Very lucky 88-year-old spreads love with 1000 beanies
ONE thousand baby beanies have been lovingly knitted for Gold Coast University Hospital over the past four years thanks to just one Victorian woman's busy hands.
Joan Fawcett, from the Geelong suburb of Belmont, said it took her about three hours to knit each beanie, generally while watching television at night.
"I can't just look at the TV and waste my time," she said.
Having learnt knitting from her mother, Joan recalls making mittens and balaclavas at school for the soldiers during World War II.
Over the years, she said, she had "knitted everything" for family and friends.
But her current project began when her daughter Jane O'Shea, a midwife at Gold Coast University Hospital, asked: "What about my babies?"
"That's how it all started, and I just haven't stopped," Joan laughed.
"It keeps me going; gives me purpose."
Joan has had letters of thanks from the hospital, but said she was happy her daughter got the pleasure of giving the beanies to the newborns.
At 88 she considers herself to be "very lucky", despite losing her husband five years ago, having good friendship and church ties.
As well as bringing beanies with her each winter while visiting family on the Coast, Joan asks anyone she knows who is making the trip north to carry some to avoid postage on top of yarn costs.
It was Joan's proud great nephew, Ed Paynter, who alerted Seniors Gold Coast about Joan's milestone.
"I think it's pretty special and inspiring what she's done," Mr Paynter said.