Arthritis sufferer knits cardies and hats for baby unit

California students tasked with yarn bombing project

Despite suffering from arthritis, 74-year-old Mary Smith has found the time and inspiration to knit numerous items to donate to a charitable cause.

Smith has clearly not been put off her past-time by her condition, as she has donated no less than 72 cardigans and 21 hats for the Premature Baby Unit at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, News Shopper reports.

The Wrotham resident has been a long-term supporter of the facility and has been donating hand-crafted items to them for six years.

A spokesman for the hospital said: "Mary says that she loves knitting for the babies; it keeps her occupied and her hands supple. Thank you Mary for this wonderful donation."

Knitting has therapeutic qualities and occupational therapist at the University of Findlay in Ohio Theresa Leto suggests there are ways to make it work for you if you have problems with your mobility.

Arthritis Today quoted her as suggesting sufferers should heat up their hands in warm water before getting to grips with their knitting needles.

She also hints that you should "approach the activity like a sprinter, not a marathoner, and stitch in short sessions".

The publication suggests you should switch metal needles for birch or bamboo, as they are lighter and warmer to hold.

Wool or wool blends are also better than cotton or other fibres, as it is more elastic and forgiving and therefore easier to manipulate.

If you suffer with arthritis, you are also advised to "knit flat on a circular needle". The idea is that the circular shape will mean the weight of the garment you are knitting will not fall off your wrist, but rather into your lap.

Why not have a go at putting together one of our simple knitting patterns in wool and see how you get on?

Download a free design and then pick something like our Pure Wool Worsted - a machine-washable worsted weight yarn that comes in 50 shades.

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