Woollen Wonder Volunteer Mary Roest

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:  Mary Roest, Knitter from Tairua in the Coromandel

Mary Roest KnittingWe asked Mary 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 Mary - an incredible effort. Thank you! (Especially love the Waikato themed items!)

Why do you knit?
Because I love to. It gives me a lot of pleasure when I see the finished articles. I knit mostly for my grandchildren in the winter but this time of year I don't have projects for them and so I use the leftover wool to make baby hats, bootees and tops to give away.

How did you learn to knit?
My mother taught me when I was about 7 years old. I knitted my first jumper at 10. It was yellow with a fleck in it and it took me so long to finish that the sleeves were long in relation to the body.

Do you knit as part of a Knitting group?
Yes. I do go to a craft group which has bothquilters and knitters in it. We meet every fortnight and it's a good chance to relax, chat and compare notes about our knitting.

Waikato themed knitting from Mary RoestHow did you come to knit for The Neonatal Trust?  (Woollen Wonders, or general knitting)
I saw it on the NZ knitters and crocheters Facebook page which I belong to.

What is your favourite part about knitting for The Neonatal Trust?
It's knowing that the items will be used for the babies and will be a help to their Mum’s.

What do you wish more people knew about knitting?   
How easy and rewarding it is.

What are some knitting tips you can give to new knitters?        
Start with a small and simple project. Nobody's perfect but with practice it becomes easy!

Do you have a neonatal connection yourself, or know someone who has had a baby in a neonatal unit?                      
Yes. My sister's first granddaughter was born 10 weeks premature and so was her younger sister. Both spent some time in the neonatal unit at Waikato Hospital.

What do you do when you are not volunteering for The Neonatal Trust?       
I am a grandmother of eleven children - 6 boys and  5 girls aged from 11 yrs down to 2 months. I recently retired from nursing and for the last five years (along with my husband) I run a bed and breakfast on a hill overlooking the sea in the small town of Tairua in the Coromandel.

Describe yourself in one or two sentences:           
I am a 60 something, busy, active mother, wife and grandmother who enjoys the outdoors, walking, swimming and gardening with my husband. But I also like to keep busy in the evening with various projects, mainly knitting while watching TV, I love knitting most.

Healthy brain 

 * The Neonatal Trust is hugely appreciative of the support we recieve from volunteer knitters like Mary.
To help with encouraging knitting, we have produced a document covering the benefits to be gained from knitting - such as keeping your brain healthy. To read about the benefits of knitting head here.

View a gallery of 'Woollen Wonders' here.


Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners