Village News

A knack for knitting

06 April 2023

Margaret McCormick from the Knitwits

Like clockwork at 1.30pm every Thursday, the knitwits come together for an afternoon of knitting and natter.

Brought together by a love of knitting, the group of residents at The Orchards have been meeting for the last 7 years to knit for those in need.

“It just feels good to do something for someone else”, says long-time knitter, Margaret McCormick.

It’s heart-warming to think that our knitting can bring a bit of comfort to a family during a difficult time”.

All gratefully accepted by neonatal units at North Shore and Middlemore hospitals to help keep premature babies warm and the larger items are often gifted to Grandparents raising Grandkids and Saint Vincent de Paul. Some of the group’s knitting has even made its way across the globe to the heights of the Himalayas.

“Before COVID, every month a parcel of our knitting would go overseas to an orphanage in Nepal. Restrictions mean we must keep it local for now, but we’re always on the lookout for new groups to donate to”.

Whether it’s knitting from memory or off a pattern, many of the group have been perfecting the craft since they were old enough to hold needles and they all have their favourites.

“We’re not picky although everyone has their preference. From blankets to beanies and jumpers to toys, there isn’t much we won’t knit, we know it will get used.”

For Phyl Bailey, knitting for babies is a far cry from the recipients she was once used to.

“I picked up knitting needles for the first time when I was six and later found myself making socks and scarves for soldiers in the war,” remembers Phyl.

From baby beanies to soldiers’ socks, their knitting is always appreciated.

Funding for wool and other materials often comes straight out of the knitters’ pockets. Mary, embroiderer of the group, makes pickles, lemon curd and marmalade to sell at the village with proceeds going towards keeping their woollen stocks plentiful.

“Our friends, family and the residents committee also donate to keep us going – it helps keep us out of trouble and off the street chasing boys”, says Margaret.

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