Yarners' winter warmers show battlers they care

WITH winter just around the corner, why not pick up a pair of knitting needles and join the Springfield Yarners to help make blankets for people in need.

Club coordinator and University of Southern Queensland Senior Lecturer Dr Nicole Ann Todd said the group had been warming the hearts of others for 10 years.

"We have handed over more than 400 hand-knitted and crocheted blankets to charity groups since the group started," Dr Todd said.

"This year we have decided to have the Domestic Violence Action Centre in Ipswich donate the blankets to a local women's shelter and a youth homeless service.

"Small gestures like a blanket can make a big difference to the lives of vulnerable women and children experiencing difficult times.

"It is our way to pass on the comfort and love to those who need it and let them know there are people out there thinking of them."

Dr Todd said being a part of the group was rewarding.

"A small group of knitters come to the Springfield campus each month to knit, however the majority of blankets are made up of strips sent in from knitters in the community," she said.

"I'm amazed by the amount of people who spend countless hours of their own time doing something for someone they have never met before.

"We plan to hand over the blankets to the Domestic Violence Action Centre in June or July, but we accept strips after that time - ready for next year's handover."

The Springfield Yarners meet the third Monday of every month at 1pm at the 6th floor staffroom at USQ Springfield. New knitters are welcome to join the group and there are plenty of willing hands to teach those who have never picked up a set of knitting needles.

"Most of the ladies do it because they care and want to help others, but knitting is also a great social activity and a good way to learn a new skill," Dr Todd said.

The group accepts 1.5m knitted strips and completed blankets all year round. Just drop them into USQ Springfield's reception in Building A.

Instructions: Using 8ply acrylic yarn and 4mm needles, cast on 45 stitches. Knit every row (garter stitch) until the strip measures 1.5m in length. Any colour is fine. Strips can be one colour or multiple colours.

The group uses six strips to make one blanket and is happy to receive any number of strips which they sew together to make completed blankets.

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