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Helping others ‘rug up’ for winter


Pass by the Dulwich Church Hall on the fourth Thursday of the month and you are sure to hear the constant clickety-clack of knitting needles being worked at a ferocious pace by a group of community-minded people helping those in need to stay warm this winter.

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Formed just over a decade ago, the Dulwich parish knitting group has donated more than 1000 rugs to various services, including Fred’s Van, Hutt St Centre, Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless Persons, the Otherway Centre and the Migrant and Refugee Service.

One of the founding members, Cheryl Reeve, said while the number of participants had fluctuated over the years, the camaraderie between the knitters was a mainstay.

“The group is both social and rug productive,” she explained.

“They love the social interaction. Some have arthritis and can’t knit so now they help with the stitching.

“We have about 12 who come and stay a fair bit of the day, but there are also many more in the community who knit and drop their work off.”

Members of the group come from the Catholic parishes in Dulwich, Burnside, Tranmere and North Adelaide as well as from the general community in the eastern suburbs.

Julie Dow, who also co-founded the group, said it was established as a way of getting older members of the parish involved in a regular social get-together, while also doing “something worthwhile” for those seeking warmth in the winter months.

The group meets monthly from April to September, however the knitting invariably continues in their homes throughout the year.

“It can take two days to make one square (25cm x 25cm) and 28 squares are needed to make one rug so many, many hours go into each donation,” Julie said.

She added that a lot of the wool used for the squares was donated by members of the “very generous” Dulwich parish.

Topping off a productive day of knitting, members of the group enjoy a shared afternoon tea where they reflect on their efforts of the day, and prepare for more knitting in front of the television during the cold winter’s nights.

For more information about the knitting group, contact Cheryl Reeve on


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