When crafty seniors at BaptistCare Graceford Residential Care in Byford get together every Monday morning for a weekly yarn session, they are doing a lot more than just talking.
The air is filled with the clickety click of needles and fingers are flying as the avid knitters and crocheters busily create fleecy soft blankets, scarves, ponchos and beanies for local women and children in crisis.
Perhaps inspired by Olympic diver and knitting fanatic Tom Daley, the 12-strong group lovingly known as the Knitwitts and Hookers includes male residents Malcolm Hardy (74) and Bob Miller (78).
According to 74-year-old Malcolm Hardy, finishing his first ever beanie was a milestone he never contemplated but the labour of love was well worth it.
“I’d never knitted, loomed or crocheted before, but the ladies promised to teach me, and I was determined to complete something,” he said.
“When I finished my beanie, I was ecstatic! I just could not believe what I had achieved.”
Mondays spent with the Knitwitts and Hookers is now a weekly highlight for 78-year-old Bob Miller.
“My late sister, Pat, first encouraged me to come along and I soon got started using a loom, which I found more interesting,” he said.
“I love that people aren’t judgemental, we can laugh off our mistakes and the ladies always help us fix our work,” he said.
“Just seeing the joy everyone has when they finish working on their piece is wonderful.
“There’s a lot of laughter and it’s good for us.”
The finished pieces are distributed locally by the Byford Baptist Church and donated to local women and children in crisis, and those experiencing homelessness.
BaptistCare Graceford lifestyle coordinator Zoey Madzongo, said having the help and dedication of volunteers Verona and Robyn – both passionate crafters themselves – has made all the difference to the Knitwitts and Hookers.
“It’s a fantastic initiative for the residents because knitting and crocheting is not only good for the hands, but also good for the mind,” she said.
“Residents love getting together to chat and the fact that they’re creating these pieces to help disadvantaged local families has given the group a purpose.”