RUGGED UP: Some of the Wrap With Love volunteers including Shirley Rose (far right covered in purple).
RUGGED UP: Some of the Wrap With Love volunteers including Shirley Rose (far right covered in purple).

In stitches for love of helping others in need

MORE than 500 rugs a year leave the Coffs Harbour region to help the homeless and people in need around the state as part of the Wrap With Love program.

The rugs are the work of the region's keen knitters and those who crochet (both women and men), who produce an amazing number of squares each year. While a lot do it on their own, in Coffs, once a month, avid woollen artisans meet to knit and natter, crochet and chatter, or as they call it - Yarn and Yak.

Yarn and Yak is held on the first Tuesday of every month in the Harry Bailey Memorial Library from 10am-noon with no need to book. It is a matter of just coming along with your needles and hooks and connecting with like-minded people.

According to avid Yarn and Yak member Shirley Rose, this month is going to be a bit different, as the library and the group will be celebrating World Wide Knit in Public Day.

The official day is June 8, but as they don't meet on Saturdays, their celebration will cast off (or on) on June 4 instead.

Shirley said they would have a morning tea to celebrate all things knitting including the Wrap With Love program.

"Through Wrap With Love we create 10-inch squares that are sewn together and sent to Sydney and used for the needy around Australia, including after cyclones and other incidents," she explained.

"The ABC was the drop-off point but when they stopped the library took over."

She said from there the idea for Yarn and Yak in the library was born.

"Some knit, some crochet, one lady comes for an hour just to chat and see how we are all doing," Shirley laughed.

"There is usually at least a dozen to 20 people and they come from all sorts of places. It's just a good time to catch up and have a chat."

Shirley, who is 79 this year, said it was a fun activity to be part of and in her case it was one of the more sedate things she does each month.

"I still line dance and ride a motorbike and I'm a member of the Ulysses club," she explained.

She said she was disappointed she'd miss WWKIP day this year.

Instead she will be heading south to Sydney to meet up with old friends and celebrate the 60th anniversary of walking through the doors of the hospital in Sydney to become a nurse.

For more information about Yarn and Yak, contact the library on (02) 6648 4900 or email

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