Elvira's crochet passion helps Coast charities
CROCHET has been a life-long passion for 82-year-old Elvira Neal.
But over the last five years, the Bolton Clarke At Home Support client and dog lover has turned her passion turned to philanthropy.
Taught by her grandmother at age five, German-born Elvira keeps her hands busy crocheting scarves, beanies and blankets for charities on the Sunshine Coast.
With the help of a friend, these hand-made items have been donated for direct use or as raffle prizes.
Over time, the colourful creations have benefited the homeless, veterans, war widows, retirees, animals and other Bolton Clarke At Home Support clients like herself.
Elvira's passion for animals is evident and her adopted best friend, Beau, never leaves her side.
"When I visited the pound and found him, I looked in his eyes, he looked like he was crying, and it was as if he was saying to me 'pick me up, be my mum' and that was that!" Elvira said.
"I wanted all the dogs to have nice new blankets instead of old ones, so I made some for the shelters."
Elvira is always working on a new crochet project and is kept in constant supply of wool by Rhonna Stenhouse, her Bolton Clarke At Home Support worker.
"When we first met she was not good at picking colours that worked together, but I've taught her and she's gotten much better," Elvira chuckles.
"Sometimes she still brings me the wrong tools, like the wrong size knitting needles!"
Over the years, Elvira has crocheted sweaters, baby clothes, baby blankets and hats.
But the most unusual thing she's ever crocheted were bikinis for some friends!
"They were mostly for show - the girls wore them sitting by the pool," she reveals.