Tri Institute & Breja preja knitting community
Kapucinski trg 8,
Skofja Loka 4220.
+386 40 528 387
The Tri Institute is a non-governmental organisation for sustainable community practices. Our headquarters (and hearts) are in Škofja Loka, Slovenia. We foster, organise, and implement sustainable community practices in the area of Škofja Loka, the Gorenjska region, and elsewhere. Our main focus is on the development of other non-governmental organisations and civil society. Our content is focused on empowering women from all parts of the world and developing collaborative processes within the community. One of our community building methods is also community knitting. All of our activities have one thing in common—the effort to establish a society which is as inclusive as possible.
Breja preja is a knitting community. We integrate group/community creative activities with social inclusion, and intergenerational and intercultural collaboration. We are keen on creative activism. We connect knitting and crochet with current societal challenges. We get involved in all kinds of psychosocial aspects of creative activities. Yes, that’s right! Knitting is beneficial to our brains and mental health, and can do a lot of good for the community.
Breja preja knitting events
We believe in the power of community even when we knit! We have regular Monday knitting events, which often take place out in the open, usually on Škofja Loka squares.
So far, we have organised over one hundred knitting events. We implement programmes where adults have an opportunity to engage in non-formal learning (and teaching!), and to participate in engaged integration and inclusion in the community. We have created a number of cultural projects and creative awareness-raising projects, for example All the Colours of My Shawl (Barvna paleta z mojega pleta), yarn bombing actions to raise awareness of breast cancer, and actions accompanying World Bee Day and International Women’s Day. We also use knitting to raise awareness of the challenges of migration and inclusion.
Community creative activities for a good purpose
We organise charity campaigns and foster solidarity. We make crochet blankets for socially disadvantaged children, in the past we knitted for children from the children’s hospital, and we have collaborated with maternity wards by making crochet octopuses for premature babies. For the last two years in December, we ran the Hats for a Good Cause project (Kape za dober namen) to collect means for the Botrstvo project.
Knitting and health
In practice, we follow the methods and findings developed and established by Betsan Corkhill (Stichlink) which are based on the therapeutic effects of knitting on mental health. From a therapeutic viewpoint, manual activities characterised by rhythmic movements promote the activity of both hemispheres of the human brain and have a positive impact on the psychological, neurological, behavioural, and social aspects. Research studies conducted by and in collaboration with Betsan Corkhill prove that creative abilities are closely linked with how healthy a person is, the degree of their psychological flexibility, and self-help abilities (source: stitchlinks.com).
Even if the power of therapeutic knitting hasn’t yet been recognised in Slovenia, the situation is completely different elsewhere. As Janja, one of the Breja preja ladies, says: “In England, knitting needles and wool are available on prescription!”