Students knit beanies in their lunchtime to help sick kids
THE knitting needles have been flying in what can only be described as a purler of a time at Gympie South State School lately.
Twice a week, seven Year 5, 6 and 7 students have been getting together in their lunch hour to learn to knit under the tutelage of South mum Deb Lynn and deputy principal Rachael Alexander.
Over the past few weeks, the little group has churned out 80 colourful beanies which they are now packaging up to send to young cancer patients at Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital.
While their productivity has been amazingly high, the project has been nothing but fun for the knitters who love nothing better than getting together for a twice-weekly chat over their needles.
Of the seven group members, Tullie Hudson, Ebony Kjorstad and Kaylee Stubbings never miss a session.
The tightly-knit trio agrees knowing they're knitting to help others makes the task especially enjoyable.
"It's just fun and it never gets boring," Ebony said. "And it feels really good that we made all those beanies to help the children at Royal Brisbane Hospital."
While Ebony was taught to knit by her grandmother when she was five and Tullie by a neighbour when she was seven, Kaylee had never picked up a pair of knitting needles until she joined the group.
"Deb taught me how to knit and now I love it," she said.
Ms Alexander said the knitting group had been going for the past year and was looking to recruit more Year 5, 6 and 7s next year.
"It started because we had a student who came to South with a few social issues and we needed something for her to do in her break," she said.
"At her previous school it was knitting so I asked Deb, who'd made some dolls for me, if she'd like to come and help."
For Deb, watching the girls' knitting skills improve has been enormously satisfying.
"I feel so proud when they finish something," she said.
Thanks to last-minute assistance from Year 1 students who helped add some colourful finishing touches, the beanies are now ready for delivery.
But the knitting group won't be laying down their needles just yet.
There are a few Christmas surprises to be created for their families, after which the South knitters will be planning their next big project - defending their 2013 Gympie Show champion knitted blanket title.