Yarn manufacturer 'wool' of praise for charitable efforts of Killen knitting enthusiast

William Smith


William Smith



A life-long knitting enthusiast has received personal thanks from the one of the most recognised knitting yarn brands in the UK.

Cassie Oliver, from Killen, has been delighting friends and family with her exquisite knitting skills for years - so much so that the manufacturers of her wool of choice, Sirdar, have started to take notice!

In a kind letter to the Cassie, who turned 89 in June, a representative from Sirdar Head Office thanked her for continuing to support the brand - which she purchases locally from 'The Country Cabin', Castlederg - and wished her well during these uncertain times.

Locally, Sirdar yarn has become synonymous with Cassie, with customers coming into 'The Country Cabin' asking to buy 'Cassie's Wool'!

Cassie, wife of the late Bertie Oliver, is a prolific knitter, having produced vast amounts of scarves, baby blankets and sofa throws for charity, family and friends.

And while lockdown has meant she hasn't been able to leave the house, she has continued her lifelong hobby, and is busy knitting cot blankets for expectant mothers, all from exquisite Sirdar yarn.

Gill Davis, owner of The Country Cabin, said Cassie's love for knitting has clearly "melted hearts" at Sirdar Head Office.

"Cassie has been an amazing customer at The Country Cabin, Castlederg," she said. "Since lockdown in March she has been unable to come to the shop, so we take her wool delivery up to her house.

"I had been panicking that the wool delivery was running late, so I contacted Sirdar Head Office to enquire about it, as I told them I couldn't let this lovely lady run out of wool!

"When I told them all about Cassie and the amount of knitting she does for charity, they said it melted their hearts and would like to send her a token to thank her from Head Office"

The letter from Sirdar read: "We just wanted to take the time out to say a massive thank you for all your big wool orders of what we've heard to be 'Cassie's Wool'.

"The story put a big smile on all our faces! We hope you're keeping well in these uncertain times and would love to see an image of your finished garment!"


Cassie's daughter, Kathleen, said her mother was very pleased to have received recognition from Sirdar.

"It is fantastic that the Sirdar team have acknowledged her commitment to the brand," she said. "They thought that her story was so nice, and a good story with everything that is going on.

"Knitting and cross-stitching has been a lifelong thing for mum. Her interest in knitting went way back before she started school - apparently, she would practice knitting with two feathers from a goose, along with the ribbon from the top of old bags of flour!

"Recently, she was knitting away at scarves, which were sold in aid of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

"She has also knitted fantastic blankets and baby blankets for prams. These are very popular with mums and those who are expecting.

"I honestly couldn't begin to guess how many things she has knitted. She used to be in a class in Castlederg that knitted things for premature babies - mum used to have bags and bags of things knitted. She would just knit full stop. It is something that she is very passionate about, and something that is keeping her busy during these uncertain times."

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