Old time hobby great pastime for Blue Crest resident
Fred Blagdon, a resident of the Blue Crest Home in Grand Bank, turns the bottles many of us throw away or place in the recycling bin into works of art.
Knitting twine around bottles of different shapes and sizes is something the 88-yearold retired fisherman has been doing for years.
He continues to enjoy his hobby as he relaxes with his wife Norah in their room at the Blue Crest Home where he has resided for the last three months and his wife has lived for a little more than a year.
“Family and friends and many of the workers here at the home want them as souvenirs. It’s unreal how many I have done,” Blagdon said. He described how it’s done. “You have to be very careful how you start knitting around the neck of the bottle; that is very important. Then you knit around the bottle, making sure you keep the mesh tight,” Blagdon pointed out as he knitted on a bottle he had just started.
“You have to put in extra stitches after you get so far down the bottle. When you get close to the bottom, you have to put in extra stiches again to keep it tight.”
Blagdon has repurposed some of the knitted bottles into lampshades.
“I did one for a worker here; he wanted it for his cabin,” he said.
Blagdon, during his long career as a fisherman, worked with twine all his life making and mending nets.
His journey started as a herring fisherman with his uncle in Lally Cove when he was only 17 years old, before becoming a bank fisherman and then a deckhand and engineer on several side and stern trawlers.
“Knitting twine around a bottle started after I went into the engine room. I used to do it for the boys on the boats. I did a lot of them,” Blagdon said. “When I did bottles for people on the boats, I didn’t use twine like I am using today. I used the bigger line like we used on the trawls – 10-12 pound stuff.”
Blagdon showed one of his sons how to do it.
“He used to say, ‘I can do it Dad, but not as good as you do it.’”
Blagdon said since moving into Blue Crest Home he continues to knit around bottles as a pastime and for relaxation.
“I don’t realize how fast the time is going when I am at this,” he said.
Blagdon says he is content living at Blue Crest.
“We enjoy the sing-a-longs, the bingo, the church services, and the socials,” he said.
More than anything else, he enjoys being with his wife, who moved into the home before he did.
“Both of us are having health issues. We probably haven’t got much longer together,” Blagdon said. “What bit of time we got, I am glad we will spend it together.”
Fred Blagdon knitting twine around a bottle to pass the time. His wife Norah is pictured in the background.
Examples of some of Fred Blagdon’s work, including one bottle converted into a lampshade.
Norah and Fred Blagdon enjoying a friend’s birthday party.
Fred Blagdon explains that getting a good start on the bottle is crucial for a good neat knitting job.