London, Feb 19 : Shetland champion knitter Hazel Tindall retained her title of World's fastest knitter after completing 262 stitches in three minutes in a needle match in the United States.
Hazel Tindall, a 55-year-old school administrator from Aith, has been knitting since the age of four.
She explained that she had grown up in a family where women needed to knit "to clothe the children and put food on the table".
And it looks like that all those years of practice has finally paid off as she left fellow contenders trailing in her wake when Tindall and her flying fingers completed an astonishing 262 stitches in three minutes at the world knitting championships in Minneapolis.
Her nearest rival could only manage 243 stitches in the same time.
Tindall first won the title in 2004 at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace in London when she knitted 255 stitches in three minutes to take the crown.
The thrilled Tindall revealed the secret of her success.
"I think you need to have good technique and move your hands as little as possible," The Scotsman quoted her, as saying.
Mrs Tindall, a member of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Dyers and Weavers, stressed there were other knitters back home on Shetland who could give her run for her money.
"There's plenty of Shetlanders that can knit fast," she said. "I'm sure that I could be challenged, but sadly probably not by anyone under 50 because hand knitting is a skill which is rapidly vanishing.
"The future doesn't bode well for hand-knitting. There are some still doing it, but I think the average age is about 70. Anyone under 50 hasn't grown up with the ethos that you shouldn't sit hand-idle."
Mrs Tindall also revealed that while her fellow competitors were practising furiously to limber up for the challenge, she and her husband had decided to go on a four-hour sightseeing trip.
She said: "Most of the others were knitting like fury in the morning, but I thought it was a shame to come here and do nothing and see nothing except the inside of a wonderful mall."
The world finals - Knit Our 2008 - were hosted by the Craft Yarn Council of America.