Woollen Wonder Volunteer Amy Hewgill

Woollen WondersAs part of our activity around World Prematurity Day 2016, we're highlighting the great work of volunteer knitters who generosly provide their time, money and skills to support others.

As part of our goal to raise awareness of neonatal journeys, we're highlighting the role of wool in the care of fragile babies. 100% wool is a beautiful natural fibre that importantly is breathable - unlike synthetics and acrylics which can cause a baby to sweat and overheat. Babies born early cannot regulate their own body heat and the use of wool is key to ensuring their body can focus on growing and developing.
With the great properties of 100% wool, and the love and support shown to knit for others, the knitted items for neonatal babies really are 'Woollen Wonders' 

Note:  Some wording on packaging is used ‘creatively’ so please check the label carefully.

To learn more about the 'Woollen Wonders' head to www.neonataltrust.org.nz/woollen-wonders

Profile:  Amy Hewgill, Knitter from Christchurch

Amy Hewgill knittingWe asked Amy to answer a few questions so we can learn about her and also her thoughts on knitting, and more. Below are her responses and the image to the right is the knitting produced for 'Woollen Wonders' by Amy - a beautiful blanket and one of the many Canterbury themed beanies! Thanks so much Amy.

Why do you knit?
I knit because I like to create things, especially things that are different from what's available in stores.

How did you learn to knit?
I taught myself in 2005 while freezing in Canada.

Do you knit as part of a Knitting group?
No. Formerly, I did.  I actually started a group in 2006 that's still going.  They meet weekly.  Having kids changed demands on my time.

How did you come to knit for The Neonatal Trust?  (Woollen Wonders, or general knitting)
My daughter was born very prematurely in 2013.  I've been involved in The Neonatal Trust since then.  When the call for knitters went out it was a natural fit for me.

What is your favourite part about knitting for The Neonatal Trust?
Knowing that some of my knitting will be appreciated and used for raising awareness (and hopefully some funds) for the Trust.

What do you wish more people knew about knitting?   
How relaxing it is.  People often say to me "I wish I had the patience to knit."  Ironically, I'm not a patient person.  I just kept trying and it's like meditating. Practice, practice, practice.

What are some knitting tips you can give to new knitters?        
Find out how you learn best.  Try that way.  I recommend having a good resource book and also using the internet (YouTube, knittinghelp.com) when I'm stuck with a technique.  Also, only use real wool.  There's nothing worse than spending all your timemaking something and have it turn out terrible because of the quality of the yarn.

Do you have a neonatal connection yourself, or know someone who has had a baby in a neonatal unit?                      
Yes. My daughter was born at 27 weeks and needed to stay in NICU for 11.5 weeks.  We were incredibly lucky that although she had medical problems they were minor in comparison to some. We're now expecting our second child and she's unlikely to need the NICU at all!

What do you wish more people knew about The Neonatal Trust / neonatal care in New Zealand?
I wish more people knew what a great support system the Trust is for what has to be one of the worst most trying times in a parent's life.  I love that the Trust offers developmental and musical playgroups after patients have left hospital. It helps us parents bond with other parents, catch up with people who understand our struggles and helps us grow into our new roles as mums/dads.

What do you do when you are not volunteering for The Neonatal Trust?       
I'm a NZSL sign language interpreter and a full time mum.

Describe yourself in one or two sentences:           
I am a world traveller who chose NZ as home.  I am now a mum, wife, creative person and interpreter who loves her roles.

Meditative act 

 * The Neonatal Trust is hugely appreciative of the support we recieve from volunteer knitters like Amy.
To help with encouraging knitting, we have produced a document covering the benefits to be gained from knitting - such as its meditative qualities, as mentioned by Amy above. To read about the benefits of knitting head here.

View a gallery of 'Woollen Wonders' here.




Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners