It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Gore and Lois Shallard’s knitting needles are working over-time. Beside her on the table is a pile of tiny knitted baby socks, singlets and hats and at her feet are balls of wool - hot pink, lime green, lavender and a “lovely mottled blue”.
Lois is 70 this year and she’s been knitting since her teens. She knitted clothes for all her children back in the day and now she’s moved on to knitting for her town’s new mums.
I love knitting the little socks the best, they are just so tiny and cute.
Lois doesn’t just knit alone. Every Monday afternoon she runs a knitting group at the Parata Rest Home in Gore. The group consists of rest home residents, neighbours and anyone who wants to come along for a cuppa and a chat.
While they talk, they knit baby clothes, all to be donated to the local parents centre. The centre puts the woolly items into gift packs and adds other essentials like nappies, a rattle, lotions and a magazine. Every mum who gives birth at Gore Hospital gets a pack.
The items and the wool were purchased thanks to a grant from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund, and Casey Eason who runs the town’s parents centre says the money came at just the right time.