Knitters make a warm gesture to Eastern Europe

    Operation Cover Up Southland co-ordinator Margaret McIntosh (back) with Knitwits group members (from left) Anne Mollison, Nancy Burnett, Isabelle Clarke and Rev Heather Kennedy meet fortnightly at First Presbyterian Church to knit items for Operation Cover Up Southland.

    A GROUP of enthusiastic Invercargill knitters are stitching together items for families in
    Eastern Europe.

    The Knitwits group meets at First Church in Invercargill every fortnight to knit a range of
    items including blankets, jerseys, scarves, slippers, socks, gloves and mittens.

    As a part of Operation Cover Up, the items will be sent to six countries: Ukraine, Bulgaria,
    Romania, Moldova, Albania and Bosnia Herzegovina.

    The knitting initiative was founded by Liz Clarke in Taupo about 22 years ago, after she
    visited Eastern Europe and realised the need for knitted blankets and clothes for people,
    especially in winter.

    She gathered a group to knit what they could and partnered with the charity Mission
    Without Borders to pack and send the donations overseas.

    The Knitwits group was formed in 2006 and members sent their first donations to the
    overseas project in 2007.

    The group was requesting donations from members of the community of wool, cotton,
    needles, fabric pieces, clothing, shoes for adults and children, stationery, and hygiene
    essential items.

    Operation Cover Up Southland co-ordinator Margaret McIntosh said the group thought it was important to support the project.

    People in these countries often experienced temperatures from -20degC to -25degC in
    winter, Mrs McIntosh said.

    The group was aware the war in Ukraine was taking a huge toll on people and the countries
    they had fled to.

    ‘‘We know some people are needing extra warmth and so we are wanting to help.’’

    The knitted items will be on display for the public to view at the Holy Trinity Church Hall,
    in Invercargill, on June 10.