Quilts and knitting for little babies

17 November 2016

Little babies born in Gisborne are very lucky to have the support of a talented group of quilters and knitters.

An array of cot quilts and knitted blankets, tiny vests, bonnets and booties are regularly donated to the Neonatal Unit at Gisborne Hospital.

One of those knitters is 85 year old Bobby Weepner. Bobby hadn’t knitted since her children were young but took it up again six months ago. “I heard that the small babies needed vests. I was happy to help as it gives me something to do and I feel appreciated. I spoke to some other women at Kiri Te Kanawa Retirement Village about this and now there is a group of us knitting for the babies. My hearing is not good and my eyesight is going but I can still knit with the help of my neighbour. If I drop stitches or need help with something I can’t see she will help me out.”

“We make vests with a straight neck that easily goes over babies head and unlike the v-neck vest it keeps babies’ chest warm. We also knit vests with little buttons on the side so that the vest can be fastened around the drips and tubes that some little babies have connected to them.”

“We are always looking for more wool. If anyone would like to donate wool – 4 ply pure wool is best (acrylic makes the babies perspire) it would be much appreciated. Wool donations can be left with the Friends of the Hospital at the main reception desk near the cafeteria or in the Neonatal Unit, at the Gisborne Hospital.”

Kath Hurne is part of the Elgin Quilters group that donated 24 cot quilts to Gisborne Hospital on Thursday. Kath has been quilting for 16 years and has a special connection to premature babies after three of her great nephews were born early. “We all enjoy making these little quilts. It is a good way to use small bits of material. Each baby that spends time in the neonatal unit gets a quilt to take home with a label about their birth on the back.”

Elgin Quilters run a workshop every year on how to make baby quilts.

At an afternoon tea to celebrate World Prematurity Day (Thursday 17 November) Barbara Reid from Hauora Tairāwhiti thanked all the talented knitters and quilters that so generously donate amazing quilts and beautifully knitted hats, booties, singlets and cardigans to the Gisborne Hospital Neonatal Unit.