Nackeshia Tomlinson, Gleaner Writer
LACOVIA, St Elizabeth:
LILLIBEL KERR is multi-skilled. She is able to knit, sew, as well as make baskets and quilts if she is in a particular mood. However, her main hobby is knitting, which she enjoys, as it keeps her active.
She told The Gleaner that she acquired the skill out of curiosity. While working in England, she observed that whenever the women at her workplace had free time, they would knit.
"In my spare time, I watched them doing it. All the girls were knitting at lunchtime and I thought I would like to do it. They said, 'Get your needle', and that was it," related Kerr. At that time, she fitted right into the culture because knitting was widely done in England.
Having returned to Jamaica for a number of years now, Kerr has continued to knit because she likes it and it keeps her occupied.
She has received attention for her knitting through her local senior citizens' club. Kerr has been involved in it for a number of years and has always been a regular contributor to the club's annual exhibition, where she displays her work. Her work has also been displayed at the annual Denbigh Agricultural Show. The feedback from her exhibits has always been good.
She mainly uses some form of pattern to assist her. She also uses a basic system of recording the rows so whenever she resumes, she easily picks up where she left off.
NO COMMERCIAL INTEREST
Kerr stated that although she likes to knit, she is not interested in doing it as a commercial activity as she does not like to be constrained to a particular time frame, so she may start a piece and end up finishing it a months later. At other times, she has worked on a piece for hours at a time.
Kerr is not opposed to teaching others how to knit, and she believes that knitting should not be relegated to older women. She rejected the stereotype as she informed The Gleaner that her daughter, to whom she has taught the skill, is very proficient in the craft.