KNITTED dolly versions of famous Swindon folk have caught the eye of TV celebrity Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair at Bowood House.

The characters created by the nimble fingers of Swindon Stitch and Bitch have already been on display at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

But this weekend they have been asked to go show at the stately home.

Member Tracey Major said: “It was honour to have the dolls invited to The Handmade Fair at Bowood, how could we say no?

"We have already sold some of the dolls and raised lots of money for charity and this is a wonderful opportunity to display them all again.”

The woolly versions of people including actor Billie Piper, comedian Julian Clary and engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, were made after the group found a knitted village on a visit to a show in London last year.

Group members will have their own marquee at the fair, which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday, where they will host a drop-in session for people who want to have a go at knitting scarves.

Tracey said: “It’s a great opportunity for the group to bring knitting to people. Knitting tends to be something that people do and go away from and come back to, depending on what’s going on in your life. And it would be lovely if we could introduce or re-introduce people to knitting.

“For us it’s a happy and sociable pastime, and you see so many articles and reports about the health benefits of knitting, and of course it’s perfect if it helps others by charitable donations.”

The group is raising money for Swindon Mind and closed bids are being taken from people who want to buy the dolls.

But the drop-in at the fair will also be used to help the elderly because the scarves, knitted with donated wool provided by Swindon-based charity Dressability, will be given to those who have to choose between putting on the heating or having enough food to eat in the winter.

The group is working alongside the charity, which makes and alters clothing for disabled people and the elderly so they can dress comfortably and look smart.

A team from Dressability will be on hand at Bowood to join in the knitting and talk about their work. “We were so honoured that Dressability asked us to work with them and we were thrilled with the amazing yarn from John Lewis,” said Tracey.

“Lots of the yarns are our favourite brands and will make gorgeous and in some case luxurious garments to wrap the elderly up in this winter. They really will be keeping warm in style.”