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Muriel, 90, knits her Olympic masterpiece

06:30 30 May 2012

90 year old Muriel Butler has knitted 21 Olympic figures for the Which Craft? window in Fakenham, and then raffled of for charity. Picture: Matthew Usher.

90 year old Muriel Butler has knitted 21 Olympic figures for the Which Craft? window in Fakenham, and then raffled of for charity. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Muriel Butler has spent the majority of her 90 years patiently and determinedly knitting all manner of items.

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Her home at Pott Row, near King’s Lynn, where she has lived for 59 years, is filled with examples of her work.

Now, despite having arthritis in her hands, knees and feet and osteoporosis of the spine, Mrs Butler has completed her masterpiece.

She has made a collection of 22 figures, each depicting an athlete competing in a different Olympic sport.

The collection includes a sprinter, modelled on 100m world record holder Usain Bolt, a hurdler, weightlifter, footballer, archer, fencer, gymnast, field hockey player, swimmer, discus thrower and beach volleyball player, amongst others.

Mrs Butler has also knitted Olympic medals, an Olympic torch and the Olympic rings.

They will be put up as a window display at the crafts shop Which Craft? in Fakenham in the next few days.

They will be individually raffled off just before the start of this year’s Olympics to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mrs Butler’s daughter, Jill Baker-Toplis, who lives in Fakenham, said: “Mum has been knitting since she was a child.

“Whenever anyone’s wanted anything knitted they have gone to her.

“Her arthritis hasn’t stopped her from making this wonderful collection. She rubs her hands when they get sore and just gets on with it.

“My mother is very determined –she is an amazing woman and nothing stops her.”

Mrs Butler has previously knitted characters from last year’s royal wedding, the Crufts dog show, meerkats, from the Compare the Meerkats commercials, as well as clothes, rugs, blankets and tapestries.

The Olympic collection took her three months to complete.

She said: “I’ve always been interested in the Olympics, so I thought this would be a good challenge for me to focus on.

“I’m really pleased with how the whole thing has turned out.

“I decided to raise money for the East Anglian air Ambulance because I believe it is a very worthwhile charity and you just never know, someone close to you might need it at any time.”

Mrs Baker-Toplis said: “My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 18 months ago and the Alzheimer’s Society has been excellent with its support, so I suggested raising money for them as well.” She added: “The Olympic torch route will go past this window display when it comes into Fakenham so I’m sure there will be a lot of people around on the day and hopefully a lot of interest in this collection.

“If we could raise £200 or more that would be wonderful.”

The date of the raffle is to be confirmed.

adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

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