Waihi's knitting army has been casting its net further this winter to warm the heads and hearts of the vulnerable.

Talented local women have knitted and crocheted their way through lockdown and produced a range of colourful blankets, beanies and baby clothes for the Hauraki branch of Women's Refuge in Thames, the cancer treatment centre in Thames, the Waihi birthing unit and Waihi Plunket.

Team Beanie was started by Tina Wright, Jeanette Wilcox and Krishna Buckman and the group has focused on making sure every local child receives a beanie, and not just those in need, a beanie for every child.

Jeanette says a core of about 10 women have been "flat out" and produce crochet and knitting regularly but they have some 25 in the group.

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"We'll be topping up the schools as there'll be new entrants that haven't received a beanie and some that have lost them."

Last year the team was then joined by Krishna Buckman from the Waihi Armistice Knitting Army (WAKA), who read an article in the Waihi Leader and contacted her friends to ask if they would like to be involved.

"Coming into winter we're focusing on beanies, slippers and blankets and we supply the newborn maternity unit cot blankets and clothes. We also take them to Plunket and our local nurse can take them to those in need."

She said donations of yarn are welcome because many who knitted were unable to afford to buy the wool.