Call for knitters to make baby blankets

The Taieri Spinners and Weavers/Creative Fibre group is calling on keen knitters to join them in...
The Taieri Spinners and Weavers/Creative Fibre group is calling on keen knitters to join them in creating handmade blankets for premature babies in Dunedin Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Keeping unwell or premature babies extra warm in their cots is the focus of a long-standing project for the Taieri Spinners and Weavers/Creative Fibre group.

Group secretary Elaine Gousmett said every year about 400 unwell and premature babies were cared for in Dunedin Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Nicu), and woollen blankets for their cots helped to keep them at the right temperature.

These blankets were usually lovingly handmade by members of the public.

As blankets could not be shared for hygiene reasons, the babies were given them to take home, and they were appreciated as a memento of a family’s time in Nicu, Ms Gousmett said.

"This means there is an ongoing need for blankets for Nicu, and Taieri Spinners and Weavers/Creative Fibre members are asking the public to join us in the rewarding task of knitting, crocheting, and weaving blankets."

The group is working in conjunction with De Winkel yarn, craft and haberdashery store in Mosgiel, and the Neonatal Trust, to help expand the project.

Anyone who wishes to knit blankets for babies in Nicu can get free knitting and crochet patterns from the De Winkel shop, at 128 Gordon Rd, and can take completed blankets back to the store for collection and delivery to Nicu.

Ms Gousmett said because of the unique properties of wool it was best that the blankets were at least 80% wool.

Any design will be welcomed, as long as the blanket is about the size of a large tea towel.

At the recent Taieri Spinners and Weavers/Creative Fibre Spring Fling event, a blanket competition was held.

The winning blanket, woven by Nancie Allison, of Milton, can be viewed in the De Winkel shop window.

- Staff reporter 

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