• Emerald Lakes

A ‘Reel’ Community of Women

When television’s first ‘knitting star’ Elizabeth Zimmermann told her television audiences to ‘knit on with confidence and hope through all crises’ she had no idea nine Gold Coast women would be subconsciously channelling her more than five decades later.


Once a week, the dedicated craft group at Seachange Emerald Lakes join together to knit a vast range of items for those in need. Craft group leader Sue Nugent said the ladies have been meeting every Wednesday for five years, always seeking new charities to support. So far, they had knitted more than 3000 individual pieces. “It gives us ladies an opportunity to get together on a project and knit something meaningful,” said Mrs Nugent. “We knit everything from beanies, to penguin and sheep jumpers, to knee rugs and teddies.



A long-time commitment is making breast cancer bags for the ladies at the hospital. “We have made 1,311 of those bags so far. It’s just a bit nicer for the ladies instead of carrying a plastic bag around with them.  We love the fact that we can make their days just a little brighter in trying circumstances. We also knit for the homeless. We make bed socks, beanies, gloves, and scarves for them.”



Jeanette Henry, another craft group member, said she and her friends had made 500 purple felt love hearts in two weeks for the SANDS Charity (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Syndrome). “We also worked with Project Kin Dolls, and essentially we made rag dolls with clothes and what was good about the project is that some of us sew, and some of us knit. So, we all coordinated together to bring it to life,” said Mrs Henry.


The ladies generously use their time and skills to help the community, each bringing forth their unique knowledge and style to help one another advance their crocheting and knitting abilities. “We are always looking out for one another,” said Margaret Jamieson, one of the craft group members. “During COVID, we did not feel isolated. We felt protected because we had one another here.” Mrs Nugent led the chorus of Seachange fans. “I love living here. It’s like a little village. If something were wrong, you know there would be three people on your doorstep within half an hour asking if they can help,” she said. When asked what a typical day looks like for the ladies at Seachange, Barb Jarrott chimed in to say, ‘we do whatever we like, whenever we want! It is so wonderful’.


If knitting, crocheting or sewing is your passion, these ladies will welcome you with open arms — and be prepared for the fun banter!