CRAFT AND COMPANY: Ashmore's The Spotlight Ladies show off just some of the creations they have worked on for about a month to donate to Red Nose.
CRAFT AND COMPANY: Ashmore's The Spotlight Ladies show off just some of the creations they have worked on for about a month to donate to Red Nose. Alison Houston

Oh baby, these Spotlight ladies are crafty!

IT'S usually not so much what they make as "the fellowship" which brings The Spotlight Ladies back to the Ashmore store each Tuesday.

But once a year the group combine their creative skills for Red Nose (formerly SIDS and Kids).

This year, over a month, they have knitted and crocheted almost 200 pieces for donation. That includes baby blankets, gloves, jackets and caps, as well as little octopus toys for premature babies.

According to studies which show improved breathing and general health for premmies, the woolly tentacles remind them of being inside the womb, giving them something to hang on to and soothing them.

Sandra Allen has been with the The Spotlight Ladies for about eight years, happy to travel from Burleigh Heads each week to take part.

"I think all these girls would say they can't sit down without doing something with their hands - knitting or crocheting," Sandra said.

"You get so much pleasure out of it ... and for me, with my children grown up, this gives me a real purpose."

Some of the yarn for their charity work has been donated by Spotlight, with the ladies themselves, who Sandra says are "all hoarders with a yarn addiction", supplying the rest.

Generally, the 15 or so ladies bring their own pieces to work on and just enjoy the company of other like-minded people, sharing patterns and experiences.

"A lot of us have families living somewhere else, and we're very supportive of each other," Sandra said.

The ladies also help out other shoppers who see their circle and ask advice on patterns, yarns, stitches and needles.

Spotlight Ashmore craft and party manager Shannon Parker said she had been stunned as she set out the women's charity work for display.

"I was overwhelmed by what these beautiful ladies had done," she said.

"I definitely had a tear in my eye."

Shannon said the store planned a heavy focus on community engagement programs in the year ahead.

Info: ask for Shannon in-store or bring your needles and yarn along any Tuesday from 10am-12pm.


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