Knitters to Know – Speed Knitting Champion – Hazel Tindall
Hand knitting at great speed, Hazel won the world speed knitting championship with an eye-popping speed of 255 stitches in 3 minutes.
Hazel proudly holds up the Shetland flag!!
When did your your love affair with yarn start?
From first days as a baby I was surrounded by three generations of knitters as the ladies of the household, my grandmother, mother, aunt and older sister, all knitted. All neighbours and visitors also knitted. Everyone knitted quickly. There was great excitement when a huge bag of coloured hanks of yarn arrived some weeks after our own Shetland wool had been sent to the commercial spinner.
What are your 3 favourite yarns and what do you like about them?
Shetland yarn from Jamieson’s or Jamieson & Smiths. I like the way the wool handles and I know I will always get good results as well as light weight garments. Don’t often use anything else.
Who taught you to knit/crochet?
I don’t remember learning to knit so I guess I learned from my mother, or perhaps my older sister. I taught myself to crochet by following pictorial instructions in a book.
What’s the favourite thing you’ve ever made?
I have so many favourite things!
Here is a photo of one of my most recent creations.
What else do you do for love? (Any other hobby?)
I play cards at least twice a week in winter. I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren.
I enjoy autobiographies and biographies. Rarely watch films.
Is there a knitting/crochet tip you’d like to share with us?
For someone who wants to learn: watch others knit or crochet and if their actions look comfortable and ‘flowing’, that’s the person you should ask to teach you.
For everyone else: make sure you finish off the work carefully and neatly. A poor finish can spoil an otherwise beautiful piece of work.
If someone wanted to start knitting, what would you recommend they attempt as a first project?
At school, we always started with a hot water bottle cover! I guess an oven glove or a pin cushion would be just as good as a starting project – or a cover for a Kindle or mobile phone.
What do you like most about knitting?
The magic of converting beauty from long lengths of yarn, as well as the relaxation from the rhythm of knitting.
Knitting’s taken me to America several times to demonstrate, teach and give short lectures. The last speed knitting competition was in America where I met the Guiness World Record Holder, Miriam Tegels; she took second place. Winning that competition led me to being invited to appear on Weakest Link (along with other ‘alternative’ champions) and I feature in a new book “Significant Figures in Art and Craft Today” (a great honour).
In Shetland I have taught evening classes in crochet, and a few short Fair Isle knitting courses. Demonstrating knitting is always enjoyable. I’ve rarely had the opportunity, or invitation, to teach or demonstrate elsewhere in the UK – disappointing but travelling between Shetland and mainland UK is expensive so I guess that’s one reason for few invitations.
What do you admire most in the knitting community?
Willingness to share ideas.
How did it feel to represent the UK overseas at speed knitting and then to win?
I felt I was representing the many generations of Shetland knitters who had to knit quickly in order to get food for their families. Up till World War II, knitting was bartered at local shops for basics such as tea and sugar. For many families this was their only source of income. The ladies I watched as a young girl were always knitting at speed so it doesn’t seem anything unusual to me.
Will you be competing again, and if so when and where?
If invited I’ll compete again but have no idea when or where.
Welcome to my woolly little blog!!
Welcome to my woolly little blog!!
You are welcome to browse, comment, ask questions,
seek advice on a knitting issue and find out more about Shetland and it's world renowned wool.
Plus, some snippets and snaps from my everyday life.
So pull up a chair and sit awhile, away from the rush of the world.