A mother who is a whizz with a knitting needle is putting her talents to good use in memory of her toddler son who died of cancer.

Kantirani Choudhury, of Waterfall Road, East Barnet, lost three-year-old Raja to leukaemia in August 1972, close to the time her second son, Lovin, was diagnosed with autism.

The young mother put on a brave face for Lovin, her other two young children and her husband – but Mrs Choudhury, now 76, says she had been depressed after her remaining children left home.

She picked her old knitting needles and created a brightly coloured toilet roll holder – and when her friend’s daughter mistook it for a hat, she decided to continue her hobby.

She said: “I had a really tough time with it – I had no help at all and was taking my two boys back and forth to hospital for tests and treatment. It was hard.

“My children were a handful. I was busy with the children for a few years, taking them ice skating and swimming, but when they grew up I found myself sitting around and doing nothing.

“I developed arthritis and couldn’t go for walks – there was nothing I could do. I’d learnt to knit when I was 18 and decided to take it up again.”

She is now knitting items to raise money for children’s charity Barnados and the National Autistic Society.

The woolly 'friends' include dogs, wine bottle covers and toilet roll holders and she has so far taken requests from around 20 people.

Mrs Choudhury added: “I find knitting very relaxing and comforting. I don’t think of it as work. Every day I am now excited about what I could knit next.

“It makes me happy. I’m doing something and I feel livelier now.”

To request a woolly friend visit www.woollyfriends.blogspot.co.uk/