CATCHING up with friends is the main order of business when members of a knitting circle meet once a week for tea and a chat while making cuddly toys.
But their cute knitted teddy bears were so impressive that they were snapped up by a Morpeth department store and sold to raise more than £1,000 for a major North East charity after proving a major hit with customers.
Audrey Rutherford, whose family have owned Rutherfords of Morpeth for five generations, hosts the weekly knitting get-togethers with friends from St Andrew’s Church at her home in Ulgham.
Her daughter-in-law Jane Rutherford, buyer for the family-owned business, immediately commissioned a huge run of stock after seeing the quality of their work.
The teddies are being sold for £5 each at till points at the Bridge Street store in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance service, which covers the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, and total sales have now topped £1,000.
Audrey’s son Richard, Rutherfords’ Managing Director, said: “It has been incredible because the cuddly toys have been selling like the proverbial hot cakes.
“They are so well made and look like quality toys so they have been very popular with customers, who can’t resist them when they see them sitting on our till points.
“We decided it would be a great idea to sell them for charity as we do a lot of fundraising at the store for important North East causes.”
“The Great North Air Ambulance service is a vital charity and our customers are very generous and supportive of the work we do for local charities.”
Mrs Audrey Rutherford added: “I have 10 ladies round each week as we enjoy meeting up and knitting.
“We were thrilled about the idea of selling them in the department store for such a good cause. They have been selling out quickly, so we are having to knit faster than ever.”