HOMEMADE knitted goodies are selling like hot cakes after going on sale at a Sheffield charity shop.
More than 700 woollen items – including snowmen, cupcakes and Santa hats – have been stitched up and then snatched up at the Samaritans shop on Chapel Walk in the city centre, after being donated by two of its own volunteers.
Margaret Blincow and Betty How, both from Sheffield, have been knitting furiously since September to create the handmade festive stock.
Margaret said: “People have been buying them as fast as we can make them, we had no idea how popular they’d become.
“We’re constantly refilling the basket by the till – it’s been incredible.”
The city’s Crucible Theatre has even got in on the act – buying 35 knitted cupcakes to present to the cast of one of its Christmas productions.
So far the duo’s craft project – which has seen them knitting for 350 hours – has raised £600 for the Samaritans.
Betty, aged 85, from Norton Lees, who worked as a Samaritan for several years before volunteering her services at the shop 12 years ago, said: “We had no way of knowing how much people would take to them, but we’re so pleased with the response.
“I tend to make a few a night while I’m watching TV, so it’s not been too much and I do enjoy making them.”
Margaret and Betty, who met while volunteering at the shop, began knitting chickens and rabbits together for Easter three years ago and now sell about 500 each spring.
Margaret, aged 75, from Crosspool, said: “In September, we just happened to mention to one another that it would be nice to do something for Christmas.”
Linda Wild, shop manager, said: “They’re both so creative and generous with their time, a real inspiration.
“They’ve each been a part of our team of volunteers for several years and I’m so grateful they give up their time volunteering in the shop, then go home and continue doing this in their spare time.”
Margaret, a volunteer for four years, said: “I think we’re all knitted out for Christmas, but we do still have some stock left.”