Knit One, Purl One To Recovery

Nursing assistant Marlene Honeyman has been passing on her knitting skills to patients in the mental health unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, to help them on the road to recovery.

A keen knitter, she has taught several people how to knit, starting with a simple cast on, then plain and purl. Together they have already produced 75 baby hats for the hospital’s neonatal unit and have now begun their second batch.

Marlene has been a lifelong knitter, but has had to put aside her needles due to tendonitis in her hands. However, she has managed to pass on the basics to patients, and says one young woman in particular is able to sit and knit at her leisure. Together they have made squares for a dog blanket for the woman’s two pets which she will take with her when she is discharged.

Marlene explained: “I am teaching two patients just now and it is wonderful to see the harmony between them. I see a difference in one in particular. She is much more relaxed and speaks more to staff and fellow patients. Before she would be in her room all day and that would be her.”

In the past Marlene has cared for the elderly, and also spent many years in Russell Park before transferring to the inpatient mental health unit in Larbert. She says she is delighted with her latest project especially as the initial reaction from patients when she suggested knitting was “we cannae do that.” Now it’s plain sailing.