How I started knitting knockers…

One of my long time friends, Diane, is a quilter, and together with a group of likeminded ladies, she makes and donates quilts to the Neo-natal unit at Wellington hospital. I have always admired her for this, and have often wondered what I could do to make a difference in strangers lives, like she and her group of talented women do.

Well it seemed that fate would give me a nudge in the right direction… I’d broken my collar bone in a motorcycle accident, and Diane had offered to drive me to the hospital to get some follow up X-Rays taken. While waiting to see the specialist, I read an article in a magazine that gave me that nudge. It was about two lovely ladies (in Auckland) that had created a Facebook group and were encouraging people to pick up their needles, and knit “knockers” for mastectomy patients. That’s exactly what I could do…

Check out the "Knocker Knitter NZ" Facebook page
Check out the “Knocker Knitter NZ” Facebook page

… Except I hadn’t knitted for 20 years, I didn’t have any needles or yarn, and I was in a sling and not able to do anything with my right arm. But I couldn’t shake the idea that I was meant to see the article, while sitting with the very person that I admired so much for her volunteer craft work. I joined the Facebook group, which was gaining momentum.

Further to the article, the “knocker” ladies did a radio interview, followed by an interview on morning television here in New Zealand. By this time, I’d bought needles and some yarn; had reminded myself how to cast on (thanks You Tube), and I was slowly knitting a few knockers. It turned out to be quite good physiotherapy for me…

The lovely ladies that knit knockers in Wellington.
The lovely ladies that knit knockers in Wellington.

After putting a note up on the intranet at work, telling people what I was up to and asking for donations for yarn, a colleague said she’d knit some knockers too. Then thru the Facebook group, a few of the ladies in Wellington met up, and together we’ve donated numerous big bags of knockers to the Cancer Society, as well as to the Breast Screening Unit at the hospital.

The response has been amazing, and it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that a couple of hours of hand craft work (while watching TV) can make a significant difference to somebody’s life. I feel very blessed to have met a new group of people that are happy to contribute positively to their community.

It’s also been interesting getting to know the fantastic ladies that run the volunteer programme at the Cancer Society… and I’ll tell you a little bit more about that next time.

Yours – with love, compassion and hope


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