Knitters around the globe are stunned by a confession from Ethel Bainbridge, winner of the North England Balaclava Knitathon three years running, that she imbibes Earl Grey tea and applies WD40 lubricant to her needles before competing. Both performance enhancing substances are frowned upon in the knitting world.
Famous for her cable stitching technique, a tearful Bainbridge gave the confession during an interview with Extreme Knitting Magazine from her home in Crosby, Merseyside.
"The pressure to knit has become intense. I know that's no excuse, and I want to apologize to everyone in my circle," said the 72-year-old doyen of woolwear.
It has long been suspected that drinking cups of strong Earl Gray tea helps knitters to stay alert during long sessions. Lubricants such as WD40 can speed up stitch rates significantly when applied to needles. Bainbridge admitted to using both substances when she set a world record for knitting a set of multi-colored angora wool sweaters.
She now faces expulsion from her church social on Thursdays, and could be forced to relinquish her favorite double-pointed knitting needles.