Knitting, nattering and connecting

Calvary Hyson Apartments - A weekly knitting group at Hyson Apartments

A weekly knitting group that began as a social get-together at Calvary Kooyong retirement living, health and aged care precinct, has quickly becoming an exercise in helping neighbours – one stitch at a time.

The ladies of the ‘Knit ‘n Knatter’ group help create comfort rugs for palliative care patients in hospital or in the local community, as well as for aged care residents. With their colour and vibrancy, the rugs provide emotional as well as physical warmth and, as the packaging attests, are “threaded with prayers of hope and love”.

Hyson Apartments residents gather each Wednesday morning to knit, crochet, sort and join their colourful squares as part of Calvary Kooyong’s Comfort Rug Project, which began life as an initiative of the ladies of the Cheltenham Presbyterian church more than 20 years ago. Along the way they are also benefitting through social connection. While some of the women (there are no men yet) were already fast friends, it has been a chance for others to get to know some of their new neighbours.

“The sessions for the Hyson Apartments residents are working out really well” said Calvary Kooyong volunteer Sophia Saunders, who helps facilitate the Knit ‘n Knatter group. “Some of the women here didn’t know each other very well before they started and now they are friends.”

Judith Grealish was one of the first residents to move into Hyson Apartments in February last year. Judith, a spritely 89-year-old, began volunteering to keep herself busy and to get to know people. It has added purpose to her day and helped make her new friends across the precinct.

“Knit ‘n Knatter is one of the most relaxing activities – and we certainly do plenty of both!” said Judith, “Knowing the rugs will be going to the hospital and the aged care home is important. I think it’s the friendship and warmth of the group that makes it very special.” She also involves herself in church services held in the on-site chapel and goes to aqua aerobics sessions at the indoor pool.