Retired police support worker Elaine Silvester has a busy few weeks ahead – as she prepares to make hundreds of woolly Christmas stockings for charity.
Elaine, from Leavenheath, hopes her colourful creations will raise cash for The Royal Marines Charity, which provides support for marines, their families, veterans and cadets.
She is an ardent knitter and learned the craft when her dad, who worked for the publishing company Mills & Boon, brought home a book on crocheting. She has not looked back since.
Elaine passed her skills on to her daughter, who went on to open a wool shop. As a result, Elaine ended up with a big supply of wool in lots of different colours – and now she has found a way to make good use of it.
“I’ve knitted all sorts of things, including shawls for cousins. I can make six or seven of these little Christmas stockings on a good day, maybe 10.”
Elaine has already sold 100 stockings and has another 200 ready to sell at £1 each.
“People use them for tree decorations, and also for tree presents because they are small enough to hold money,” said Elaine. “I can also make them personalised, for example, if you have a son or dad who is into do-it-yourself, I can knit a ladder on it.”
Elaine has also knitted some hats for babies at the neo-natal unit of Colchester Hospital.
As a retired Metropolitan Police support worker, she wanted to raise money for a charity supporting those who have supported their country, and their families.
“When we retired here 10 years ago, we became aware of Colchester as a garrison town,” she said. “I don’t have any connection or family in the Armed Forces, but I felt it was a good thing to support, particularly the families of those who are injured or who are ill.”
To purchase a stocking, email email@example.com.