Knitting for charity

Gloria van Eeden, Edgemead

We are a group of eight women, all pensioners, who have been knitting for charity for the last two years.

We are based in the Milnerton, Edgemead and Monte Vista areas and meet at each other’s homes on Wednesday mornings.

In the beginning we called ourselves “The Knit-wits” but soon discovered that there was a group with that name elsewhere, so we changed it to “Knitting for Charity”.

But let me tell you what we have achieved over the past two years. For St Michael’s Home for abused young women in Plumstead, we knitted scarves, beanies and fingerless mittens; we made them up into pretty parcels and delivered them personally. We took such a liking to these young women, we offered to knit them jerseys as well, but they requested cardigans instead, so we took up the challenge and knitted 18 cardigans and delivered them, this time we joined them for a cup of tea.

Our next challenge was knitting cardigans for the children of a safe house in Monte Vista to wear to church.

After that came teddy bears for the trauma unit at the Milnerton police station and for an organisation for physically disabled people, also in Milnerton.

We then discovered that in Sutherland in the Karoo, there was a desperate need of anything and everything.

So we set about knitting children’s jerseys, cardigans, beanies, and so forth.

We also collected kitchenware, linen and other items from family and friends, loaded up a trailer and talked our husbands into a weekend away at the Sutherland hotel. Fortunately last year was not as cold in May as it has been this year. The Sutherland residents were very appreciative and sent us pictures of the children in the clothes that we knitted.

Following that, we heard about the Herberg Kinderhuis in Robertson, so we asked them for the age groups and knitted enough for their pre-school children. We delivered the knitted goods, once again dragging our husbands with for a day in Robertson. We had a tour of the orphanage and were very impressed.

We then saw an appeal from the Home of Hope, for school jerseys for their children and knitted 25 navy school jerseys which they collected from us at the end of last year.

We have just completed 27 jerseys, scarves and beanies for a crèche recently opened in Dunoon, sponsored by Little Lambs, to whom we have donated baby and children’s jerseys throughout the year. At the end of last year we found out about the Pear Tree Project and donated parcels of baby things.

All this is done by caring women who think of the underprivileged and helping the community.

But being pensioners it does take its toll on our pockets. Other than a donation of R300 from the Tygerberg Hills Lions Club towards the school jerseys for the Home of Hope, we have bought our own wool.

Our next project is to knit for pre-school children for an organisation called Bhabhathane based in the Franschhoek area.

We would like to make an appeal to all the readers of our local newspapers for donations of wool. Either “Charity” or “Chick” wool from Shoprite/Checkers would be greatly appreciated. Call Gloria van Eeden at 021 558 5746 or 083 414 6970 if you can help.