“I think people, they need something that’s for them, just to concentrate on,” says the voiceover in the opening scene of the short documentary “
The voices belong to members of the Merrymakers, a small group of older knitters in rural Shropshire, England. Cue the delicate swishing and clicking of knitting needles and a yarn ball on the loose, and we’re welcomed into a charming, thoughtful reflection on the craft of healing.
Filmed at a studio in Birmingham, Moore’s stop-animation brings knitted characters to life, including a teddy bear, mice, birds, and a sweater in various states of unraveling. The interviewees are represented by personalities of their choice, reflecting backgrounds that range from academia and healthcare to community volunteering and activism—like the work of artist
In visiting the social group, Moore learned about individuals’ lives and why the craft provided much-needed focus or respite from anxiety or adversity. “All the members had their own stories illustrating the therapeutic power of textile arts and how knitting granted them the time and space to process grief, frustration, or health struggles,” Moore says.
Participants share their experiences of dealing with stress by learning to knit loosely and be more relaxed or the wonder and sense of accomplishment sparked by a two-dimensional chart full of “k’s” and “p’s” transforming into a three-dimensional object.
Go behind the scenes on
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a