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After a fulfilling lifelong career in community service, 90-year-old Margaret McIlhagga has found a new lease on life from an unexpected place – her local knitting group at Campsie library.
The Croydon Park local has dedicated every second Tuesday to teaching the ladies in her knitting group to create twiddlemuffs for people with dementia and school children with disabilities.
The idea came when Margaret would visit her late husband in a nursing home and watch patients with dementia continuously fiddle with their hands.
“It was sheer hell not being able to help them,” Margaret said.
She returned home to find the pattern for a twiddlemuff in a magazine – a knitted hand muff with bits and pieces attached. They help keep restless hands occupied and provide sensory and tactile stimulation.
Margaret has since created hundreds of twiddlemuffs with her fortnightly knitting group and is now offering the wool creations to a local disability school, after her neighbour asked to try one to keep a student calm in the classroom.
“I’m here at 90 on my own, and it gives me a good feeling to know that I’m still doing something that is worthwhile,” she said.
“We have a fantastic group of ladies who keep coming back because they are so proud of what we are achieving.”
It’s not only the satisfaction of creating something for those in need, but it’s also a chance for a good yarn and to mix with like-minded craft lovers.
“I’ve made lovely friends here; one of the ladies that came to the group now also comes to another craft group with me,” she said.
Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said Council’s knitting groups are a great opportunity to socialise, learn new skills and help those in need.
“I encourage all craft lovers, old or young, to come along and put their needlework towards a good cause,” Mayor El-Hayek said.
“Or, you can simply join in and knit yourself something warm this Winter!”
Council’s knitting groups meet at Bankstown, Campsie, Chester Hill, Earlwood, Lakemba, Padstow, Panania and Riverwood Library and Knowledge Centres.
The groups have also put their knitting needles together for causes including Wrapped with Love blankets, coats for rescue dogs and hats and scarves for Mission Beat.
To join a knitting group, or donate much-needed wool, contact your local Library and Knowledge Centre or visit cb.city/KnittingGroups
10/08/2023 8:29 AM