Champion knitters: Ferrymead Rotary’s Pat Edward (standing) tries a woolly hat for size on Barbara Crooks (seated right) while Kathryn Tovgaard (left) makes sure there are no slipped stitches

A quartet of Ferrymead Rotary knitters has been bringing music to the ears of nurses and mothers at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. The foursome has knitted well over half a century of woolly hats for babies born at the hospital over the last 12 months

They have been donating knitted garments to newborns for several years, but have intensified their efforts after a call for help from the hospital. All babies born at the hospital are given a woollen hat at birth, while woollen singlets, matinee jackets and booties are available for mothers take home.

The Ferrymead knitters have been involved for some time, but this year decided to concentrate on hats. They have produced a variety of sizes and colours. Pat Edward heads the count, with the bulk of the balance shared between Debbie Woolf, Kathryn Tovgaard and Barbara Crooks (plus a little bit of help from a friend or two).

The Rotary club has funded some the wool, but all of the knitters’ time is given voluntarily. They estimate up to seven hours goes into making each hat.

Most of the knitting has been done individually, although the four have got together from time to time to share wool and swap notes.

Ferrymead Rotary is also working on making singlets and booties for Plunket and supplying the Methodist Mission with bedding, jerseys, hats, scarves, gloves and shoes. The Mission gives these items, donated or sourced by Rotary members, to homeless people.