Residents of Bupa St Andrews Retirement Village are picking up their knitting needles for premature babies.

Answering the call for help from Waikato Hospital, the village's knitting group spends an hour a day creating small woolly hats, while keeping active and socialising.

Village assistant Maureen Cruickshank said the group originally knitted baby clothes because it was easy and simple, but wanted to find a purpose for their knitting as well.

After some quick research, the group settled on creating clothes for premature babies.


"I remember reading about hospitals always wanting small knitting for babies so I just did a search around, and we are aiming to deliver them all in November," Ms Cruickshank said.

"The ladies are knitting one a night, some of them are even knitting three a night so I'd imagine we would have over 300 by November."

After starting several weeks ago, the group has already knitted more than 100 woollen hats.

The group varies in numbers, with some members spending time together while knitting, while others will knit elsewhere and drop clothes off anonymously.

Village manager Wilma Townsend said there is generally about 10 members in the group, and then a few more that come to socialise.

"It keeps their fingers nimble and other people come down and chat with them and it is really cool to see," Ms Townsend said.

"They have discussions around what colours to use and patterns and it is just nice to see those friendships develop."

The group will be knitting more hats for a November awareness campaign, while delivering their batch of woollen goods to the Neonatal Unit at Waikato Hospital on November 17 for World Prematurity Day.