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Knit and natter . . . Standing by their creations, which will be donated to Oamaru Hospital's maternity ward, are Iona Home residents (from left) Denise Linley, Maysie Glenn, Clace Peden, Dorothy Sharp and Joyce Chisholm. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

Iona Rest Home residents’ lockdown creations are connecting them with the community and providing for those in need.

The Oamaru rest home’s knitters and natters group has gifted a collection of knitted items — from beanies and booties to blankets and jerseys — to Oamaru Hospital’s maternity ward.

Senior activities co-ordinator Bev Nuttall said just before New Zealand went into its first Level 4 lockdown two years ago, Iona Home decided to get a knitters and natters group together.

‘‘We’ve got a few knitters here — and we’ve got lots of natters,’’ Ms Nuttall said.

‘‘So we thought we’d combine it.’’

The group is led by Judith Roderick, who visited the home once a week when Covid-19 restrictions allowed her to.

‘‘[Mrs Roderick] has the record player going, and they have a good old chin wag for an hour and a-half,’’ Ms Nuttall said.

‘‘And they talk about patterns and they swap ideas, and some people from the cottages come over and show what they’ve been doing — it’s a good social thing.’’

Even during lockdowns, residents had kept knitting, and nattering, enjoying the opportunity to get together when they could not have visitors.

Some residents had knitted one or two items to be donated, while others had contributed several over the past two years.

‘‘We’ve got crochet blankets, singlets, lots of hats and beanies. . .some are very complicated [patterns],’’ Ms Nuttall said.

‘‘They just got together and started knitting and then we decided, well, we better do something with it.’’

The knitted creations — which would fit premature babies to older siblings of newborns — would be included in packs for new mothers to take home from Oamaru Hospital after giving birth.

Iona Rest Home is nearing the end of its stock of wool and is appealing for donations to keep residents busy knitting.

‘‘We would love some more,’’ Ms Nuttall said.