22 January 2015

Craft and companionship forge closer community connections

As their fingers knit and purl beautiful woollen creations, something else is woven among the men and women who attend Auckland Libraries’ knitting groups – friendship.

As Monica Foster from Orewa Library explains: “We get together to knit, but it’s all about the yarn.”

Knitting clubs warmly welcome all attendees regardless of ability, age, gender or language. 

Monica’s group formed at the end of 2013 as a one-off Christmas decoration project. It quickly blossomed into a regular group that meets every Thursday morning for a cup of tea, a bikkie or two, and several hours of companionship and craft.

For the Orewa knitters, it’s also about charity: they use donated wool to create blankets, jerseys and slippers for Operation Cover Up, an initiative from Mission Without Borders, which sends these items to orphanages and the needy in Eastern Europe.

Although it started off with crafty origins, Monica says it is really all about the people.

“Our group has evolved and is now mostly attended by older women who may be widowed, unwell, lonely or depressed. Our weekly get-togethers are therapeutic - a reason to meet others, share and care, and keep minds (and hands) active,” she says.