Words & photo by Mary Thomson
What do you get when you put half a dozen ladies, a burly six foot four Health and Wellness Carer and a huge garbage bag of knitting yarn together? Chaos!
That was the situation at Onkaparinga Lodge a couple of years ago when Alan was asked to look after a ladies’ knitting group. Poor Alan had no idea about knitting and many of the ladies in the group were getting into difficulties with their knitting.
The only good thing was a very large quantity of yarn available to the group. At first Alan would bring the knitting “mistakes“ to me, as he had seen me knitting when I visited my husband, but this did not satisfy Alan for long so he asked me if I thought he could learn to knit.
Those early first attempts were hilarious- lots of holes, sudden increases in stitches, odd shapes – but Alan persisted and eventually produced a scarf. Because he enjoyed a challenge, I suggested Alan try knitting a garment.
His first sleeveless vest was a triumph and his band of lady knitters were so encouraging and so proud of him that he decided it was time to launch out and try different styles of knitting.
These days Alan can knit cable patterns, use circular needles and is currently knitting socks! For those not familiar with knitting this is a great achievement for a novice knitter. Many residents have been the recipients of Alan’s work and all agree that along with his great sense of humour and funny quips, Alan is Onkaparinga Lodge’s number one ‘Knit-Wit’!