Keeping Abreast

Eileen mentions that there is a bag of breasts in the vestry. All sorts of oddments have found their way to that dank back chamber since the church was reordered, but I hadn't noticed mammaries among them.

Eileen explains that she's been knitting them in the evenings. Eileen is very good with wool. She can knit crinolined mice and fancy tea cosies, but she's not the sort of person you would expect to knit breasts. I do not want her to think that I am not a Woman of the World, so I ask very casually what the breasts are for and she explains that the ladies of the Mothers Union have been asked to knit them for the maternity wing in the local hospital. The nurses are no longer allowed to touch their patients when showing them how to suckle their newborns and so Eileen's breasts will be used for demonstration.

I am briefly silenced as I conjure visions of midwives modelling globes of pink purl stitch and suddenly I am worried. Eileen is a gentle, proper white haired lady who never misses Mass and feels it is her Christian duty to Rise to the Occasion. I am therefore anxious about what I will find in the vestry when students of urology and gynaecology are banned from touching human flesh.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Won't the babies get bits of fluff in their mouths?

  3. How bizarre !!!!???? Knitted breasts???? Would'nt a tea cose suffice? Found you through Love New Blogs!

  4. Can't touch the patients?! Why ever not?!

  5. As a breastfeeding peer supporter, I have been given a lovely bright pink one of these. My 2.5 year old said "why is the hat sewn up at the end?"! I think there are a number of ways to talk show women how to improve breastfeeding without man handling them and am not sure I'm going to head down the knitted route yet! Ruth from


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