No wonder there’s a wool shortage in New Zealand – it could be down to the recent mammoth efforts by the Knit and Natter group at Hilda Ross Retirement Village!
The 40-plus members kept themselves very busy during lockdown by working their needles at a furious pace to produce box loads of more than 400 individual items to donate to a range of local charities.
Former village coordinator Carole Jakes, who worked at the Ruakura Road village for seven years until 2013, has stayed in touch with the residents and now volunteers to collect the donations and distribute them to the various recipients.
She marvelled at the quantity produced: “We think we would have used more than 300 balls of yarn to make these!
“A lot of the items are made with leftover odds and ends so it’s hard to tell exactly.”
The items made include jumpers and beanies which go to Care for Families; scarves, slippers and mittens go to local schools, fish and chip jumpers go to the Salvation Army, knitted boobs go to the Cancer Society, premature baby knitwear goes to the neo natal ward at Waikato Hospital while toe warmers are made for people getting their leg put in a case in the orthopaedic ward, rescue jackets are made for penguins, mice blankets and dog jackets are given to the SPCA and angel pockets or pouches are given to infant loss charity Sands.
There are also cute knitted teddies made by Jean Reynolds, again using odds and ends of yarn, which make great presents for young children.
Val Johnson was responsible for 150 of the scarves.
And centenarian Lorna Morgan is renowned for her animals and dolls which she makes for the village’s annual market stall, Carole said.
“I would talk to the ladies regularly on the phone during lockdown and they were all really pleased they had something to do that was productive for the community,” said Carole.
“Due to being housebound and more isolated than usual it definitely resulted in more products to pass on to our charities and organisations.”
Chercara Thompson, founder of Care for Families, said the knitted goods were greatly appreciated.
“There is so much love, care and attention that goes into each item, I’m sure it makes the families feel very loved,” she said.
Breast Cancer Nurse and Educator Kathryn Terry sincerely thanked the ladies for their very lovely knitted boobs and Kathryn Langdon, who received the goods on behalf of the newborn unit at Waikato Hospital, was equally thankful for the donations they received.
“The knitters in our community blow us away with their generosity,” she said.
“We always appreciate their hard work and rest assured it is put to very good use!”