Norfolk woman takes her knitting business from cyber space to Dereham town centre

Diane Clarke has recently opened a knitting studio and shop in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Diane Clarke has recently opened a knitting studio and shop in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A Dereham woman is hoping to pass down traditional skills to future knitters after transforming her online business into a town centre venture.

Diana Clarke has opened up Norfolk Wools in the Old Revenue building on Church Street.

The 40-year-old has run online knitting company Peggy's Collection for four years and said she feels like she has 'made it' now she has opened business premises.

As part of the business, Miss Clarke is showcasing other sellers and will be running craft, knitting, crochet and spinning workshops.

'It's all coming together now which is good,' said Miss Clarke, who recently won an Awarding Women in Business award on Twitter and was commended by Dragons' Den's Theo Paphitis.


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'When you've been running an online business for such a long time, it's nice to have somewhere to work and that's separate from home.'

Miss Clarke named her online business Peggy's Collection after her grandmother, Peggy Codman, who taught her to knit when she was young.

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Now, at Norfolk Wools, the mum-of-three is hoping to inspire children of today.

She said: 'I've had a lot of interest from parents of children who want them to learn new skills. I hope I can show them how fleece starts and how wool is made, and show them some old-fashioned skills.'

Miss Clarke added: 'I'm stocking hand-made gift items to support local people and I'm hoping to run a knitting club. With the summer school holidays coming up, I'm hoping the workshops will really take off.'

Last year, Miss Clarke made newspaper headlines after knitting hundreds of butterfly brooches to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

She was inspired to create the purple butterflies to sell in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK after she found out a friend had been diagnosed with a terminal form of the disease.

The brooches were purple to represent the cancer charity and butterflies to symbolise freedom from the disease.

Have you got a business success story? Email shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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