with her arthritis. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Daughter Pauline, who lives in Wales, raised more than £50 for her local village hall through the sales of the teddy bears.

She said: "When I visited there was an army of teddy bears. 

"I think she can knit them in her sleep. I think she's amazing, I think it has kept her going and she is doing it for charities she likes."


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