“When you’ve been knitting your whole life, you need new projects,” says Colleen a regular at Belconnen Community Service’s Yarner’s Knit and Crochet Crew. So when Jenny, another yarner, saw a story in the Canberra Times about local farmers calling for tiny jumpers to prevent newborn lambs from dying of cold, the Yarners answered the call. It might seem strange for lambs to need jumpers to stay alive but right now, the breeding ewes are so weakened by the drought and the harsh winter, that they can barely feed their lambs. Some even abandon their newborns to keep themselves alive.
The Yarners are a friendly crew who share not just knitting and crocheting but also life experiences. Colleen has attended the group for over two years. During that time she’s seen members come and go according to their life circumstances. Over the past two weeks, Colleen has knitted seven lamb jumpers and now they’re heading out to local farms to save the lives of tiny lambs.
Jenny joined only a few weeks ago. Both she and Colleen agree that the group gives them an important outlet that is outside their family life where, “everybody knows everything”. They share stories from their lives but then, as Jenny puts it, “You just get into what you’re doing and it’s like mesmerism.”
The Yarners always welcome new members. While most of them are older women, Colleen says that the group is particularly welcoming of younger members who may be living with disability. She fondly remembers one woman who joined the group through her participation in the National Disability Insurance Scheme. “Here she was just like any other group member. We’re not support workers, and we’re all equal. We were talking as older married women do and she was just one of us.”
While that group member subsequently moved interstate, Colleen thinks the group has something to offer to other women living with disability. Regardless of your age, ability or knitting skills, you’re welcome to join the Yarner’s Knit and Crochet Crew. They meet on Mondays at 11:00am at Belconnen Community Centre. Call 02 62640200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or just come along on the day!
Photo of Mel the lamb from “Lamb Jumpers – Helping Our Farmers” Facebook page
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