DILIGENTLY working from her bed to help others, Dimphina Van Duin’s fingers swiftly chip away at her woolly masterpieces.
She began knitting at age five and has always kept busy with her hands.
Battling terminal bone cancer and osteoporosis, she continues to knit and crochet to donate blankets to those who need them.
“I know (my sickness) is getting worse, but I’ve still got quite a lot of wool to get through,” she said.
Currently, she is donating blankets to the hospice nurses in Ballarat and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
But Ms Van Duin doesn’t always know what happens to her handiwork. Once she has handed them over, she says her work is done.
“They sell them to help fund equipment that’s needed, or give them to those who need it.”
Ms Van Duin started by making pot holders for her mum.
“By 10, I was quite a knitter and when I was 12, I started crochet,” she said.
She was taught to crochet by the nuns where she grew up in Holland.
She moved to Australia in 1956 and began sewing at the Lucas factory after moving to Ballarat.
“When I left school, the headmaster said I wasn’t a very bright girl but I’d earn a living from handiwork, which was fantastic.”
She taught her three sons and two daughters how to sew, and she made most of their clothes when they were growing up and also many for her grandchildren.
Ms Van Duin started knitting rugs 10 years ago, about the time she was diagnosed.
“My sister crocheted blankets in Hamilton for Ronald McDonald House and asked if I wanted to as well. I said ‘yes’ straight away,” she said. “I started because I was bored. I couldn’t do much.
“It’s such a pleasure to make them. They’re always so thankful.”
Now receiving the care of the hospice nurses, she said it was rewarding to help the people who were helping her. “I wish I had 10 hands, but I only have two hands.”